Showing 15 results

Authority record
Public health

City of Houston Department of Public Health and Planning

  • Corporate body

Houston Health Department Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Research for Effectiveness (OPERE) (2006), “comprises epidemiologists, statisticians, and GIS analysts who collaborate with . . . partners within and outside the department for research, analysis, interpretation, and sharing of information on health issues that affect our communities”. The Houston Health Department operates several community health centers and provides information on assistance with various health needs, including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for those at elevated risk of contracting HIV, or PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) for those who may recently have been exposed).

Harris County Health Department

  • Corporate body

Harris County Public Health is the county health department responsible for providing community health services and programs, including disease-management measures as diverse as health testing and screening, mosquito control, environmental testing, nutritional support, animal control and zoonoses, and natural disaster response. Note: The Harris County Archives CR059 is a collection of Harris County Public Health records 1942-2004.

de Hartog, Jan

  • Person
  • 1914-2002

Jan de Hartog was born April 22, 1914 in Haarlem, Netherlands. He ran away as a young teenager and took jobs on fishing boats, as a coal shoveler, and as a tour boat captain. He wrote in his spare time, published a series of mystery novels, and started a career in theater in the late 1930s.
In May 1940, ten days before Germany invaded, de Hartog published Holland’s Glory, a novel about ocean-going tugboat captains. The book was not political but because of the title and thoroughly-Dutch subject it became a bestseller and drew the attention of the Gestapo. De Hartog had already joined the Dutch resistance movement and had to flee to England, where he continued resistance work alongside like-minded British. He eventually became a pacifist and joined the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). His years in England introduced his work to English-language audiences and he produced several successful books and plays.
De Hartog moved to the United States in the late 1950s and married his third wife, Marjorie Hein. In the early 1960s, the de Hartogs and others became aware of the poor conditions at Jefferson Davis Hospital and the ongoing dispute over whether the city or county was responsible for its funding. The expose The Hospital spurred the formation of the Harris County Hospital District (now Harris Health System).
De Hartog died September 22, 2002, in Houston. He and Marjorie were long-time members of Houston’ Live Oak Friends Meeting. This VHS was donated by the Drexler family, who were also members of LOFM; their daughter Alethea was an assistant at the John P. McGovern Historical Collections at the Texas Medical Center Library.

Aday, Lu Ann

  • Person
  • 1946-

Lu Ann Aday was born in Waxahachie, Texas, on August 19, 1946. She earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 1968 from Texas Tech University and then went to Purdue University for a Master’s in 1970 and then, in 1973, a doctorate in sociology. She was the associate director of the Center for Health Administration Studies at the University of Chicago before teaching at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. School of Public Health

  • Corporate body
  • 1969-

The Texas Legislature approved the formation of a school of public health in 1947 but did not allocate funds until 1967; the first class entered in the fall 1969. It became part of the UT Health Science Center when that was organized in 1972. The main campus remains in Houston in the Texas Medical Center but there are satellite campuses, tailored to the needs of their respective communities, in San Antonio (1979), El Paso (1992), Dallas (1998), Brownsville (2000), and Austin (2007). The school comprises four departments: Biostatistics and Data Science; Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences; Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences; and Management, Policy, and Community Health. The school also supports thirteen research centers.

Houston-Galveston Area Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1966-

Founded in 1966 and funded by the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, the H-GAC is the regional planning and oversight organization through which local governments consider issues and cooperate in solving area-wide problems. H-GAC serves thirteen counties in the Houston-Galveston area. The greater HGAC includes departments of community and environmental planning (conservation, historic map collection), data services (geographic, information technology, web development, regional 911); finance and budget; human services (independent living for seniors; job placement; and aid for low-income persons); public services; and transportation.
The Health Systems Agency specifically seeks to promote the development of health systems in the region by determining need, developing an implementation plan, reviewing data, and reviewing applications for assistance. Among their missions “is to facilitate the procurement of goods and services in an open, fair, transparent, and economically competitive environment”.

Steele, James H.

  • Person
  • 1913-2013

James H. Steele, DVM, was born in Chicago on April 13, 1913. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University. Steele started the veterinary division of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in 1947. In the 1950s, Steele led development of rabies vaccinations and preventive medicine programs at both the federal and state levels. He traveled to over 60 countries to establish international veterinary public health services. He also served as the United States’ first assistant surgeon general for veterinary affairs in 1968 and then served as the deputy assistant secretary for health and human services in 1970. In 1971, Steele became a professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, TX, a role he kept until his retirement in 1983. At the age of 100, Dr. James H. Steele died on November 10, 2013.

Junior League of Houston Children's Clinic

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-

The Junior League of Houston was founded in 1925 with the purpose of establishing a well-baby clinic for the city’s underserved. By 1927, the clinic was operating out of the First National Bank Building. It would later partner with Hermann Hospital. The clinic moved into Hermann’s outpatient department in 1944, where it served as a training institution for Baylor College of Medicine, and was renamed the Junior League Children’s Health Clinic of Hermann Hospital Outpatient Department. Around this time, the Junior League started a second program to assist patients, not only children, during their hospital stays. The Junior League opened its Diagnostic Clinic associated with Texas Children’s Hospital even before TCH was officially opened in 1954. They began working with new young mothers through the Baylor Teen Clinic in 1974, and donated the SuperKids Pediatric Mobile clinic in 2000 to help improve immunization rates and provide health checks to children whose families have a hard time traveling to a doctor. The Junior League continues to fund-raise and provide volunteer support for dozens of Houston health institutions.

Kraft, Irvin A.

  • Person
  • 1921-2010

Irvin Alan Kraft was born in Huntington, West Virginia, on November 20, 1921. He attended from Johns Hopkins University but interrupted his education to join the army. He qualified for the Army Specialized Training Program and volunteered to become a doctor, which meant completing two years of pre-medical courses in nine months. His unit studied at NYU School of Medicine and he completed his residency in psychiatry at Kingsbridge VA Hospital in New York City. After a second tour of duty in the Air Force, he received a fellowship in child psychiatry at Tulane University in 1954. He moved to Houston in 1957 to initiate a child psychiatry program at Baylor College of Medicine. He later joined the UT School of Public Health as a clinical professor of mental health.
Kraft was instrumental in founding the Texas Institute of Child Psychiatry in 1963. He worked with Denton Cooley in 1968 as a psychiatric consultant to the heart transplant team. He died May 30, 2010, and is buried at Emanu El Memorial Park.

Harris County Hospital District

  • Corporate body
  • 1965-

The Harris County Hospital District was created by voter referendum in November 1965 and formalized with taxing authority in January 1966. Its creation followed the publication of Jan de Hartog’s The Hospital, an expose of the conditions at Jefferson Davis Charity Hospital (opened 1924). The District replaced a contentious city-county system in which both were responsible for support of the hospital. Quentin Mease was a founder and chairman of the District.
Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital opened in 1989. In 1990, emergency facilities at Lyndon B. Johnson and Ben Taub (1963) Hospitals were expanded and Harris County residents began to be assigned to each by ZIP code to better manage caseloads. HCHD was renamed Harris Health System in 2012.

Jensen, Francine

  • Person
  • 1917-2004

Francine Jensen was born August 1, 1917, in Memphis, Tennessee. She earned a BA from the University of Texas, an MD from UTMB, and a Master’s of Public Health from Tulane University, and did both an internship and residency at Jefferson Davis Hospital. In the 1940s she became the assistant director of Harris County’s Chronic Illness Prevention Program, which was intended to help people manage ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. She was the director of the Houston Public Health Department’s CICP for six years and ultimately became the HPHD’s first female director. She retired in 1985. She held faculty appointments with Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas School of Public Health. She died November 8, 2004, in Houston

Harris County Psychiatric Center

  • Corporate body
  • 1986-

The Harris County Psychiatric Center opened in 1986 and became the psychiatric wing of the UT Health Science Center at Houston in 1990; it serves as the teaching hospital for the McGovern Medical School. Except for the outpatient ECT clinic, it provides inpatient care only and runs specialized programs to address a long list of concerns. Outpatients are referred to the NeuroPsychiatric Center at Ben Taub Hospital or to a Mental Health and Mental Retardation Association clinic. It serves the community both directly and through the Harris County jail and juvenile detention systems, school districts, and many other educational, legal, and health and development-focused institutions.

Yost, Joyce E.

  • Person

Joyce Elizabeth Elder Yost, while a doctoral student at University of Texas Health Science Center - School of Public Health, completed her dissertation titled “AIDS Talk” in December 1996.

San Jacinto Lung Association

  • Corporate body
  • 1911-

Led by Dr. Elva A. Wright, the San Jacinto Lung Association was first established on November 11, 1911 as the Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League. In the early 20th Century, Houston had a higher death rate of tuberculosis than the national average with two in 1000 persons dying from the disease in 1910. At the time, there was no organized movement to address the public health crisis in the city. The founding members were Dr. Wright, Mrs. J. G. Love (General Secretary of United Charities), Sybil Campbell (Headworker at Rusk Settlement House), Dr. T. B. Thorning, and Dr. M. B. Stokes. They modeled the organization on the National Anti-Tuberculosis Association and the Texas State Anti-Tuberculosis Association, which were establish a few years before in 1904 and 1908 respectively.

The Association was a non-profit, community-driven organization dedicated to engage the people of Houston to control, prevent, and educate the community about tuberculosis. Its primary focus and goals were to: Educate public of cause and symptoms. Promote healthy living. Establish free clinic. Employ visiting public health nurses. Develop sanitariums and hospitals. Advocate for laws to control tuberculosis. Encourage city and county health departments to lead fight.

Through the years they operated daily clinics for treatment and diagnosis of tuberculosis as well as conducted mass-screenings using chest X-rays and skin tests. As the the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis became more effective, the Association started to address other respiratory diseases, and provided lung performance tests to screen for emphysema and asthma.

The Association’s first clinic space was a five room cottage at 55 Gable St. It was loaned to the organization by the Mayor of Houston, H. Baldwin Rice. It opened on January 21, 1912, but after 3 months the space was reallocated for a new school, forcing the members to use their private practices to treat tuberculosis patients. On December 13, 1913, the Association opened its first free clinic at 608 Bagby St. It was a modest bungalow built through the donations of area labor unions and merchants. The Association remained at this location, in some capacity, into the 1950s. The bungalow was expanded, moved, and reinforced against the eroding bayou banks in the 1930s. In 1938, the free clinic services were moved to the basement Jefferson Davis Hospital. September 15, 1957, the Association moved into its newly built headquarters at 2901 West Dallas Avenue. Aubrey Calvin led the $125,000 building project with funds donated through the Christmas Seal campaign.

In 1918 the first tuberculosis hospital and sanatorium opened in Houston. Located at what is now Shepherd Drive and Allen Parkway. The hospital was tax-supported and operated by the city with additional funds from Harris County. Facilities were expanded to treat more and more cases, especially children. Through the donation of Mrs. James L. Autry, the Autry School opened in 1925 and provided children with undisrupted education while they were treated at the hospital. In 1947 the City of Houston took over full operation of the clinic and public health nursing services allowing the Association to focus more on its education and prevention services. Through more effective drug treatments and the Association’s programs, like school screening in 1930s, chest X-rays in 1940s, and mobile X-ray units in 1950s, the tuberculosis death rate declined significantly in Houston.

Dr. Elva A. Wright led the effort to establish an anti-tuberculosis association to prevent and treat tuberculosis in Houston. She said, “I’d rather be remembered for the disease I prevented than for the disease I cured.” Dr. Wright was born in Pennsylvania in 1868 and received her medical degree from Northwestern University in 1900. She practiced obstetrics, but her interest turned to tuberculosis and its effect on children during her post-graduate work in Europe and Chicago. She opened her office in Houston within the Temple Building on Main St., and through her practice, she saw how tuberculosis affected children and families throughout the city. She served as president of the Association until her death on July 18 , 1950. She also served as chief of the children’s clinic and Houston TB Hospital as well as chairman of general medical staff. Robert V. Moise took over as president in 1950 after Dr. Wright’s death.

Emmeline J. Renis joined the Association as a nurse in 1920. She shared the administrative work with Dr. Wright, eventually becoming the executive director. She was the executive director through the 1960s.

Dr. Katharine H. K. Hsu was born and educated in China. She came to the United States in 1948. She joined the Association in 1952 and remained an integral part of the organization through the 1970s. In the early 1960s, Dr. Hsu led one of the largest comparative studies that evaluated the multiple-puncture Heaf test against the more established Mantoux and patch tests. Testing more than 5,000 Houston school children, she confirmed that the Heaf test was reliable and offered improvements in mass-screening. She was an associate in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine as well as pediatrician-in-charge for the Tuberculosis Children’s Hospital and Clinic for Houston and Harris County.

Other individuals related to the Association are Dr. Howard T. Barkely (Board of Directors), Dr. Daniel E. Jenkins (Board of Directors), and Dr. W. J. Stork (Chief Radiologist).

From the beginning, the Association utilized Christmas Seal sales as its primary source of funding. First used in Denmark in 1904, Christmas Seals were purchased as extra postage for holiday packages, and the proceeds went to hospitals for children. In 1907 the National Anti-Tuberculosis Association began selling Christmas Seals in America as a fundraising campaign to fight tuberculosis. From $263.82 in 1911 to over $150,000 in 1956, the San Jacinto Lung Association funded all of its programs through the annual Christmas Seals campaign.

The following is a list of the different names of the San Jacinto Lung Association through the years: 1911, Houston Anti-Tuberculosis League 1950, Houston-Harris County Tuberculosis Association 1967, San Jacinto Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases Association. 1974, San Jacinto Lung Association Currently, National Lung Association Houston

The following community institutions have been affiliated with the Association through its history: Houston Tuberculosis Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Harris County Medical Society, Rusk Settlement House, Community Chest, United Charities, Jefferson Davis Hospital.


Pamphlet, “Unfinished Business: 50th Anniversary of the Houston-Harris County TB Association. MS 009 W. J. Stork, MD papers. McGovern Historical Center.

Organization Records. IC 034 San Jacinto Lung Association. McGovern Historical Center.

Farmer, W. C. “Tuberculosis Pioneers in Texas,” Chest. American College of Chest Physicians, p. 131. Accessed 9/20/2016

Texas-Mexico Border and Acres Home Project

  • Corporate body
  • 1988-

The University of Texas System Valley/Border Health Services Task Force was established in 1988 by the University of Texas System in conjunction with several other schools (University of Texas Heath Science Center at San Antonio and University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston among them) and community organizations to inventory existing health programs in the Rio Grande Valley/border region and use this information to improve health professional education, health services, and research activities in the area. The work continues today in the form of the Texas-Mexico Border Health Coordination Office.
Similarly, the Acres Homes Project (1996-2005) was a joint effort among several community organizations and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to study and improve community health in the Acres Homes neighborhood on Houston’s northwest side. A committee was assembled to assess the demographics, existing services, and needs of the community, and staff and students of UTHSCH were responsible for the technical aspects of the analysis.