A new institute will integrate the university’s health and social services colleges, with a focus on improving care access and outcomes in underserved areas.
Humana Inc. and the University of Houston have launched what they’re calling a long-term strategic partnership to promote population health and value-based payment models for the next generation of clinicians.
A $15 million gift from the Louisville-based health insurer will establish the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston, which will include the university’s colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work and optometry.
The collaboration will create a pipeline of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals trained in population health, with a focus on primary care and improving care access and outcomes in low-income communities.
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Humana’s funding, to be doled out over 10 years, will defray start-up and operational costs for the soon-to-open College of Medicine, and fund endowed chairs for each of the five colleges.
Humana Chief Medical Officer Roy Beveridge, MD, called the University of Houston “an ideal partner” because of their shared commitment to “caring for individuals in underserved communities with the greatest health needs.”
“This is an investment in the future of our healthcare system, which depends on clinical leaders who understand concepts like population health, the importance of social determinants of health and the need to emphasize value over the volume of health care services provided,” Beverage said.
The College of Medicine is scheduled to admit 30 students in its inaugural class but awaits state and national accreditation.
University of Houston President Renu Khator said the establishment of the Humana Institute demonstrates that the university is “serious about an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to health education that will make a life-changing difference in Houston and beyond.”
“This transformative gift clearly positions that dream to become a reality,” she said.