Carol Paret, Memorial Hermann’s Community Health ‘Champion’ named recipient of Texas Health Institute’s Fratis L. Duff Award

For nearly two decades, Carol Paret, Senior Vice President and Chief Community Health Officer for Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and the CEO of Memorial Hermann Community Benefit Corporation (MHCBC), has spent her days behind the scenes, with little fanfare toiling to provide access to health care to people who desperately need it.

Paret’s noble work has not gone unnoticed. She was recently honored as the 2015 recipient of the Texas Health Institute’s Fratis L. Duff award, recognizing Paret’s outstanding contributions to public health. Duff served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Health from 1975 until his retirement in 1978. The award memorializes Dr. Duff’s long and illustrious career in public health.

Paret, whose Memorial Hermann tenure spans 31 years, began her healthcare career with a community health planning emphasis that has not relented. She is currently serving as past Board Chairman of Gateway to Care, a collaborative involving 165 plus agencies whose mission is to improve access to care for Houston’s uninsured and the Provider Health Network, a project access model for specialty care. She is also chair of THI’s Board of Directors.

In 1995, Paret oversaw the launch of the Memorial Hermann Health Centers for Schools (MHHCS) program, the MHCBC signature program which has grown to 10 school clinics in five Greater Houston school districts – Aldine, Alief, Houston, Lamar Consolidated and Pasadena – and are available to more than 65,000 underserved children at 68 schools.

The MHHCS program has a primary goal: Keep students healthy and in school so they can learn and impact their chance of success. The program accomplishes that goal by providing a medical home for uninsured and underserved students from prekindergarten through 12th grade.

In addition to overseeing MHCBC efforts, Paret is the privacy and security officer managing the medical records function, CME, and a large family practice residency program.