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For Release:  August 18, 2011 – Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

Office of Minority Health Seeks Input from Minorities about Health Concerns

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Office of Minority Health (OMH), Carter County Health Department, MAMA KNOWS and Carter County Turning Point Coalition are hosting a community health chat to receive input on the health care needs of racial and ethnic minority communities (African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Hispanics) in the southwest region of the state.

The community health chat will be held Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Ardmore Public Library, 320 E. Street, NW in Ardmore.

“We want to hear from members of minority communities about what they see as their primary health care concerns and how our offices can partner with them to address those concerns,” said OSDH OMH Director Linda Thomas. 

The information received will be used to devise strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities and health care costs among racial and ethnic minorities. In Oklahoma, racial and ethnic minorities, especially African Americans, are disproportionately affected by heart disease, cancer, infant mortality, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, stroke, and obesity.

The community chat will be used as a forum where people can voice health concerns and develop local solutions to local problems. The OSDH OMH will continue to work with local communities and assist them with the problem-solving process. 

The specific details of future community chats in other parts of Oklahoma will be announced in public announcements through the media.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, you can send your comments about health care concerns by Aug.19, 2011, to: Oklahoma State Department of Health, Office of Minority Health, 1000 N.E. 10th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73117, or e-mail minorityhealth@health.ok.gov.



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