By Frank Lewis
State Representative, family physician and clinical professor, Terry Johnson has announced that the Ohio House Healthcare Efficiencies Study Committee will have a hearing at Shawnee State University on Sept. 8 at 1 p.m. The committee will be examining healthcare efficiencies that lead to better health outcomes at a lower cost to Ohioans.
The Portsmouth hearing will focus on the topic of behavioral health. Director Tracy Plouck of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will be presenting, with public testimony to follow.
Johnson said he is excited by the opportunity to host the study committee.
“As the Ohio House Subcommittee travels our great state, it is learning of many pressing health issues, some shared by all of Ohio and some that are more regionally specific,” Johnson said. “It is good for us that we have been included as one of the committee’s regions of interest. Our local health care leaders will have a chance to not only educate the committee members about our local health care challenges and the kind of help we need from the state, but will also provide the opportunity to show the progress that we have made by working together over the last five to six years. The formation of the Scioto County Health Coalition is an excellent example of this effort and I am particularly looking forward to their testimony.”
Speaker of the Ohio House Cliff Rosenberger created the committee to examine healthcare models across Ohio that the House can help support and promote. The findings of the committee will potentially be used in legislation to be introduced later in the General Assembly. The Portsmouth hearing will focus on the topic of behavioral health.
“I think the committee will be interested in the strides we have taken to tackle our health problems in a holistic manner—realizing that we need the help of every part of our community,” Johnson said. “Something very special is happening here. We are looking at patients as whole people, seeing their health as comprised of three inextricable elements: physical, mental, and spiritual. Separating these three components is a huge mistake and one that we can no longer afford to make.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.