The ReACH Center will focus initially on the greatest threats to health in the community -- heart disease and stroke that kill 1 out of 4 South Texans.  The 2007 national Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) revealed that Texans are commonly afflicted by conditions that raise the risk of heart disease and stroke including: high blood pressure (27.8%); high blood cholesterol among tested persons (38.5%); and diabetes (10.3%).  Two-thirds of surveyed Texans are overweight or obese and 19% smoked tobacco (   Obesity and smoking lead to other threats to health such as arthritis, diabetes, emphysema, and cancer.  These conditions cannot be addressed by the health care system alone and require productive community-based partnerships.  The unique demographics of the South Texas region require a special focus on identifying and promoting models of health care and self-care that are culturally appropriate for our large Latino community.