Felicia Latson, LCSW-S, center, discusses social determinants of health with other panel members at University of Houston’s first Health: A Call to Action conference on January 31, 2020.
By Barrett White
In the midst of campus buzz, the University of Houston held their first-ever community health conference, titled Health: A Call to Action. The conference was held in the Student Center sure to be outgrown in the coming years. Attendees from Harris Health, the Houston Food Bank, the Memorial Hermann Hospital Network, and many others filled the rooms just one floor above the university students meeting over coffee for study sessions.
Speaking on the panel “uncovering needs in local communities while conducting health equity work for finding collaborative solutions” Legacy’s Felicia Latson presented, alongside peers from Avenue 360, Baylor College of Medicine, Change Happens!, Episcopal Health Foundation.
Outlining Legacy’s unique intake process, Latson emphasized the connection between an individual’s health and their environment, and how Legacy physicians screen patients for certain non-clinical health barriers during the patient’s visit – such as not having access to proper nutrition in Houston’s food deserts – in order to connect them to a better livelihood.
By addressing the environmental health impacts an individual faces, Latson explained, Legacy works to prevent sickness or poor health in the first place. Some ways that this can happen are by ensuring that an individual not only has food to eat, but that the food is healthy; and ensuring patients have access to affordable housing. Legacy is able to do this by utilizing collaborations with community programs that uplift patients’ quality of life by connecting them to resources they need to thrive.
Following her appearance at University of Houston’s Health: A Call to Action conference, Latson also appeared as a panel speaker at the Texas State of Reform Health Policy Conference in Austin alongside Legacy CEO Katy Caldwell. The two of them addressed crowds of health care professionals about social determinants and leadership in the health care sector.