Press Release from the Tennessee Chapter of AARP, July 16, 2010:
What should we do to improve Tennesseans’ health and health care?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If you want to have a say in how Tennessee officials plan to make the state a healthier place to live, now’s your chance. AARP volunteers and members across the state certainly are answering the call.
JoAnn Lamento and David Simpson of AARP’s Murfreesboro chapter took part in the first of the Tennessee Division of Health Planning sessions this month. “To feel like you had some say was a good feeling,” Lamento said afterward. She was especially interested in efforts to promote healthy habits in childhood in the schools, one of several topics covered in the session.
AARP members also plan to attend health planning meetings July 20 in Memphis, July 23 in Knoxville and July 26 in Johnson City.
Still other AARP members are among more than 2,000 Tennesseans who already have shared their feelings via an online survey at www.state.tn.us/finance/healthplanning.
“Tennessee ranks among the fattest states in the country,” said AARP Tennessee Advocacy Director Patrick Willard. “We want to help Tennessee become a stronger and healthier state. That is why we are encouraging our volunteers and members to attend the health planning sessions and take the survey.”
The Tennessee State Health Plan establishes five principles for achieving better health and outlines a public process for developing goals and strategies for each. Those principles are:
1. The purpose of the State Health Plan is to improve the health of Tennesseans;
2. Every citizen should have reasonable access to health care;
3. The state’s health care resources should be developed to address the needs of Tennesseans while encouraging competitive markets, economic efficiencies, and the continued development of the state’s health care system;
4. Every citizen should have confidence that the quality of health care is continually monitored and standards are adhered to by health care providers; and
5. The state should support the development, recruitment, and retention of a sufficient and quality health care workforce.
The principles and planning process were established by the state Legislature in 2004. The General Assembly created the Division of Health Planning within the Department of Finance and Administration and charged it with developing a state health plan that “shall guide the state in the development of health care programs and policies and in the allocation of health care resources in the state.”
For more information about the State Health Plan, call (615) 532-3161, email email@example.com or visit www.state.tn.us/finance/healthplanning/.
For more about AARP Tennessee, please visit www.aarp.org/tn, www.facebook.com/aarptennessee or www.twitter.com/aarptn.