"The Department of Preventive Medicine has been established in this university for the specific purpose of helping in the solution of medico-social problems in Texas.
The doctor must be an active force in helping improve social and economic conditions in the community.
For in the last analysis, the problems of preventive medicine are social problems and their final solution must be social remedies."
James Person Simonds, MD, (1913)
First chair of UTMB’s Department of Preventive Medicine
Preventive Medicine and Community Health (PMCH) integrates the knowledge, skills, and values of the sciences that contribute to the prevention of disease and disability and the maintenance and restoration of health and function. We focus on the primary prevention of disease and disability through the promotion of healthy behaviors and environments. We emphasize secondary prevention, or limitation of disease progression, through effective screening and early intervention. We promote tertiary prevention, or prevention of disease sequelae, through effective treatment and rehabilitation to restore health and function.
Our departmental activities are unified by a population health perspective and a quantitative analytical approach. We investigate the interplay of individual biological and behavioral factors with aspects of the physical, social, and policy environments. Research, practice, and training activities focus on health risks, determinants, outcomes, and interventions in both clinical and community settings and in specific occupational, patient, or demographic groups. Our interdisciplinary department includes faculty with expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral sciences, biochemistry, public health, clinical science, and clinical preventive medicine.
The UTMB Department of Preventive Medicine was established in 1912. To reflect the expanding focus of the field, the department was renamed Preventive Medicine and Community Health in 1966. The department has a rich history of contributing to advances in preventive medicine and community health practice, education, and research throughout its nearly 100 years. PMCH is uniquely positioned to continue its contributions to the public’s health into the 21st century.