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FOR RELEASE: May 5 , 2006
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Arthritis Network Seeks Input on
Health Disparities From Those Affected

“Cultural Opinions of Oklahomans Toward Health Care” is the name of a pilot study being conducted by Oklahoma State University (OSU) on May 11 at the Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN) meeting. OSU is looking for people who are underrepresented by the health care system to examine their perceptions about the current status of health care in Oklahoma. According to public health officials at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH), results of the study will be reported to a legislative task force charged to eliminate health care disparities.

The study will be conducted during the OAN meeting on Thursday, May 11, at 2 p.m., at the OSDH, 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Room 314 in Oklahoma City. The meeting is free and open to the public.

“OSU is specifically asking for persons of African American, Hispanic, Asian American and American Indian background or families of low income to attend to provide input for the study,” said Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Arthritis Prevention and Education Program Coordinator Marisa New. Volunteers or individuals interested in other opportunities to participate may also contact Chris Ray, ESPY doctoral student conducting the study, at (918) 629-2256, or e-mail him at chris.ray@okstate.edu.

Videoconference locations will be at the Harper County Health Department, Muskogee County Health Department, Woods County Health Department and Wagoner County Health Department. Participants at these locations, however, will not be able to provide feedback for the study and can only listen and watch. The Oklahoma City OSDH location is the only location equipped to provide audience feedback.
The OAN features speakers and presentations for the public to help maximize the quality of life for Oklahomans with arthritis and related health conditions through developing resources, promoting access to health care and offering public health education programs.

To learn more information about arthritis, as well as upcoming OAN speakers, presentations, and activities available, contact Marisa New, coordinator of the OSDH Arthritis Prevention and Education Program, at (405) 271-9444, ext. 56410, or email her at marisan@health.state.ok.us.


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