ARDMORE,OK--A recent report by Trust for America's Health ranked Oklahoma as the seventh most obese state in the country. Health experts and city officials across Oklahoma say they're trying to do something about it.
Just over a year ago leaders from Mercy Hospital came together for the first Roundtable meeting to ask community members what improvements they thought should be made when it comes to health.
CEO of Mercy Hospital Lynn Britton says after good feedback from all 28 communities the hospital serves they've come up with ideas that will better the communities' health now, .and in years to come.
"Tonight after lots of planning, and lots of work with local board members we're coming back to sort of lay out the plan for the next eight years," Britton said.
Britton says the hospital's always been about listening to the community.
"The sisters when they founded it did so by going to a community and listening. They didn't come in and say we're going to build a hospital for you or open a school. They came and said what do you need," Britton said.
President of Mercy Memorial Hospital Mindy Burdick says putting patients' needs first is their top priority.
"We are here to work with our community, get their ideas, come together, to do the best that we can for health care," Burdick said.
Burdick says all Mercy communities have common concerns, and childrens' health comes first. She says she's impressed that Ardmore recognizes caring for their children now will lead to a healthier future for the entire state.
"We need to show healthy behaviors, model those behaviors, maybe then or children will model those behaviors and other citizens. In other words we need to take some of the health initiative's in our own hands to make a difference," Burdick said.
Burdick says other needs brought to attention is the need for more facilities in more cities and towns, and for more physicians.