This has served Tulsa County well for many years with marked improvements in the county health rankings compared to other counties in Oklahoma. Embedded in our local community, we are better able to engage with local partners in support of a community health improvement plan that includes a focus on social determinants of health that impact our local population.
In 2011, Tulsa County was ranked No. 27 in Oklahoma out of 77 counties. By 2019, Tulsa County improved to No. 13, and through targeted initiatives in our county, our community’s health will continue to improve.
A recent argument in favor of the bill that has surfaced is that the Oklahoma State Department of Health needs control of the Oklahoma and Tulsa public health departments to secure more funding for the state.
State funding requests do not carve out Tulsa and Oklahoma counties, just as they do not carve out populations from tribal nation health departments.
In fact, Oklahoma is the 28th most populous state yet ranks 25th in estimated two-year federal funding directed to states per person by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration. Yet, the state of Oklahoma ranks 43rd or worse in every domain of America’s Health Rankings report.
Metro health departments, tribal health departments and the Veterans Administration have made great improvements in health outcomes because they are able to target the specific needs of their populations. This is an established principle of population health.