“I want to commend the combined effort of our team and the partners who engaged with us on this effort to put meaningful data in the hands of those on the front lines of improving health outcomes for all Oklahomans,” said OSDH Interim Commissioner Tom Bates.
Listening sessions were held with groups across the state to determine new items to be included in the report. State Board of Health member Dr. Scott Stewart also provided input for the website and believes the new method of access to health data will benefit everyone.
“This advance is a result of listening to their needs and adapting the report into something that provides a more comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of our state’s health status. The board is excited to see the enhancements provided in the new report, which will help us determine methods to cultivate conditions by which Oklahomans can be healthy.”
This is the first update of the report since 2014 and the standalone website will allow for periodic updates during the year when new data becomes available, rather than waiting years for all data to be incorporated into a printed report. The website and the ability to continuously update data as it becomes available will provide a more useful tool for all users of the report.
“With this new site we hope to better explain how various health outcomes and behaviors affect the overall health status of Oklahoma residents in a user friendly format,” said Derek Pate, director of the OSDH Center for Health Statistics. “The information provided will help identify patterns that occur across the state, over time, and within particular groups.”
Highlights of the new report include the reduction in smoking prevalence among adults and high school students, improvements on the rate and grade for colon and prostate cancer incidence and a slight improvement in mortality rates since the previous report. The new data also shows that Oklahoma continues to have high rates of deaths due to heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and diabetes compared to the national average.
The first State of the State’s Health Report was issued by the Oklahoma State Board of Health in 1997. That report served to provide an assessment of the general health status of Oklahomans and to fulfill the assessment function of public health for the state based upon the 1988 Institute of Medicine Report supporting such a role. The first few reports sought to simply give a snapshot of the Oklahoma health experience. Reports have been issue periodically since then, usually covering a three-year time span and have expanded from just a dozen health indicators to more than 50 covered in the new report.