OU launches initiative to prepare for future pandemics

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As doctors continue to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Oklahoma is launching an initiative to prepare for future pandemics.

The University of Oklahoma’s Hudson College of Public Health is launching a multi-sector initiative to assess the state’s preparedness for future pandemics.

The Achieving a Health Oklahoma initiative has gathered community leaders to develop policy recommendations aimed at preparing Oklahomans for future public health emergencies, as well as suggestions for improving Oklahoma’s population health.

“The greatest threat that we face is entering another pandemic without a modernized response,” said Gary Cox, associate dean and director of the OU Center for Public Health Practice. “Oklahomans are no strangers to adversity and hard work – we pull ourselves up and do what needs to be done to help our neighbors and our communities. This fortitude and determination will be the foundation for our work through the Achieving a Healthy Oklahoma initiative – driven by private, business and philanthropic partnerships. Now is the time to come together, to plan and to show the world how exceptional Oklahoma is.”

The committee will commission workgroups to study the impacts of public health issues on business, education, and health care.

A comprehensive report of the committee’s findings and recommendations is expected to be complete during the first half of 2022 and will be presented to local, state, and national leaders and policymakers. The next step will be to work with community and business leaders, policymakers, advocates and others within Oklahoma to implement the recommendations and ensure that the state is prepared for future public health emergencies.

To learn more about the Achieving a Healthy Oklahoma initiative, visit publichealth.ouhsc.edu.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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