Community Engagement

Building a healthier community beyond our health center doors

At El Centro de Corazón, Community Engagement is a pillar of our mission to be the cornerstone of a healthier community. Our Community Engagement team’s efforts are centered on addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) in Houston’s East End. The SDOH framework is used by public health professionals, community organizations, research organizations, and health care systems to improve community well-being.

The 5 primary social determinants of health encompass the conditions outside of our health centers that still effect our patients’ overall health and well-being. These determinants can affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes:

1. Healthcare access and quality
2. Education access and quality
3. Economic stability
4. Neighborhood and built environment
5. Social and community context

After extensive research and communication with patients, residents, businesses and organizations within our service area, nutrition, food insecurity and food access were determined to be one of the community’s most pressing concerns which fall under multiple SDOH. In response, our initial efforts are focused on mitigating those concerns with programs, participation in inter-organizational collaborations and higher-level grassroots advocacy.

Explore our Community Engagement programs and initiatives:


Community Support and Education

Being an active member of the Houston’s East End community is a big part of what we do at El Centro de Corazón. We work on specific projects that help make a healthier community and also attend various community events, health fairs, and school events throughout the year. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor/volunteer or would like El Centro to attend your next upcoming event, please contact Obed Canjura using the button below or by calling 832-494-1772.


Community Events

El Centro de Corazón hosts its Annual Be Healthy Family Expo/Back to School and East End Holiday event every year. These events are a chance to give back to Houston’s East End community. We are grateful for our volunteers and sponsors that make each event possible!



Grassroots Advocacy

El Centro participates and advocates for our patients on the following Houston area collaboratives:

East End Community Collaborative; East End Bike Plan; Greater Houston Collaborative on Social Determinants of Health; Magnolia Park Complete Communities; Second Ward Complete Communities; BOUNCE Advisory Board; Urban Harvest Community Gardens Committee; and the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative.


Growing Roots East End Network (GREEN)

The Growing Roots East End Network (GREEN) aim is to bring together local schools and organizations for the purpose of helping sustain, promote, and connect gardens across the school feeder patterns. As a result, we hope to see an increase in access to healthy foods, improved nutrition education, greater social cohesion, and economic opportunities for low-income families.


Fresh Farm Produce Program

Formerly Fresh RX, the Fresh Farm Produce Program was created to decrease food insecurity in the area using a multi-faceted, community-centered approach. Participating El Centro families enrolled in the program get a bag of fresh produce from Finca Tres Robles every week, in addition to other nutrition and wellness resources provided by El Centro. This program is powered by Port Houston’s Community Grant Program.


El Centro Food Pantry

El Centro’s John S. Dunn Health Center houses an internal food pantry that stays stocked through a partnership with the Houston Food Bank. Since it was created, over 1,200 patient families have screened positive for food insecurity and were sent home with food on the same day as their health center appointments. The pantry also stores diapers and formula for patients in need of infant-related emergency assistance.

Urban Harvest Mobile Market & Double-Up Program

We have partnered with Urban Harvest to bring the Magnolia Park neighborhood fresh produce, increasing access to healthy foods. The mobile market is every third Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at our John S. Dunn Health Center at 7635 Canal Street (Get Directions). The mobile market also offers the Double-Up Program for EBT/SNAP recipients. That means for every $1 spent, EBT/SNAP recipients get an extra $1 of produce, doubling their dollar!


Due to COVID-19 safety accommodations.

Commit to Be Fit

The Commit to be Fit program is a fitness component to increase physical activity in children, adults, and families and to teach the importance of healthier eating and regular exercise, which have immediate and long-term health benefits.