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FOR RELEASE: April 5, 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Ninth Annual State of the State’s Health Report Released Today:
Investing in Prevention

The Oklahoma State Board of Health released its ninth State of the State’s Health Report today with the warning that neither Oklahoma’s health care system nor its business community can sustain rapidly increasing costs of treatment for poor health outcomes.

The 2005 report, Investing in Prevention, focuses on the economic consequences of Oklahoma’s relatively poor health status. The report details the human and economic costs associated with tobacco use, physical inactivity and obesity, lack of immunizations, injury and acts of violence, and lack of family planning services. It then explains how relatively small amounts of money invested in prevention efforts can save lives and reduce health care costs and improve productivity in Oklahoma’s workforce.

“By making small investments into public health system development and augmenting our capacity to provide preventive health services to our citizens, millions of dollars could be saved by avoiding costly interventions for diseases and injuries,” the report states.

For the second year, the report also includes a “Report Card on Health,” which charts Oklahoma’s current health status on a variety of health issues and highlights challenges that remain for improvement.

The Board of Health lists five specific cost effective recommendations in the report designed to improve the state’s health status and enhance Oklahoma’s economy. They include the following:

1. The training of all health professionals must include clinical prevention.

2. All third party payers, public and private, should appropriately reimburse health providers for clinical prevention.

3. Our health care system, public and private, must give a greater priority to our public health infrastructure and effective public health measures.

4. Our citizens must experience greater incentives for adopting healthy lifestyles.

5. Our business community, faith organizations, educational institutions, community organizations, and public health structures must rethink their roles in improving our state of health and become more involved in this process.

The 2005 State of the State’s Health Report, along with previous years’ reports, can be found on the Oklahoma State Department of Health Web site at: http://www.health.state.ok.us/board/state/.


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