December 18, 2014  

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2012 Mississippi Health Summit Forms Healthcare Plan for State

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Dr. Art Cosby served as one of the keynote speakers for the 2012 Mississippi Health Summit held at The University of Southern Mississippi. (Photo by Kelly Dunn)

More than 200 key healthcare professionals from across Mississippi convened at The University of Southern Mississippi on June 29 for the 2nd Annual Mississippi Health Summit.

The invitation-only meeting featured discussions about significant health care concerns, opportunities, and needed policy changes related to the state’s overall health and wellness.

 “This second annual summit takes another critical step in the direction Mississippi and the entire nation need to go – toward disease prevention and wellness promotion,” said Dr. Michael Forster, dean of the College of Health at Southern Miss.  “And there’s no better way to move than through the proven means of evidence-based policy and health literacy.”

The Summit featured keynote speakers Dr. Art Cosby, longtime director of the Mississippi State University Social Science Research Center, and Dr. Luke Lampton, chair of the Mississippi State Board of Health. In addition to the addresses of Cosby and Lampton, three panels of speakers discussed topics of great interest to Mississippi’s health care future.

These topics included: How Wellness and Prevention Strategies Could Improve Mississippi’s Health, Mississippi’s Current Plan for Health Care, and Proven Strategies for Successful Health Implementation. Speakers for the Summit were among Mississippi’s highest advocates for health education, wellness, and effective health policy.

Following each panel discussion, attendees transitioned into breakout sessions where they were able to further discuss topics as they relate to their own respective field.  It is through these breakout sessions that assigned moderators were able to record conversations and significant ideas for health care improvement.

Notes taken during the Summit’s collaboration sessions will be compiled into a report.  This report will be reviewed by the Summit steering committee and then made available for public use. This report will feature a plan for health care improvement for the State of Mississippi as directed by the recorded collaboration discussions. The report will be completed in September, 2012 and distributed to all state elected officials as well as Summit attendees.

Gov. Phil Bryant noted that the Mississippi Health Summit played a significant role in shaping the future of healthcare in this state.

“There is no doubt that choosing to live a healthy lifestyle has a positive impact on a person’s life,” said Bryant. “As governor, I aim to set a positive example of individual health responsibility and to develop sound health care policy that will improve health outcomes in our state.”

The 2012 Mississippi Health Summit and its corresponding report is sponsored by: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, the Office of the Governor of the State of Mississippi, The University of Southern Mississippi College of Health, Forrest General Hospital, the Mississippi Insurance Department, the Mississippi Public Health Association, the Mississippi Public Health Institute, the Mississippi Rural Health Association, the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Fannie Lou Hamer Cancer Foundation, Magnolia Health Plan, and Novitas Solutions, Inc.

Video from the Health Summit will be made available soon on the Summit’s website at www.usm.edu/health.  For more information on the Mississippi Health Summit, contact Ryan Kelly at 601.266.5103 or michael.kelly@usm.edu.