Office of Science, Surveillance and Technology

OSST

The Office of Science, Surveillance and Technology (OSST) enhances Harris County Public Health’s ability to detect problems, conduct research, come up with creative solutions and advance the science of an academic health department.

Surveillance data gives HCPH direct insight into threats to population health. Technology and innovation provide or accelerate solutions to difficult-to-manage problems.

These three branches come together to form the foundation of precision public health, allowing HCPH to confidently make decisions to improve your health and well-being in Harris County.

For more information, contact:
Harris County Public Health Office of Science, Surveillance and Technology
2223 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027

Main Switchboard:
832.927.7442

Our Mission:

A center of excellence integrating Science, Surveillance/Epidemiology, and Technology to advance public health activities and related services to HCPH and the community.

OSST Services and Programs
Surveillance and Epidemiology Unit

The Surveillance and Epidemiology unit (SEU) houses the epidemiologists, or "disease detectives." SEU staff investigate diseases, analyze trends and respond to outbreaks. They also collect and analyze data for other important population health metrics such as infant mortality, cancer rates, obesity rates and drug overdose rates. Also, SEU staff combine surveillance data with social determinants of health data to provide HCPH with a more complete picture to address health problems that have been unmanageable.

Technology and Innovation Unit

The Technology and Innovation unit (TIU) delivers innovations such as the development and deployment of HCPH mobile units to underserved areas of Harris County and successful deployment of Video Directly Observed Therapy (VDOT), serving patients with tuberculosis. This team provides innovative, technological solutions to difficult problems. Once problems have been identified, TIU staff will apply their technical expertise to create sustainable solutions.

Research and Science Unit

The Research and Science unit (RSU) improves scientific output in HCPH. They provide assistance for staff to grow and develop professionally and academically. RSU staff support the department with publishing and presenting at academic conferences.