Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities in Houston (TOUCH) was a program funded by the United Health Foundation that provided prevention services and intervention programs to assist residents of Houston’s Third Ward and East End in alleviating challenges related to obesity and diabetes.


This community project was implemented through the University of Houston’s (UH) HEALTH (Helping Everyone Achieve a LifeTime of Health) Research Institute with support provided by the Texas Obesity Research Center (TORC) and community stakeholders (health centers, community and faith based organizations, government entities, and local businesses). TOUCH provided free and culturally informed health education, prevention strategies, and intervention support and aimed to serve as a model of a sustainable and scalable program that can be replicated in other communities. The infographic below and our project summary report highlights TOUCH's community impact.

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TOUCH program summary showing numerical data and icons



Top News

FOX26 Houston - Interview with HRI Director

Interview with Dr. Ezemenari Obasi and Dr. Dan O’Connor to introduce project TOUCH on Fox26 Houston

Interview with Ezemenari Obasi and Dan O'Connor on Fox26 Houston discussing the United Health Care Grant.

UH Logo

UH Project TOUCH: Filling the Gaps in Health Community Health Care

University of Houston’s Project TOUCH (Treating Obesity in Underserved Communities) is changing people’s lives.

Univision News - HRI interview about diabetes awareness.
Univision Interview in Spanish: Program to Raise Awareness of Diabetes and Reduce its Incidence

Esta enfermedad afecta a un gran número de personas de la comunidad latina, por lo que el Instituto de Salud de la Universidad de Houston ofrece este programa de prevención.

TOUCH Investigators

photo of Ezemenari Obasi

Ezemenari Obasi

Primary Investigator

photo of Dan O'Connor

Dan O'Connor

Primary Investigator

photo of Virmarie Correa-Fernandez

Virmarie Correa-Fernandez


photo of Marc Hamilton

Marc Hamilton


photo of Daphne Hernandez

Daphne Hernandez


photo of Craig Johnson

Craig Johnston


photo of Tracy Ledoux

Tracy Ledoux


Rosenda Murillo Photo

Rosenda Murillo


photo of Norma Olvera

Norma Olvera


photo of Lorraine Reitzel

Lorraine Reitzel