When the Healthcare Transformation Initiatives (HTI) team was thinking about ways to celebrate the holidays, they decided to forgo the traditional office party and use their resources to help others in their community.
Led by Sahar Qashqai, executive director of HTI, and with support from Rep. Gene Green, Dr. J.A. Rob, Jr., and the Positive Black Male Association (PBMA), the HTI team joined the efforts of #hashtaglunchbag and began collecting supplies to create meals for those in need.
Armed with lunch meat, cheese, water, fruit, snacks, and paper bags, more than 30 volunteers assembled meal kits while swaying to the tunes of holiday music. Participants could feel the electric vibes in the air.
“Over the last few years, HTI has established a tradition of coming together during the holidays to give back to our community. I’m extremely proud of everyone who donated their time and money to create lunches for those in need,” said Qashqai.
Each bag contained a handwritten holiday message to encourage the recipient. After two hours of meal preparations, more than 100 lunch bags were assembled and ready to deliver at PBMA at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center. HTI also collected 60 blankets to provide warmth to those in need.
PBMA, in turn, distributed the bags to recipients at S.H.A.P.E., Star of Hope and other nearby areas. With temperatures dropping, the blankets and meals will provide comfort.
“Organizations such as SHAPE and PBMA dedicate themselves on a daily basis to improving the lives of those in the Houston community. It was not only an opportunity to witness firsthand the difference they are making, but it was also a great reminder to focus on collective work, responsibility, and unity. It was truly an honor to partner with them and provide lunches and blankets to the impoverished,” said Qashqai.
UT Physicians is dedicated to patient quality and clinical effectiveness. The Healthcare Transformation Initiatives (HTI) department obtains funding to implement programs that increase access to primary and specialty care, using a patient-centered approach.
Since the inception of HTI, 30 projects have been implemented to make health care more affordable and accessible to Southeast Texans, regardless of their insurance status or income level. Through various projects, UT Physicians patients have access to evening and weekend appointments, a 24/7 nurse triage phone line, care coordination, medication management, and integrated primary and behavioral health care. Wellness and health education programs are also available at no cost to the community.