HSC, Optum Serve form partnership focusing on whole health

Entities will conduct a State of the Community Health Needs Assessment

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Optum Serve, a health care solutions business that supports public agencies and others, have signed an agreement to collaborate on a broad range of whole health initiatives in North Texas. These initiatives include exploring, identifying and acting on issues related to health inequities, social determinants of health and the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19.

“With our combined expertise, resources, experience and footprints in the community, HSC and Optum Serve are committed to delivering real whole health solutions to our community’s most pressing health care issues,” said David Mansdoerfer, HSC special assistant to the president. “This partnership is a natural fit, as both organizations are committed to pioneering a course to a healthier region. We are excited to be a part of what will surely be a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”

Among the first of the collaborations outlined in the new partnership is conducting a State of the Community Health Needs Assessment. Some of the components of the ambitious project will involve organizing and carrying out in-depth data analysis by zip code, hosting stakeholder engagement and health literacy sessions, and offering community members strategic support in understanding health, economic, accessibility, public health and health policy perspectives.

Whole health starts with the basic idea that a wide range of factors determine someone’s level of health. Those factors may or may not be related to a traditional clinical diagnosis. In addition to physical aspects of health, the model incorporates environmental, social, nutritional, mental health and other components.

With this approach, people are the center of care, and they determine the needs that are most important to address. This is a comprehensive perspective that accounts for a more holistic view of how the internal and external environment impacts a person’s health. It provides more information about how people live, work, play and are able to access health information and systems of care.

This evidence-based style of care looks beyond basic symptoms to offer a wider array of options across the health continuum. Whole health takes a comprehensive view of all aspects of a person’s life to consider root-cause solutions along with dynamic treatments.

As one of the nation’s premier health professions and biomedical training and research schools, HSC and its faculty and staff of experts is uniquely positioned to take on large-scale projects with impacts that cascade throughout the region.

Optum Serve brings more than 50 years of expertise in population health, health care delivery, policy research, analytics, strategic planning and advisory services, working as an independent source for health care solutions for public agencies, companies, nonprofits and industry groups.

“We are honored to collaborate with the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth to look at how the community can come together to improve the health of the North Texas community,” said LTG (Ret) Patricia D. Horoho, the 43rd Army Surgeon General and CEO of Optum Serve.