Story last updated at 6/12/2013 - 2:06 pm
ANCHORAGE - ASTHO and United Health Foundation announced that Alaska has been selected to receive funding and support to improve its health outcomes related to diabetes and obesity.
Alaska will receive $25,000 from United Health Foundation and training and support from ASTHO to develop an innovative collaborative care model that will provide physician training and facilitate best practices, based on evidence-based care standards, to improve health outcomes.
Alaska is one of six states nationwide - including Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island -that will work with the other state teams in a learning collaborative to advance health outcomes in the following areas: diabetes, infant mortality, obesity, and smoking.
The conditions were chosen due to each state's prevalence as measured by United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings: A Call to Action. Disparities between populations in disease, health outcomes and access to care will be addressed across all four indicators.
ASTHO will also share best practices among the learning collaborative states and others that have demonstrated success in key areas and measure progress toward improved health outcomes. ASTHO will share the lessons learned with other states to offer best-practice recommendations that will improve the key health indicators measured by America's Health Rankings and lead to healthier people, families, communities, states and a healthier America.
"Alaska has a great network of state, local, and regional partners addressing the high rates of diabetes and obesity," said Dr. Ward Hurlburt, chief medical officer. "This opportunity will allow us to maximize our connections with national level partners and subject matter experts to help inform our partners around the state and increase the focus on these critical issues. We're excited to see what programs other states develop and are anxious share our successes with them as well."
"The purpose of America's Health Rankings is to stimulate effective and targeted action by individuals, elected officials, medical and public health professionals, employers, educators, and communities to improve the health of their population," said Dr. Roger Muller, market medical director, UnitedHealthcare Pacific Northwest. "This learning collaborative will identify key lessons from our six participating states that will benefit not only the participants in Alaska, but people across the nation. We applaud ASTHO for its leadership in bringing innovative solutions to the fight for the healthiest possible America."
"We are grateful that Alaska is making this commitment to improve health outcomes in their state," said ASTHO Executive Director Paul Jarris, M.D., MBA. "Not only will their populations benefit, but their work will serve as an inspiration and resource to other states that want to further protect and enhance their population's health."
For more information on America's Health Rankings or the current ranking of any state, visit http://www.americashealthrankings.org.