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California Sets Goal Of Becoming Healthiest State By 2022

Aired 12/20/12 on KPBS News.

California has set a goal of becoming the healthiest state in the country within 10 years.

— California has set a goal of becoming the healthiest state in the country within 10 years. A state task force has released its plan for hitting the target.

The task force has established priorities for improving health and changing the healthcare delivery system.

Its plan lays out 39 indicators by which the state can measure success. These include infant mortality, obesity and enrollment in hospice care at the end of life.

Task force member Pat Powers said mental health measures are a work in progress.

"We're not able to measure effectively screening and treating people with depression," Powers explained. "That's really what we'd like to be able to do, and I think our report calls out in our indicators to be developed."

The overall goal is for Californians to achieve better health, better quality and lower healthcare costs.

Dave Regan, president of SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, said it's possible.

"But, we can't have it unless literally millions of people start to behave differently than they're behaving right now," Regan said.

The new plan acknowledges that California has a long way to go. The state is experiencing a rise in chronic illnesses, and is hampered by racial and economic health disparities.

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