ARDMORE,OK -- State and local Health departments along with community organizations like MAMA KNOWS held a Community Health Chat at the Ardmore Public Library tonight. The goal of the meeting was to get input from minority communities in the Southwest region of the state about their health care concerns, and the "condition" of their service. Kristen Shanahan reports.
Director of the Oklahoma State Department of Health Linda Thomas says this is the first time they've held the community health chat in Ardmore. She says the goal of the forum is to gauge how people of the community feel about their health, and the services available to them.
After beginning announcements a video called "Place Matters" was shown to highlight the differences between high and low income neighborhoods, and how those differences affect the community's health. Thomas says this gathering is only a start to make better and healthier living environments for the days ahead.
"It is a beginning. So that's what we're looking for tonight is just for our communities to come together, start from where we are, and move forward," Thomas said.
Educator and board member of the Tobacco Coalition Dr. Lee White says he came tonight to listen, and see how he could help.
Dr. White says he's more interested in the health of children, but has a concern for the whole community. He says this meeting to him is to learn what concerns residents have so that health professionals can act on those concerns.
"And be able to relay that information, and try to do something with that information rather than just talk about it. There's something we got to do besides just talk," Dr. White said.