About Houston


Health Department Building

Houston is known internationally as the home of one of the best medical communities in the world. That's not surprising since the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical center in the world, is just 10 minutes from downtown Houston. TMC is housed on 675 acres, and is home to 42 nonprofit and government institutions, including 13 teaching hospitals, two medical schools, four colleges of nursing, a dental college, a college of pharmacy and a college of optometry.

Altogether 4.8 million patients visit them each year. In fact,

there are more than 85 hospitals in the Houston area with more than 19,300 beds, including those in TMC. These facilities employ more than 100,000 health care professionals, almost seven percent of the Houston-area workforce.

In addition to TMC, Houstonians have access to high-quality public health prevention and treatment throughout the City.

Public Health Services - City of Houston
The Houston Health Department (HHD) has a variety of health centers and multi-service centers strategically located across the City of Houston. Services at these facilities may include family planning, dental, sexually-transmitted disease testing, immunizations and the Women, Infants and Children's Program (WIC). Patients are advised to check the web site or call the facility as services vary from location to location. HDHHS also inspects food establishments and swimming pools, enforces outdoor and indoor air quality standards and issues a weekday pollen and mold spore count. The department operates Vital Statistics that issues birth and death certificates. The Harris County Area Agency on Aging also falls under the jurisdiction of HHD. HHD offers many additional services - please check the web site for details.

Public Health Services - Harris County
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services provides public health care services that include nursing, communicable and environmental disease control, dental health, health education, nutrition, sanitation, mosquito control and animal control programs. The goal is prevention of disease and maintenance of health standards in the county. Personal preventive services are aimed primarily at the indigent and working poor to reduce unnecessary morbidity and mortality in that segment of the population. The director is appointed by Commissioners Court.

Health Care and Treatment
The Harris Health System provides access to quality health care for all residents of Harris County, regardless of their ability to pay. The district is made up of three hospitals, 12 community health centers, a dental center, an AIDS clinic and several school-based clinics. Among these are Ben Taub General Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and Quentin Mease Community Hospital.