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For Release: December 8, 2009 
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications(405) 271-5601

Media Advisory

News Conference Scheduled Thursday


What:  News conference to announce the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan.

When:  Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 at 1:30 p.m.

Where:   Oklahoma State Capitol, Blue Room

Who: 
Oklahoma State Board of Health President Barry Smith
State Senator Brian Crain
State Representative Dr. Doug Cox
Oklahoma State Board of Health Vice-President Dr. Jenny Alexopulos
Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Dr. Terry Cline

Why:  In Oklahoma, we are currently ranked 49th out of 50 states in the health status of our citizens.  The health status of Oklahomans has consistently ranked poorly compared to other states. This public health concern affects every aspect of life including longevity and quality of life, access to health services, cost containment, and health systems performance and effectiveness. This news conference will outline priorities that are attainable and needed to help improve the health status of Oklahomans. The report will address the need for community, family and individual responsibilities to make positive health changes.

Background:  SJR 41 tasked the Oklahoma State Board of Health to prepare and return to the Oklahoma Legislature a health improvement plan for Oklahoma for the general improvement of the physical, social, and mental well-being of all people in Oklahoma through a high functioning public health system. State Sen. Brian Crain and State Rep. Dr. Doug Cox both serve as members of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Planning Team, along with numerous other leaders from Oklahoma’s health community and committed individuals representing business, labor, tribes, academia, non-profit health organizations, state and local government agencies, professional associations, and private citizens. During the past year, this group held 10 community listening sessions throughout the state to gather input from Oklahomans regarding their recommendations to improve our state’s health status. These comments were included in the preparation and release of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan.

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