The Achieving a Healthy Oklahoma initiative has assembled community leaders from across the public and private sectors to evaluate the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and to develop policy recommendations aimed at preparing Oklahomans for future public health emergencies, as well as suggestions for improving Oklahoma’s population health.
Housed within the OU Center for Public Health Practice at the Hudson College of Public Health, the initiative aims to take a proactive approach that will ultimately lead to an expansion of public health infrastructure and workforce; strengthened partnerships with federal, state and local public health agencies; evidence-based policy development; and a reduction in health disparities.
To fully assess the state’s pandemic preparedness and to develop local and statewide policy recommendations, a steering committee comprised of community leaders, business leaders, philanthropists, educators and entrepreneurs has been formed.
The committee, through a series of community listening sessions across the state, along with three sessions with tribal communities, will engage community members to better understand the successes and shortcomings with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
In addition, the committee has commissioned four workgroups – comprised of diverse subject matter experts representing each respective sector – to study the impacts of public health issues on business, education, local communities and health care in Oklahoma, using their analysis to generate action steps for each sector.
Part of the initiative will also involve collaborative discussions and strategy development with other states and national agencies to best align efforts across the board.
A comprehensive report of the committee’s findings and recommendations is expected to be complete during the first half of 2022 and will be presented to local, state, and national leaders and policymakers. The next step will be to work with community and business leaders, policymakers, advocates and others within Oklahoma to implement the recommendations and ensure that the state is prepared for future public health emergencies.
For more information on the Achieving a Healthy Oklahoma initiative, please contact Gary Cox at CPHPractice@ouhsc.edu.