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“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

U.S. Surgeon General,
Richard Carmona,
March 2004

Human Interest Panel Facilitator

Patricia Gras

Facilitator Patricia Gras, PBS–Houston producer and Emmy Award Winner, has produced the first PBS coverage of food addiction on her show "Living Smart.” Patricia will interview Connie Bennett and Joan Ifland.


Patricia Gras is an ardent storyteller, whether it is using the medium of television or music. She has a background of life experiences as diverse as the city she covers. Patricia speaks five languages and holds three - count 'em - three master’s degrees including a master’s in journalism from Columbia University in New York. She came to HoustonPBS (KUHT-TV) in 1990 to host the respected public affairs program “Almanac”. Today she hosts the award winning local series "Living Smart with Patricia Gras" to get the most out of life.

She has covered a full spectrum of topics for HoustonPBS including producing features for the weekly public affairs newsmagazine “the connection” and hosting many local specials including: “Living With the Lion” - a look into the world of childhood cancer - and the Houston-area specials “Hope and Help for Alzheimer’s” and “Mental Healthcare for Kids”. Her national producing credits include “Weight Loss Surgery: The Last Resort”, an in-depth primer for anyone considering bariatric surgery; “Taiwan: An Emerging Democracy”, an exclusive interview with Taiwanese Vice President Anette Lu; and “Supersized America”, a national documentary series on the American obesity epidemic.

As a seasoned international journalist, Patricia’s global concerns have taken her abroad on several occasions. She has traveled twice to Romania to cover the lives of children orphaned by the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu’s; to Taiwan to cover the economic and social impact of Taiwanese Americans in the United States; and to Vietnam to feature several American doctors returning 20 years after the war.

Patricia Gras is the recipient of over 120 journalism awards including five regional Emmy Awards and 14 national Telly’s. Her work has also been recognized with honors from many organizations including: American Women in Journalism, American Women in Radio and Television, Houston and Dallas Press Clubs, National Communicator and Videographer awards, Houston Area Women’s Center, Texas Mental Health Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Public Health Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association. Patricia has also been inducted to “Who’s Who of American Women” and “Who’s Who in the Media.”

Her new series "Living Smart with Patricia Gras" has delivered breakthrough information for viewers interested in all aspects of personal growth and well being. It enters its second season in July 2006.

When Patricia isn’t in the editing suite, attempting to climb  Machu Picchu, or skydiving in Turkey,  she can be found singing, playing her drums, and composing with "Quartus", a Latin folk-pop and international band.  You'll find her show's signature music "Living Smart", on her third album.