Advocating for change and trust

Posted on: 9/2/15

It’s no secret that when it comes to health issues, Oklahoma doesn’t often get to lead the nation in the areas we would like. Our consistent poor health outcomes are due to very high rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease related to tobacco use and physical activity, poor nutrition and obesity.
Compared to other states, Oklahoma’s rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity are among the highest in the country.

  • Heart disease – second highest
  • Stroke – fourth highest
  • Diabetes – fourth highest
  • Obesity – sixth highest

Oklahoma’s poor health status and the burden this places on our communities, schools, businesses, health care systems, families and economy are critically important.
Thankfully for Oklahoma, the news is not all bad. Remember, one of our greatest assets is our people – people who are committed to working together to inspire and create positive changes.

And as with all changes, those involved must be fully committed in order to reach their highest potential:

  • Changes in health care systems and business networks, ensuring that tobacco addiction and obesity are addressed consistently with patients, members and co-workers.
  • Changes in local communities, schools and businesses, making the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • Changes that are being supported and led by an agency that is quickly becoming a national model for health improvement success.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET)

The voters of Oklahoma, in 2000, approved a constitutional amendment that created the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to invest payments from the 1998 multi-state litigation - Master Settlement Agreement. This lawsuit was against the tobacco industry for their unscrupulous business practices that led to decades of death and disease of Oklahomans caused by tobacco use. The settlement also recovered billions of dollars in Medicaid. TSET programs and grants are funded by the earnings from the endowment fund with measurable results in health improvement statewide. Oklahoma is the only state that has constitutionally protected Master Settlement Agreement payments to ensure the earnings are used for programs to improve the health of Oklahomans.

TSET is committed to reducing the leading causes of preventable death in Oklahoma – cancer and cardiovascular disease.

  • Tobacco is a major risk factor, costing Oklahoma $1.62 billion in direct health care costs each year.
  • Obesity is also a significant risk factor, with obesity-related medical expenditures costing our state $1.72 billion each year.

To read the full article, click here(Jennifer Roysdon)

OHA Partners with Qualivis 

Qualivis was developed as a collaborative effort among multiple state hospital associations to meet the temporary staffing needs of member hospitals and health systems.

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