HOUSTON (Oct. 16, 2019) — Harris Health System’s Dr. Ann Barnes, senior vice president of Health System Integration, has been named to the board of directors for Texas 2036. The organization, named in recognition of the state’s upcoming bicentennial celebration in 2036, focuses on finding data-driven solutions for some of Texas’ biggest long-term challenges and opportunities in the areas of education, health, infrastructure, transportation and natural resources.
“I’m happy and humbled to be a part of such a distinguished board with knowledgeable people who will be working together on making sound and thoughtful policy recommendations to address concerns affecting our state,” Barnes says.
She’s proud to be a voice to address pressing health and healthcare concerns for Texans today and in the future. She recognizes strategies that include attention to social determinants of health will have an impact on prevalent conditions like obesity and chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Additionally, she’s excited that the platform gives her the opportunity to maintain attention on the importance of mental health services. Texans are “woefully underserved” when it comes to access to behavioral health support.
“I want to push the group to also think about how health is affected by policies in other areas like education, infrastructure, and the environment,” she adds. “Healthcare is an important part of a person’s health — about 20 percent. But it’s the 80 percent of economic and social determinants upstream that also affect a person’s health. We need to think about all of those factors and the role they play in our communities’ well-being.”
Barnes joins 33 board members comprised of leaders from business, healthcare, civic, academic and philanthropic organizations from across Texas. She is the lone healthcare expert from among the seven Houston representatives on the board.
“Texas 2036 exists to provide the data and analysis needed to ensure our economic success continues and expands,” Texas 2036 President and CEO Margaret Spellings says. “We want to equip Texans with understandable data so they can participate in conversations about the future of this state and their communities.”
Other Houston members on the Texas 2036 Board of Directors are:
Texas 2036 has a website www.texas2036.org that offers the public access to data and information the organization has collected on its target issues.