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Oklahoma medical news briefs

Oklahoma medical news briefs for Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: November 17, 2013

Medical notes

OCU plans physician assistants program

The Oklahoma City University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support President and CEO Robert Henry's initiative to develop a new training program for physician assistants. The program is designed to meet the critical need for more highly trained medical providers throughout Oklahoma. The U.S. Labor Department projects a 30 percent increase in employment for PAs over the next seven years, the highest average rate for all occupations. About 90,000 PAs practice in the U.S., with 1,200 working PAs in Oklahoma. The OCU program will focus on graduating PAs with a strong emphasis on providing primary care in community hospitals and clinics. OCU expects to welcome its inaugural class in January 2016.

Collaboration targets obesity in children

The Indian Health Service and the Notah Begay III Foundation are collaborating on activities aimed at preventing childhood obesity in American Indian and Alaska Native youth. The partnership will include sharing best practices in implementation of community-based activities directed at addressing childhood obesity in Indian Country. Obesity is a significant problem in American Indian communities. It is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, which are among the leading causes of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives. One out of every two American Indian children are expected to develop type 2 diabetes in their lifetime. The collaboration, initiated Nov. 12, was developed in support of the Let's Move! In Indian Country program, which is part of first lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative.

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