East Texas Health Symposium Set Nov. 30

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The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) and the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) are partnering with the Episcopal Health Foundation to host a Community Health Symposium on November 30 in Nacogdoches. Local government, business and civic leaders from throughout East Texas are invited to participate to learn more about the kinds of investments that improve community health.

The symposium will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hotel Fredonia, 200 North Fredonia Street in Nacogdoches. There is no charge to attend and lunch will be provided. RSVP’s are requested by email to Jo Anne Brostrom at jbrostrom@episcopalhealth.org.

Local governments can play a critical role in promoting the health and well-being of residents. Research shows that of the many factors that determine health status, clinical care only accounts for 20 percent. Factors such as community safety, employment, diet and exercise, housing and transportation together are more influential. Notwithstanding this evidence, in the US, we commit over 95 percent of our national health budget to clinical care.

Join us for a lively discussion about how your community can improve health outcomes by investing in the kinds of community-based programs that local governments excel in providing. Learn how modest changes in local expenditure patterns can change your county’s health ranking.

Elena Marks, President and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation and a nonresident fellow in Health Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute, will discuss the distinction between health and healthcare. She will make the case that we have confused healthcare with health, leading us to assume that the more we invest in healthcare, the healthier we will be. Marks will provide examples of how a redirection of dollars is taking shape nationally and in Texas and offer suggestions for accelerating this important system change.

Arizona State University Professor Mac McCullough will share his research about the relationship between patterns of spending by local governments and the health status of the affected communities. Using the County Health Rankings as a resource, Professor McCullough will show how investing in certain social services can improve a county’s health ranking.

“This is an important program that can help our communities begin to make real improvements in the health of East Texans,” said DETCOG Executive Director Lonnie Hunt. “Combined, DETCOG and ETCOG represent 26 counties in East Texas, so we are talking about the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people. This is a tremendous opportunity for community and business leaders to come together and learn how to make a difference.”

“We’ve all seen the County Health Rankings that show poor health outcomes in our region, he added. “We can improve these outcomes if we all work together. We are fortunate to have Dr. Marks and Professor McCullough available to share their expertise with us. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity.”

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Ezra McMullen
Ezra McMullin is a content and social media producer at MSGPR and attends Angelina College. He unwinds after a long day by playing XBox, telling himself he'll just play one more level before bed.
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