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FOR RELEASE: March31, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Arthritis Network Speaker to Discuss
Community Involvement on April 7

"How to Get Involved to Make a Difference in Your Community" will be the topic of the April meeting of the Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN).

The meeting will feature a discussion led by Norma Goff, R.N., M.S., programs administrator from the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Unit at the Department of Human Services (DHS) Aging Services Division, and a member of the OAN.

The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Room 314, Oklahoma City. It is free and open to the public.

Goff’s presentation will provide information about the importance of community involvement on task forces, committees, stakeholder and advocate groups to make a difference in quality of life for people with arthritis. Strategies will be explored on how to get people involved in the community. A panel of advocates with arthritis will also provide their personal perspectives and answer questions.

Goff has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing. Prior to working for DHS, she has held the positions of staff, charge and head nurse at University Hospital, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She currently is administrator of the Personal Care Services and the Advantage Waiver home care services, Medicaid eligibility determination for long-term care service, quality processes for home and community based services, and the assessment processes for entry into Medicaid home and institutional services.

The OAN features various speakers and presentations for the public to help maximize the quality of life for Oklahomans with arthritis and related health conditions through developing resources, promoting access to health care and offering public health education programs. Currently, there are about 100 public and private health and non-health related organizations in the OAN.

Videoconferencing is available through some county health departments. To find a location near you, or learn more information about arthritis, as well as upcoming OAN speakers, presentations, and activities available, contact Marisa New, coordinator of the OSDH Arthritis Prevention and Education Program, at (405) 271-9444, ext. 56410, or email her at marisan@health.state.ok.us .

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