When Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s transition team was looking for help developing its goals, it turned to local leaders such as Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, M.D., assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
Verduzco-Gutierrez accepted an invitation to serve on the transition team’s Public Health Committee, which over the next several months will identify ways to improve the health of the estimated 2.2 million people living in the nation’s fourth-largest city.
“These Houstonians are graciously volunteering their time, effort and expertise to develop the blueprint that will help guide my administration,” Turner said. “Their advice and counsel will be invaluable as we move Houston forward toward that better tomorrow I promised in my inaugural address.”
Verduzco-Gutierrez said, “We have a lot of health care organizations in Houston, and it’s important for everyone to take advantage of the available services. I think there are ways to use apps and websites to increase participation.”
While health is a personal matter, employers can do their part, too. “Ideas like meatless Mondays or free Zumba classes at work can encourage fitness,” she said.
Verduzco-Gutierrez is the clinical co-director of the Outpatient and Specialty Clinic at TIRR Memorial Hermann. She received her undergraduate degree from Rice University and her medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. Her research interests include spasticity management and neurorecovery.