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InCharge HEALTHCARE 2019

Larry Shackleford (r) chats with Adam Head.

start, but more needs to be done,” Stone said. “We need to make these items as expensive as prescriptions for the treatment of the diseases they are causing. We then need to use those tax funds to reward providers who are doing great work on reducing their patients’ smoking percentages.” In addition to poor lifestyle choices, Adam Head, CARTI president & CEO, also points to inadequate health education and limited access to specialists as important factors. “However, I believe Arkansas is home to the greatest healthcare minds and resources in the nation,” Head said. “It’s time we figure out how to deploy these resources more effectively.” CARTI’s vision is to be the premiere cancer treatment destination for Arkansas. “This means we not only attack head on the very factors that create our state’s poor health rating, but that we also educate Arkansans to understand they are receiving the best oncology care in the nation,” Head said. “With the state’s largest


oncology services footprint, we feel it is not only our responsibility to educate patients on cancer risks, screening and treatments, but to provide them access to first-class oncology services in the communities where they live. CARTI currently serves patients at eleven locations across our state and we are in the process of building two additional locations. We still need to do more.” Head said state legislators and healthcare leaders must work handin-hand to bend the healthcare curve. Patterson said they are beginning conversations with legislators to reimagine how to provide access to great care in sparsely populated counties. “A great example is our push toward seeking National Cancer Institute designation for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Center,” Patterson said. “That will have a benefit for people across the entire state improving outcomes and increasing measures to help people prevent cancer.” Conway Regional’s Troup said improving health outcomes includes focusing on training and developing

primary care physicians. “You may have heard there are about 250 physicians graduating from medical school who will have to go out-of-state to get residency training completed,” Troup said. “We are seriously considering a residency program that will allow us to retain those physicians in state. Studies show physicians tend to stay in the area where they go to school and train. The number one thing we can all do to improve health is to increase access to primary care including preventive care to keep people out of specialist offices and out of hospitals.” Stone advocates teaching children proper nutrition and exercise habits early on. “When I was a student, school lunches were meals that were healthy and hand-prepared by lunch personnel every day,” Stone said. “When I have lunch with my grandchildren at their schools, I see that everything appears to be prepackaged. This is not food that children need to be eating every day, and additional funding for improving those choices is very important. I feel we are raising a generation that might not be knowledgeable about proper eating. I also believe that recess time is absolutely vital. Children are not learning to run and play or realizing how much fun those activities are.” Healthcare organizations can help by leading the way. “As one of the largest employers in our community, Washington Regional strives to create a healthy work place,” Shackelford said. “We recently extended hours of our 5 Loaves Sandwich and Salad counter from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. to offer healthy

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Arkansas Medical News InCharge 2019  

Arkansas Medical News InCharge 2019