TULSA, OK – [October 14, 2013] – On Monday, October 28, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the mayoral candidates for the City of Tulsa will take part in the city’s first community health forum of its kind at the Tulsa Community College Center for Creativity, 910 S. Boston Ave. The non-partisan forum is open to the public although space is limited. Doors will open at 5 p.m.
Current Mayor Dewey Bartlett and former Mayor Kathy Taylor will participate in the candid, moderated discussion on health improvement by responding to questions developed by the Tulsa Health Department and Morton Comprehensive Health Services. The forum will be co-moderated by Dr. Joseph Cunningham, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma chief medical officer and vice president of health care management, and Jan Figart, Community Service Council associate director. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during the last half hour of the event.
The event aims to inform citizens about each of the candidates’ perspectives on the mayor’s role in promoting a healthier Tulsa.
“The mayor of Tulsa has a unique responsibility to preserve and promote a healthy community,” said Dr. Bruce Dart, Tulsa Health Department director. “It is important that the leadership of the local government considers how policies and ordinances will impact the health of its residents.”
Questions for the candidates will be based upon the recently released Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which is a comprehensive plan produced by Pathways to Health that sets goals to improve the health of residents. The CHIP was developed through 18 months of research, including a phone survey that asked thousands of Tulsans what health issues mattered most to them. The plan establishes measureable goals and objectives for six priority areas identified by community residents – poor diet and inactivity, obesity, alcohol and drug abuse, chronic disease, access to healthcare, and tobacco use – and includes strategies to achieve these goals. Both candidates have received a copy of the Tulsa County CHIP.
“Morton’s co-sponsorship of this forum, in partnership with the Tulsa Health Department, allows an educated and timely conversation about health care needs and opportunities important to Tulsa families. The fact that the THD and Morton partnered on this event and both mayoral candidates agreed to share their views and vision indicates the relevance of this issue,” said John M. Silva, CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services.
For more information on the forum, please visit www.tulsa-health.org or www.mortonhealth.org.
Tulsa Health Department
Since its establishment in 1950, the Tulsa Health Department serves as the primary public health agency to more than 600,000 Tulsa County residents, including 13 municipalities and four unincorporated areas. THD’s mission is to sustain an equitable system that prevents disease, promotes healthy living, and ensures preparedness. The agency is dedicated to empowering citizens to make healthy choices that carry forward for future generations. THD was among the first health departments in the U.S. to receive national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board.
Morton Comprehensive Health Services
Morton Comprehensive Health Services, through its eight (8) locations, provides primary care services in the following areas: medical, including adult/family, obstetrics/gynecology, mammography, pediatrics and optometry; and dental, radiological/x-ray and pharmaceutical in addition to social and counseling services. In 2008 and 2011, MCHS was the recipient of the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM by The Joint Commission for “demonstrating the highest commitment to quality and safety to (its) patients, staff and its community.” In 2012, Morton received additional accreditation from the Commission as the first community health center in the state to be designated as a Patient Centered Medical Home. MCHS has been serving northeastern Oklahoma since 1921.