Public Health Advisory

Background

In January 2006 Commissioner John Wiley Price created the District 3 Public Health Advisory Council, seated by key stakeholders from the health community. He charged membership to focus on innovative solutions to health-related issues and disparities impacting constituents within Dallas County District 3, as well as the County at large.

Goals

To realize this charge, the following council goals were established:

  1. increase the level of support for health-related initiatives in the District 3 sector
  2. serve as a conduit for health information and resources to providers and the community
  3. evaluate and improve the overall health emphasis through community outreach activities

Accomplishments


  • HealthFest: The largest health outreach effort targeting the African American community in North Texas, providing more than 19,000 FREE health services in 2007 at the annual KwanzaaFest event, held each December at Fair Park.
  • The Beat Obesity 5k Walk/Run: Premiered in 2006 at KwanzaaFest, it has become a hallmark of health emphasis to improve the lifestyles of both young and adult citizens to reduce the risk for being overweight or diagnosed as obese.
  • AT&T Health and Wellness on the Plaza: This event premiered in 2006 and was held again in 2007 through leveraging a public/private collaborative effort between AT&T, KwanzaaFest Inc., and the District 3 Public Health Advisory Council. Held each summer at Pegasus Plaza in downtown Dallas, this event merges health education and screening activities with the AT&T Summer Concert Series.
  • Community Forums and Lecture Series: Both medical professionals as well as community members are targeted to provide educational outreach to address cutting edge health topics. In 2007 the Health Disparities Lecture Series was supported through a unique and unprecedented partnership between UT Southwestern Medical Center and Baylor Health Care System.
  • Community Outreach: Efforts to link under and uninsured citizens to necessary health care support, as well as provide health education to reduce health disparities are key focus areas of the council. In 2007, the District 3 Public Health Advisory Council hosted the Partnership for Prescription Assistance: Health is Here Express to connect people to over 475 national assistance programs offering access to free and/or low-cost prescriptions.

2008 Projects

  • Forums and Lecture Series
    • Obesity Forum
  • Health Outreach Activities
    • 18th Annual KwanzaFest HealthFest
    • Texas Department of State Health Services Fight HIV Partnership
    • 3rdAnnual Beat Obesity 5K Walk/Run
    • Health Watch - weekly vignettes focusing on health disparities and related assistance programs aired on radio programs
  • Public/Private Initiative
    • Town Hall Meetings – hosted by Commissioner John Wiley Price and Senator Royce West focusing on relevant topics affecting their constituents well-being

Member Organizations

Commissioner John Wiley Price has appointed a strong contingency of both public and private healthcare representatives from the following organizations:

  • American Diabeties Association
  • American Heart Association
  • Baylor College of Dentistry
  • Baylor Office of Health Equity
  • Bristol Meyer Squibb
  • Children’s Medical Center
  • Dallas Area Council to Prevent Obesity
  • Dallas Independent School District
  • UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Texas Health Resources
  • Regional Office of Minority Health
  • Dallas Nephrology Associates
  • Family Medical Center at White Rock
  • JPS Health Network
  • Methodist Health System
  • Kathy L. Nealy & Associates
  • Parkland Health and Hospital System
  • Ryan White HIV/AIDS Care System
  • Southwestern Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center
  • Dallas County Hospital District Board of Managers
  • Education is Freedom Foundation
  • Dallas County Health and Human Services
  • VHA, Inc.

Health Impact and Needs

Almost one quarter of all Texans are estimated to be uninsured, the highest rate of uninsured people in any state. Additionally, Texans also are among the highest rate of residents living in poverty when compared to the national average.

  • Heart disease is the number one cause of death, one in three adults has some form of heart disease.
  • The second leading cause of death is cancer. Lung cancer kills more African Americans than any other form of cancer. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among African American men and breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among African American women.
  • Every 45 seconds someone has a stroke.
  • There are one million new cases of diabetes every year, and it is the main cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations - shortening life spans up to 15 years!
  • It is estimated that 60 million adults and over 9 million children are obese.
  • Obesity is the second leading cause of preventable disease and death.
  • 70% - 80% of obese adults will experience chronic disease impact.
  • Obesity impact for overweight adults:
    • 2-4 time greater risk of uterine cancer
    • 50% greater chance of breast cancer
    • 60% increased risk of diabetes
    • 80% increased risk of high blood pressure

Chaired by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, the District 3 Public Health Advisory Council continues to grow in scope and impact through focusing initiatives that address the challenges of health equity, health access, and health literacy and through supporting individual responsibility for health and well-being. For further information about this council please call 214-653-6671.