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For Release:  November 3, 2009
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
(405) 271-5601

Turning Point Forum & Oklahoma Fit Kids Conference to Address Challenging Times, Dec. 3

"Healthy Communities: Challenging Times" is the theme for the 12th Annual Turning Point winter conference sponsored by the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition. The conference will be held Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Nigh University Center, University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. Sessions will begin Wednesday morning, Dec. 3 at 8:30 a.m.

Topics will cover the state's leading health issues that impact the quality of life for all Oklahomans and will feature special youth and community messages. Concurrent workshops will include:

  • Advocacy & Influence
  • Community Champions
  • Rx Drugs/Meth: Immerging Issues & Innovative Answers
  • Community Wellness Score
  • Community Health Centers: Affordable Health Care, for All
  • Advancements and Opportunities in Tobacco Control Policy
  • Connecting the Community (bike and walking trails)
  • Good Health: What Do Adolescents Have to Do with It???

In addition, “Issue Institute: What Communities Can Do to Prevent Teen Pregnancy” will be a special parallel track designed for participants working with the teen pregnancy/parenting issues. The session will also include a teen pregnancy prevention workshop during the regular conference.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Nicholas "Dr. Nick" Yphantides, MD, MPH will open Thursday morning with a message about obesity prevention, physical activity and nutrition.  Dr. Nick was known in San Diego as a big man with a big heart. Topping out at 467 pounds in his thirties, he was an advocate for the poor. Despite his community popularity and accomplished career, about nine years ago he had a battle with cancer that inspired him to focus on his own health and he lost 270 pounds without surgery by changing his behavior and lifestyle. Now, he advocates and inspires other people and institutions to make positive changes.

At noon, The Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition will honor the achievements of those working to improve the health and well-being of Oklahoma children and youth, and highlight distinguished program and service excellence in the areas of fitness and nutrition.  The award recipients for 2009 include an outstanding list of officials, schools, leaders, and organizations that are making a difference throughout the state.  In addition, the Oklahoma Certified Healthy Business program will recognize businesses that are working to improve Oklahoma's health by providing health and wellness opportunities for their employees. This program supports efforts to improve Oklahoma's health status and works with the statewide Strong and Healthy Oklahoma Initiative to help people "eat better, move more, and be tobacco free."

Advance registration of $35 is available if paid by November 15, with the cost increasing to $50 at the door. To register online, visit http://www.okturningpoint.org/ or download the registration form and mail it to: Public Health Institute of Oklahoma, P.O. Box 60926, Oklahoma City, OK 73146-0926. Contributions are tax deductible and checks or money orders should be made payable to the Public Health Institute of Oklahoma.

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