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New health center offers help to one of Oklahoma City's poorest neighborhoods

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department celebrated the grand opening of its Northeast Regional Health and Wellness Campus. The campus will serve residents across Oklahoma County but is located in the 73111 ZIP code, an area with a high poverty rate and poor health outcomes.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: May 1, 2013 at 10:03 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013

There are nearly 5,000 households in the area, and half of them have incomes of $24,999 or less. About 25 percent of households have an income of less than $10,000. And about 35 percent of residents are on food stamps, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“73111 has the worst health prospects in the county — it's one of the worst in the state,” Dr. Stephen Cagle, the chairman of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department's board. “We know that poverty and low-income people have the worst health outcomes. Economics and health go hand in hand. We thought we'd have our campus here to make it more accessible.”

The entire state faces challenges similar to these residents. Oklahoma has long held some of the worst rankings in the nation for heart disease, obesity, diabetes and smoking.

This past year, Oklahoma was ranked No. 43 in overall health in a national report, the highest ranking the state has received in eight years.

Gov. Mary Fallin said even though Oklahoma has seen improvement, it isn't good enough.

The northeast campus serves as a model for how communities can foster private and public partnerships to better their residents' health.

“I think it's one of the smartest things we've done, to put a facility like this in a place where people don't have as much access to health care or maybe aren't as educated about health outcomes, and this is one of the ways we can help them get more information, good access to care and treat illnesses and have better outcomes for our state,” Fallin said.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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If you go

Community event set

What: A free community festival with face painting, health screenings, food cooking demonstrations, music and other family-oriented activities.

Where: The Northeast Regional Health and Wellness Campus at 2600 NE 63.

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


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