Health Equity Collective

Formerly known as the Greater Houston Coalition on Social Determinants of Health, the Health Equity Collective aims to build a more equitable health ecosystem in Greater Houston. Among its members are 400 individuals, over 140 organizations, and more than 50 coalitions.

What factors are essential for effective cross-sector alignment?

Shared Purpose

  • Coalition organizations share a common agenda and vision of health equity for all Greater Houston area residents. Leadership went on a “listening tour” to gauge interest and need for coalition.
  • Shared goals include addressing a lack of systematic screening for SDOH, a need for common metrics, a lack of care coordination within and between health care organizations, and a lack of documentation and data linking screening to access.
  • Coalition partners indicated the alignment effort had a purpose with a shared vision and a set of priority outcomes.


  • All primary sectors are “very squarely at the table and well represented” facilitating a shared governance structure.
  • The Steering Committee is comprised of workgroup chairs and members from the backbone organizations (American Heart Association, Harris County Public Health, and UTHealth School of Public Health).
  • There are six workgroups, each with defined focus areas, goals, and member roles.


  • The coalition has a data-sharing ecosystem workgroup with a focus on establishing data ecosystem, network for data sharing, technical capacity for population-level data analysis, and incorporating processes for proving health impact and outcomes.
  • The SDOH Framework and Common Metrics workgroup is establishing common measures to be used across coalition organizations in measuring efforts and compiling data.

Finance and Sustainability

  • “Pay to play approach” is considered for coalition members; members can gain a lot by participation.
  • Discussions around value-based care are related to sustainability considerations.
  • Backbone support organizations (American Heart Association, Harris County Public Health, and UTHealth School of Public Health) assist with mobilizing resources.

Integration of Health Equity

  • Still developing, no specific definitions or measurements of health equity (at time of publication)
  • Is explicitly a high priority goal for the coalition and embedded in the shared purpose and vision of the coalition according to member

Community Trust and Accountability

  • Still establishing relationships and building trust and accountability activities

Outcomes Achieved

  • Helped pass the Food Financing Initiative
  • Supported the Office of Economic Opportunity
  • Contributed to the Harris Cares report
  • Worked with the Commissioner’s Court