Arkansas is one of the poorest states in the nation, and also one of the least healthy according to health surveys.

Proponents of a ‘Healthy Arkansas’ emphasis on prevention contend that more widespread use of good habits could have a profound effect on families, businesses, schools, faith-based groups and healthcare providers in the state. The idea is that healthy Arkansans use fewer health care services.

One example of prevention is Healthy Arkansas, a pocket-sized guidebook published by the state Department of Health and Human Services. The booklet provides information for Arkansans so they can live healthier lives. The guidebook identifies a number of strategies to achieve this goal, including:

  • Improved nutrition
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • Reduced use of tobacco
  • Workplace health promotion

The ‘Healthy Arkansas’ approach also emphasizes the following preventive strategies:

  • Immunizations and regular checkups (children)
  • Screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer (women)
  • Cholesterol, blood pressure and prostate cancer screenings (men)

The “Healthy Arkansas” strategy “takes the best information from the leading experts in health and boils it all down into a pocket-size reference for healthy living.”

  • An emphasis on prevention in health care has the potential to create a broader population of healthy Arkansans. It can also serve as the catalyst for the conservation of scarce taxdollars.