FEBRUARY 21, 2007

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OSU-CHS issues annual report on rural Oklahomans’ health

Photo of four officials from OSU Center for Health Sciences.
The State of the State’s Rural Health, an annual report, was presented in January by the OSU Center for Rural Health. Attending the event were Dan Hourigan, field representative for Sen. Tom Coburn; Dr. William Pettit, OSU assistant dean for rural health; Kim Holland, state insurance commissioner, and Val Schott, director of the OSU Center for Rural Health.

The Oklahoma State University Center for Rural Health at the OSU Center for Health Sciences has released a study of the state’s rural health that provides a baseline assessment of health and health care of Oklahomans.

The State of the State’s Rural Health 2007 Edition presents a picture of Oklahomans’ health, including rates for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease. It also examines smoking, obesity, health insurance coverage and ratio of primary care physicians to population.

“Among other things, this report indicates that people in rural areas lack access to primary care to a greater extent than people in urban areas,” Val Schott, director of the rural health center, said. Adding that the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine plans to increase its entering medical class size to help meet the need for more primary care physicians, he said, “Increased access to health care in rural communities contributes to the economic base of those communities, which helps alleviate the problem of less economic opportunity in rural Oklahoma,” Schott said.

Contact: Marla Schaefer, OSU-CHS, (918) 561-5811