Because you care so much about the American Heart Association's mission and the health of all Oklahoman's I am asking you to take a few minutes to voice your opinion on the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan. Our elected officials need to know that we care about obesity issues and protecting citizens from second-hand smoke.
Input sought on Oklahoma's wellness plan
PROPOSAL: Poor health is ‘like a slow-motion’ disaster, board president says
BY SUSAN SIMPSON
Published: September 23, 2009
State leaders want Oklahoma residents to help them finalize a plan to improve the state’s health status.
The state Health Department is preparing a comprehensive Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan to submit to the Legislature in late December. Oklahomans can read the draft online and give comments until Oct. 14.
Lawmakers asked health officials to find ways to improve the "physical, social and mental wellbeing of all people in Oklahoma through a high-functioning public health system.” That’s a big job, considering Oklahoma health rankings are "always hovering around the worst in the nation,” said Barry Smith, president of the state Board of Health.
"It’s the most vulnerable populations in Oklahoma that are at the most risk,” he said.
He said Oklahomans respond to natural disasters such as tornados but don’t always rally to protect the health of their fellow citizens.
Poor health is "like a slow-motion disaster,” Smith said.
The health improvement plan addresses children’s health, tobacco use and obesity. It aims to use public health resources more effectively and emphasizes prevention of disease and injury.
"Every single Oklahoman is a stakeholder in this plan,” state Health Commissioner Terry Cline said.
Oklahomans live an average 75.5 years, more than two years less than the national average of 77.7 years, Cline said.
OnlineThe draft health improvement plan can be viewed at www.health.ok.gov.