Summits to tackle southern Ohio health challenges
by Frank Lewis
By WAYNE ALLEN
PDT Staff Writer
The Counseling Center Inc. hosted a health care summit on Tuesday to bring members of the regional medical community together to talk about health care challenges.
Presenters at the summit — called Bridging Health Care Through: Communication, Collaboration and Integration — included Theodore Wymyslo, MD, director of the Ohio Department of Health; State Rep. Dr. Terry Johnson, medical director of The Counseling Center, and The Counseling Center CEO Ed Hughes.
“There are few things more fundamental to the success and vitality of a community than the health of its inhabitants. I am sad to say that Scioto County is nearly last in far too many of our state’s health rankings; this, in spite of the efforts of many good people and all of the local institutions that seek to serve our health care needs,” Johnson said. “It is time to objectively assess what is going wrong, and come together as a community to fix the problem. Being last is never good; being last when it comes to the health of our loved ones and of our friends and neighbors is unacceptable.”
“This summit is not an indictment of things that have gone wrong. What we are challenging attendees to do is to collaborate and think about this problem differently than we have in the past,” Johnson said.
Sondra Hash, program director for the Family Health Care Center at The Counseling Center, said accomplishments of the summit included proving state officials are paying attention to what Scioto County is doing to improve negative health indices.
“We hoping people saw this as a good thing, even though we barely scratched the surface,” Hash said.
Plans are in the works for another summit in the near future, she said.
Among the participants, Johnson said, were Southern Ohio Medical Center, King’s Daughter Medical Center, Community Action Agency, Portsmouth and Scioto County health departments.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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