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When care goes beyond the exam room

Written By: Simone Sonnier, UT Physicians | Updated: January 17, 2020
Habitat for Humanity Build

Caring for patients is our top priority, but we saw an opportunity to take that a step further – building a home. This year, UT Physicians is proud to be the title sponsor for the 2020 Houston Habitat for Humanity home build, hosted by KPRC – TV.

Since 2013, there have been seven homes built for residents of Houston through the KPRC – TV and Houston Habitat collaboration. For those who are unfamiliar with how it works, these homes aren’t just built by Habitat workers, the future homeowner and sponsors take part in the construction process. Never passing up an opportunity for teamwork, UT Physicians and volunteers from McGovern Medical School and UTHealth Houston signed up to help take part in the build.

“It’s such a joy having UT Physicians as the title sponsor for our Houston Habitat build this year. The three pillars that we believe makes a successful community is proper housing, education and health. Having a sponsor that is passionate and understands the importance of each pillar – that’s crucial. That’s stepping up to truly help the people of our community,” said Allison Hay, executive director of Houston Habitat for Humanity.

Build day

On the cold, brisk morning of January 8, volunteers representing UT Physicians were buzzing with anticipation and excitement, honored that they would help build a home and better future for the recipient, Adriane Marks. Adriane is a mother of two who lost her home in Hurricane Harvey.

Situated in north Houston, the home’s location was particularly notable to one volunteer builder that day. “Driving to the build site, I passed by schools that my own patients attend. Knowing that I’m helping to build a home near the clinic that I practice at, it makes this day even more special to me,” said Ali Naqvi, MD, pediatrician with UT Physicians Multispecialty – Jensen clinic.

The volunteers started the day with the foundation—and walls on a truck that the KPRC-TV team built in the station’s parking lot the day before. Houston Habitat set the goal of building the framework for all four walls and inner rooms to be completed by the end of the day.

Each home build is supervised by a skilled construction crew and built according to the needs of the future homeowner. “Every Houston Habitat home is built with the recipient in mind. If they are in a wheelchair, light switches will be installed lower, door frames will be wider – whatever they may need. The homes are also extremely energy efficient to help lower monthly costs,” said Hay.

Volunteers worked together for over six hours to install the framework. Teams were split up for an efficient workflow. From carrying planks to measuring and cutting pieces of wood, everyone had a job and a smile on their face. At the end of the day, the build site looked completely different. What started as a flat foundation was now the walls of Adriane’s future home – an outline of a new beginning with her children.

Volunteers on build site
Andrew Casas, COO of UT Physicians and senior vice president of UTHealth, and Jason Chavers, executive director of community based clinics, team up to secure framework.

“Today was important and truly inspiring to myself and everyone here. This was one of the best ways to invest in the community that gives us so much,” said Andrew Casas, COO of UT Physicians and senior vice president of UTHealth.

Construction on the 2020 Houston Habitat home will continue over the next several months. The home is expected to be completed by April. We will provide updates along the way.

View the photos from the build day.

Go behind the scenes of the construction site!

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.