Public health strategies, ACEs, and much more to learn [ClaremoreProgress.com]

 

What does a legislator do when not in session? Last month, I was asked by the Speaker to attend a regional meeting of key state policymakers with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It seems the committee chairmen of our health-related committees couldn’t attend, so I was afforded the opportunity to learn about something not exactly in my wheelhouse. The meeting was sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, and is the third such specialized session they’ve sponsored that I’ve been able to (gratefully) attend. Oklahoma’s delegation included three legislators, and several members of Oklahoma’s Health and Mental Health/Substance Abuse Departments.

We learned about the CDC’s “Priority Strategies in Public Health”, which address obesity, opioids, and antimicrobial resistance, among others. While these public health challenges have large scale impacts on health in the US, there are health professionals and state leaders who have developed and implemented policies to address them, with proven results, according to the CDC. The benefits to good health are obvious, but I was fascinated with the data that is available. Sprinkled among the presentations were multiple, facilitated, state-level meetings designed to generate specific action plans with evidence-based public health policies and strategies that could be taken home for implementation. We developed two, and will meet in August to develop next steps.

I was particularly interested in ACEs (adverse childhood experiences), and its relationship to adult health. In a nutshell, the more of these adverse experiences a child endures, the greater the chance of negative health conditions, up to and including a dramatically shortened life span.

To continue reading this article by State Rep. Mark Lepak, go to: http://www.claremoreprogress.c...2f-73b6913db42a.html

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