OKLAHOMA CITY - Health rankings released Tuesday show the health of Oklahomans is improving, but challenges still remain and the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) continues to make improving Oklahoma’s health a priority.
The United Health Foundation’s report for 2012 lists Oklahoma 43rd among the 50 states in rankings that look at indicators like smoking, sedentary lifestyle and access to primary care physicians.
Oklahoma’s revised ranking for 2011 moved up two spots to No. 46 after the foundation made changes to how data is measured, so the latest report shows the state making continued progress in its health indicators.
TSET continues to invest in efforts to address the toll that cancer and cardiovascular disease takes on Oklahoma. For the past decade, TSET has supported coalitions in local communities to combat tobacco use, and the agency two years ago launched a new grant program to focus on nutrition and fitness.
“It’s encouraging to see Oklahoma move up in the United Health Foundation’s rankings,” said TSET Executive Director Tracey Strader. “For the past decade, we have invested in helping communities improve health by preventing youth smoking, promoting tobacco cessation, and protecting Oklahomans from secondhand smoke. Oklahoma is making strides because so many dedicated leaders in communities, businesses, schools and faith-based organizations understand the connection between health and prosperity and they’re making health a priority.”
“As part of the Bryan County Turning Point Coalition and a community grantee of TSET for eight years, it is gratifying to see our efforts positively impacting the health of our family, friends and neighbors,” said Jerry Speck coalition Regional Turning Point Consultant “We are committed to partnering with our communities, schools, businesses and worksites across Bryan County to keep the momentum going and we welcome those who would like to join our efforts.”
Earlier this year, the TSET Board of Directors approved a $1.5 million partnership to help get more primary care physicians to rural areas. Under the program with the Physician Manpower Training Commission and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, doctors who agree to practice in rural underserved areas for two years will receive help in paying off their student loans.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing researcher, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. For more information visit www.tset.ok.gov.