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For Release: September 16, 2009
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Public Input Sought for Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan

The Oklahoma Health Improvement Planning Team is seeking comments from the public regarding its draft Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan, a document that provides a blueprint for improving the health status of Oklahomans. The comment period is open from now until Oct. 14, 2009.
Following the comment period, the Board of Health will review the plan, including any additions or revisions resulting from public comment, at its fall retreat and a final copy of the plan will be submitted to the Oklahoma Legislature by the end of the year.

The plan is a result of a coordinated effort by the Oklahoma Legislature and Board of Health and health partners throughout the state to address those health challenges that contribute to Oklahoma’s poor health status. In March 2008, the legislature enacted a Senate Joint Resolution requesting that the Board of Health “prepare and return to the Legislature a health improvement plan for Oklahoma for the general improvement of the physical, social and mental wellbeing of all people in Oklahoma through a high functioning public health system,” and the establishment of the Oklahoma Health Improvement Planning Team later that same year.

The plan addresses flagship initiatives of children’s health improvement, tobacco use prevention, and obesity; along with increasing public health infrastructure effectiveness and accountability.  Additionally, it encompasses a broad range of issues including the following:
· Factors that impact health including social environment and social determinants of health, physical environment, behaviors, genetics, and medical care.
· Barriers to addressing each of the factors.
· Resources needed to expand availability of health-producing factors.
· Organization of services impacting health.
· The need for changing roles of organizations.
· Evidence-based strategies to improve health.
· Emphasis on the importance of wellness.
· Factors that protect and promote the health of Oklahomans and prevent disease and injury.
· Health policy and advocacy.

A copy of the draft Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan, and instructions for commenting on the plan, may be viewed by visiting www.health.ok.gov .

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