The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Directors on Thursday approved the hiring of a consultant to assist with conducting an assessment of school-based health education in Oklahoma.
Following discussions of the need for a more youth-oriented movement, Chairwoman Casey Killblane expressed concern for the lack of health education in classrooms, saying the discussions often get tied up by “a lot of emotional garbage.”
A Senate committee is exploring the impact of Alzheimer's Disease in Oklahoma as part of an interim study being conducted while the Legislature is out of session.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee met Wednesday to review an annual report from an Alzheimer's Disease task force.
Committee Chairman Sen. Brian Crain says one reason for his study on Alzheimer's Disease is to make sure committee members are aware of issues Oklahomans face getting care for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer's.
Oklahoma veterans and active-duty military personnel are killing themselves at twice the rate of civilians, despite increased efforts to address the problem.
The 2011 suicide rate for soldiers was about 44 per 100,000 population, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis of Oklahoma State Department of Health data. This rate includes active-duty military as well as veterans from the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea and World War II. The civilian rate for people over the age of 18 was about 22 per 100,000.
Seventy-two of the state’s 77 counties, or 94 percent, are designated by the federal government as shortage areas for primary health professionals; 30 have 10 or fewer doctors of any kind. The five counties not considered shortage areas are Oklahoma, Johnston, Canadian, Rogers and Wagoner, according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.
Nearly 4,400 homeless Oklahomans were identified during the 2013 statewide count of homeless people, reflecting a slight decrease over two years ago, according to numbers released this week by state officials.
The statewide Point-in-time Homeless Count, which is conducted in January and mandated by the federal government every two years, seeks to identify each state’s homeless population. Some cities, including Oklahoma City and Tulsa, also do homeless counts in other years, but the statewide count is biennial.
Oklahoma's infant mortality rate is declining but remains above the national rate.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health said Tuesday that the state's infant mortality rate has declined from 8.6 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 7.9 per 1,000 live births in 2012.
But the state's infant mortality rate remains above the national rate of 6.15 per 1,000 live births recorded in 2010. Suzanna Dooley, director of the agency's Maternal and Child Health Service, says about 90 fewer Oklahoma babies would die each year if the state matched the national rate.