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FOR RELEASE: December 8, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Turning Point Forum Calls for Extreme Makeover for Oklahoma’s Health

More than 300 persons representing the health care professions, businesses, civic and professional groups, and public health were challenged today to enlist in an “Extreme Makeover” of Oklahoma’s health. The challenge came as part of the eighth annual Turning Point Forum held in Oklahoma City.

Turning Point is a public-private collaboration designed to improve the health of Oklahomans through public health partnerships in communities throughout the state.

Gov. Brad Henry announced a new state employee wellness program, OK Health, designed to meet state employees’ individual health needs and goals. He also asked participants to join his A Strong and Healthy Oklahoma initiative that includes working with Oklahoma communities in an effort to make Oklahoma the healthiest state in the nation. As an example he cited the community health program “Walk this Weigh,” a successful walking program designed to get Oklahomans moving at least 30 minutes, five times per week.

Dr. Dean Ornish, best-selling author of five books including Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, discussed his lifestyle modification program that focuses on (1) a very low-fat, whole foods diet; (2) moderate aerobic exercise; (3) stress management techniques; and (4) importance of support groups.

In his work as founder, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., Ornish has found that coronary heart disease in both women and men may be prevented or even reversed by making comprehensive lifestyle changes.

Also during the forum, Julie Knutson, president and CEO of The Oklahoma Academy of State Goals, presented “Certified Healthy Business” awards to more than 100 Oklahoma businesses that have demonstrated they meet the standards for this certification. These awards are sponsored by the Turning Point Council, The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the State Chamber of Commerce, and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

For more information about Turning Point, visit this Web site: www.okturningpoint.org.

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