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Supervisors Approve Plan To Improve Delivery Of Health Services

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a 10-year plan aimed at improving the delivery of health services.

The plan from the Department of Health and Human Services seeks to lower the rate of preventable deaths, cut child obesity and improve coordination among the numerous health-related nonprofit agencies in the county.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer, said 57 percent of all deaths in the area last year were the result of preventable heart and respiratory conditions, cancer and diabetes.

"Now, sadly, our biggest health issues are things we are doing to ourselves, or not doing to ourselves,'' said Pam Smith, the county's director of aging and independent services.

County officials said they hope that over time, improved health among residents will result in lower health-care costs for government.

"Chronic diseases cause chronic costs,'' HHSA Director Nick Macchione said.

A major component of the plan involves educating the public on healthy choices -- between eating vegetables and candy, for example -- and making the healthier choices available.

Board Chairwoman Pam Slater-Price, who made health a major priority during her State of the County address earlier this year, said the plan will improve "personal responsibility and empower healthy choices.''

Under the plan, the county will also strive to make neighborhoods more conducive to physical activities.

The plan will be funded, in part, by a $16.1 million federal grant.

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