Houston Newsmakers: A look at uplifting programs for 2023

Featuring: Fit Houston, Hope Clinic, and Families Empowered

Working out is easy and free. Fit Houston is a nonprofit created to help everyone embrace activity and its benefits. (KPRC-Pixabay)


  • Host Khambrel Marshall takes a look at some of the uplifting programs in the Houston area for 2023. Organizations featured are Fit Houston, Hope Clinic, and Families Empowered.

Fit Houston focus on free physical activity

The name of the nonprofit is Fit Houston, created within the last year after months of research about equitable pathways to a healthier Houston. There is plenty of evidence that something as simple as physical fitness is a good thing.

Here are five facts about exercise.

1-Lowers blood pressure

2-Helps with weight control

3-Strenghens muscles

4-Lowers stress

5-Stop or slow development of diabetes

You can’t lose 20 pounds in one day!

Lharissa Jacobs, Fit Houston Executive Director, Dr. Stephanie Coulter, M.D., Assistant Medical Director Texas Heart Institute (KPRC)

The nonprofit “Fit Houston” is making its debut in 2023 with a #Walk30 campaign for the month of January.

The goal is to get people to “walk where they are” to begin to understand the value of even a gradual fitness routine.

“You can’t decide in the morning if you can lose 20 pounds that day because it’s not possible,” said Dr. Stephanie Coulter, the Assistant Medical Director at the Texas Heart Institute. “But every single day you can walk You can walk 30 minutes. We’re encouraging everyone to walk because if you walk, you’re going to feel better Your blood pressure’s going to be better. Lharissa Jacobs is the inaugural Executive Director of Fit Houston and has big plans.

“We would like to see the city of Houston and Harris County and all areas, all people everywhere to be physically active and vibrant,” she said. “We want people to feel better. We want people to know that movement is really what you need. It’s the perfect ingredient for a good life, a good quality of life, so move every day.”

Find out more about this new program and how you can get involved in this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

Hope Clinic focuses on Asian community health

Dr. Andrea Caracostis, CEO of Hope Clinic (KPRC)

What started as the Asian American Health Coalition to focus on the needs of the growing Houston Asian community, evolved into the Hope Clinic that has greatly expanded that original mission.

There are four clinic locations (soon to be five) that focus on all aspects of health for the Asian community and others who need medical support. There is even a chef on staff to help patients eat well to avoid health issues.

“We have a very diverse community so it’s very hard to lump everybody in and say “this is your plate of food because people don’t even use a plate,” said Dr. Andrea Caracostis, CEO of the Hope Clinic. “They use a bowl. Or their carbs are not just you know, potatoes and rice and noodles, they have diverse composition.”

Find out more about this amazing Hope Clinic movement on this week’s program.

Providing families with access to the best educations

Colleen Dippel, Founder and CEO, Families Empowered (KPRC)

There are great educational opportunities available in the Houston community. But sometimes a lack of resources is a barrier to finding them.

That’s where Families Empowered comes in. Colleen Dippel is a lifelong educator and founded this nonprofit to try to level the playing field for socioeconomically disadvantaged families.

She says even the application process to the best schools can be tricky.

“Our parents are often applying after that priority deadline and we know that advantaged families, families with means and money, they’re getting those applications in right away and so we want our families to know about deadlines and be reminded.” It is a free service and is the only one of its kind.

Find out more on this week’s NEWSMAKERS EXTRA!

For more information on this week’s Houston Newsmakers

· Lharissa Jacobs, Fit Houston Executive Director

· Website: https://www.fithouston.org/

· Website: https://www.fithouston.org/leadership

· Dr. Stephanie Coulter, M.D., Assistant Medical Director, Texas Heart Institute

· Website: https://www.texasheart.org/the-texas-heart-institute-and-fit-houston-partner-to-launch-a-new-wellness-campaign-walk30/

· Dr. Andrea Caracostis, CEO, Hope Clinic

· Website: https://www.hopechc.org/

· Website: https://www.hopechc.org/project/andrea-caracostis/

· Colleen Dippel, Founder & CEO, Families Empowered

· Website: https://familiesempowered.org/

· Website: https://familiesempowered.org/about-us/our-board-and-team/

About the Author:

Journalist, meteorologist, community leader and volunteer.