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A Town Hall Meeting to look at and discuss increasing wellness in Abilene!

By Floyd Miller



On October 17th, 2013 The CUADD Health Equity Sub-Committee hosted a Town Hall Meeting at Abilene High School. The focus of the town hall was to discuss health concerns in Abilene and give local healthcare providers the opportunity to tell the community about the health and mental health services and resources available to citizens, patients and constituents of Abilene and Taylor County. The Town Hall Meeting featured local health and mental health providers, as well as speakers from the Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities and the Texas State Office on Minority Health . Local representatives for services and resources included community leadership, a local physician, emergency room management, the West Central Texas Council of Governments and the West Texas AHEC . {{more}}Questions were moderated by Dr. Joe Cope of the Abilene Christian University Dispute Resolution Center. Community members were able to ask questions about ways in which to improve their health and where specific services might be provided. Some even asked questions about the new health care laws, requirements and sign-up.Some of the individuals that participated in the CUADD’s Health Equity Sub-Committee luncheon. Photo by Floyd MillerThe event was developed by the CUADD’s Health Equity Sub-Committee. The committee is made up of a group of local professionals, lay persons and community members who give their time to help improve the quality of life and health outcomes of local people. During a panelists luncheon which, was held earlier in the day, Dr. Rosanna Barrett and colleague Courtney McElhaney shared information on the principles and practices being used by the State of Texas to create improved outcomes for those populations who appear to carry more of the health burden and experience negative outcomes when engaging with health and mental health systems. Participants were able to review data on Abilene specific Infant Mortality statistics, cancers, diabetes and life expectancy in Abilene. Mr. James Ellis speaks with a participant at the Town Hall Meeting about information that was shared. Photo by Floyd MillerThe Texas Legislature has developed a statewide initiative to address health disparities, health inequities, preventable diseases and early death of some of its citizens, and is ramping up partnership with cities, counties and communities. The initiative includes developing community advisory councils to advocate on behalf of families , engaging all systems in identifying and implementing solutions , encouraging cross system collaboration to address health and community wellness, placing a Disproportionality & Disparities Specialist in every region, and partnership with the Center for the Elimination of Disproportionality & Disparities. Wellness is being defined not only as the absence of disease but fair decisions when distributing society’s benefits and burdens so that all people can reach their full potential.Mr. Alan Copeland is co-chair of the CUADD Health Equity Committee. They were responsible for putting together the Town Hall Meeting. Photo by Floyd MillerFor more information or to join the CUADD Health Equity Sub-Committee, CONTACT: Alan Copeland , Anthony Williams, Jr, , Co-Chairs OR Sharon Owens, Disproportionality & Disparities Specialist . Candace Burris, Receptionist, and Daniela Olvera, Office Manager with Familia Dental. Photo by Floyd Miller

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