At a Feb. 22 Houston City Council meeting, council members approved entering an interlocal agreement with Harris County that will involve creating a partnership between the city of Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health.

As part of the agreement, both entities will meet monthly to discuss current and future collaborations. Per the agenda item, outlined areas of potential collaboration include establishing a communitywide coordinating council; cooperative planning with Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self Sufficiency—also known as ACCESS—Harris County, Violence Prevention and Maternal & Child Health programs; and the creation of a data-sharing platform for patient-level and program-level data across both the HHD and HCPH.

“I'm so excited about this,” Council Member Sallie Alcorn said at the meeting. “We're really trying to reduce duplicative services.”

The agreement will automatically go into effect when Houston Controller Chris Brown adds his signature to the agreement. Once in effect, the HHD and HCPH will review the agreement on a yearly basis.