DATE:  November 8, 2004
CONTACT: Linda Avila, Community Outreach, 361-825-5746
State Health Commission Sanchez Addresses Regional Leaders Forum

Regional Leaders Forum, a regional group of leaders from the 12 county Coastal Bend area, will host a luncheon and forum on November 16, 2004 at the Ortiz Center in Corpus Christi from 11:30 am-2:30 pm. Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Commissioner of the Texas Department for State Health Services, will serve as the keynote speaker at this forum.  Dr. Sanchez will address the most critical health issues in South Texas and the Coastal Bend with statistics and perspectives on state initiatives.

Following his presentation, Dr. Sanchez will facilitate a panel of local health experts who will share the progress on local initiatives to address the South Texas health issues. Dr. Melissa Wilson will address issues of obesity and diabetes; Dr. Iley Browning will share work of the local asthma initiative; Kathryn McDonagh, CEO at Christus Spohn Health System, will talk on increasing the availability of adequate numbers of healthcare professionals; and Terrie Hairston with ORCA (Office of Rural Community Affairs) will address statewide efforts to recruit more physicians for rural areas of the state.  The audience will have ample opportunities to question and dialogue with all of the presenters.

Regional Leaders Forum is a group of leaders from the 12 county Coastal Bend area which represent governmental, business, educational, non-profit, and other entities. The Forum meets quarterly to explore issues of critical importance to the Coastal Bend and has spent recent forums looking at economic development, educational issues, and now healthcare.