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FOR RELEASE: February 12, 2003
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

State of the State's Health Report to be Released Friday
Prescription for Public Health Improvement

What: Media Availability

When: Friday, Feb. 14, 2003
CALL 405/271-5601 TO SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW Appointments will be scheduled from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Friday

Where: Oklahoma State Department of Health
1000 N. E. 10th Street
Room 406.1

Featuring: Dr. Gordon H. Deckert, Current member and Past President of the Oklahoma State Board of Health

Background: This is the seventh year the Oklahoma State Board of Health has issued a "State of the State's Health" report to inform Oklahomans on the status of their health. This year's report, Prescription for Public Health Improvement, provides updates on the underlying causes of poor health, behavioral risk factors, and the consequences of our poor health status as a state.

On a positive note, the report identifies key public health programs that have successfully impacted Oklahoma's health, including the Turning Point program, water fluoridation, tobacco use prevention, Children First, and children's immunizations, among others.

The report also provides recommendations for improvement, including an increase in cigarette taxes, limiting smoking in public places, increased funding for preventive health services by leveraging federal Medicaid dollars, establishing a task force to address and eliminate health disparities, and improving workforce development through implementing public health competencies and performance standards.

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