The Woodward News

Local News

December 11, 2013

Health care advantages, challenges discussed

Woodward, Okla. — When it comes to the health of the citizens of Woodward County, there are a lot of challenges, but there are a few advantages as well.

Representatives from a variety of community agencies discussed some of these challenges and advantages during a health care assessment meeting Tuesday at High Plains Technology Center.

Tuesday's meeting was actually the fourth in a series of such meetings sponsored by the Woodward Area Coalition (WAC) in cooperation with the Oklahoma Turning Point Council through the Oklahoma State Department of Health as well as other community partners.

In addition to Turning Point and the health department, other agencies represented at Tuesday's meeting included Western Plains Youth and Family Services, Northwest Center for Behavioral Health, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and Woodward Regional Hospital.  A local minister and a chiropractor were also in attendance.

"We tried to reach out to a bunch of different sectors of community and engage them," said Lana Shaffer, the area field consultant for Turning Point.  "Everybody brings their own knowledge and understanding so it's important to have those people at the table so you can get the full picture and an accurate picture of what's going on in the community."

Shaffer said the purpose of the series of health care assessments was to identify specific health care issues in Woodward County and then develop a plan to prioritize and address those issues.

The 3 previous assessment meetings focused on 1) how the county's health resources are perceived, 2) how well the county's public health system partners collaborate, and 3) analysis of a variety of health indicators to determine the county's current health status.

However, Tuesday's meeting was held to identify the "Forces of Change," such as different trends or events, that positively and or negatively impact health care in Woodward County.

The "Forces of Change" that are listed below are those that were identified as perceived issues by the community representatives listed above, and may not be a full, complete accurate list of health care issues in Woodward County.

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