Seniors are the fastest growing segment of Oklahoma’s population and one of the state’s greatest assets. However, their health status is among the lowest in the nation, which negatively affects wellbeing and limits independence.
The Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative (OHAI) seeks to improve the health of seniors, allowing for a better quality of life. Recognizing the multifaceted nature of health, OHAI uses the following three-prong approach to improve the wellness of older Oklahomans:
Centers of Healthy Aging will be located in five regions across the state and will provide both clinical care and health education throughout their respective regions. By establishing a statewide senior health network, OHAI will provide a framework to transform health practices. OHAI will work closely with regional partners to build social capital and increase geriatric expertise across the state.
Access to interprofessional geriatric care
Seniors have unique medical needs, but not all providers have the specialized skills necessary to provide adequate care. Formal geriatric care is currently limited to the State’s two main urban areas. OHAI will partner with local hospitals and communities to establish new geriatric primary care clinics that integrate medical and social services. By increasing access, older Oklahomans throughout the state can obtain the specialized health care they need.
By educating providers and consumers, we improve healthcare systems delivered to seniors and help older adults to better manage their health. Education programs will be designed for four audiences:
Health and aging policy
OHAI realizes the importance of policy in making lasting change, particularly when considering the social determinants of health. As such, OHAI will work to influence health and aging policy by educating decision makers and working in conjunction with other health advocates.
The Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative is sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation through a grant to the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Department of Geriatric Medicine. For more information about OHAI, email email@example.com or call 405.271.3450