United States Congress
Congresswoman Mary Fallin
House of Representative
Here's to Our Health
Blessings to you in the New Year!
It was wonderful being home during the holiday season, and good to see so many of you "out and about" in the Fifth District.
I know it was a difficult time for so many of you in the aftermath of the ice storm, but I was not surprised to witness, yet again, the "Oklahoma Standard" in action, with citizens helping neighbors, friends and even total strangers in the recovery efforts. And, as I stated before Congress last month, I am grateful for the tireless work of utility crews and charitable organizations as those efforts continue. I am proud of the resolve and resilience of my fellow Oklahomans.
After the lights came back on, many of you might have toasted the arrival of 2008, and I would like to follow suit and toast to the health of Oklahoma in the coming year.
Like many Oklahomans, one of my New Year's resolutions is to exercise more and to be healthy.
Oklahoma offers a wonderful quality of life, but we need to do more when it comes to our quality of health.
As we begin this New Year, it is my hope that all Oklahomans will pledge to live healthier lifestyles by eating healthier foods, exercising and getting plenty of sleep.
By taking these simple precautions, we can avoid the serious and negative consequences of unhealthy living.
As you may know, our state is currently ranked as one of the most overweight in the nation. That is a major contributor to the very high rates of diabetes deaths in Oklahoma, as well as the number of stroke cases and the frequency of coronary heart disease.
The costs of medical treatment for those living unhealthy lifestyles can be devastating to our family finances as well as our health. In one year alone, hospitalization costs for those suffering from diabetes total more than $20 million, not to mention the immense personal cost one pays for living in sickness.
Fortunately, there is hope and there is help.
I congratulate organizations and health consortiums such as Central Oklahoma Turning Point, which sponsors free services like "Walk This Weigh" events and health fairs, supports Healthy Oklahomans Week and free clinics. Turning Point leaders have chosen diabetes as the first disease to address in its chronic-disease management track for the Health Alliance free clinic project. You can learn more and get a wealth of information at the web site: www.healthyoklahomans.org
Help me serve Oklahoma more effectively in Congress by showing the rest of the nation that "Oklahoma Standard" when it comes to health. Help each other by showing resilience and resolve as we reach the turning point for obesity, heart disease and diabetes in Oklahoma!