DEC. 27, 2005 | As one of the country’s unhealthiest states, Arkansas doesn’t lack for challenges when it comes to health care. But bigger challenges are ahead.
Fortunately, an effort is under way to plan for the increasing demands expected on the state’s health care system and other state services. Announced at a Dec. 16 news conference, the effort is called Arkansas 2020 and is coordinated by the
Speaking at the event, UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., likened the coming health care needs to a train rumbling down the track.
Nationally, 35 million people are over age 65, and the 75 million baby boomers are now ages 41-59.
“They’re reaching an age when they’re going to need a lot more care,”
“Much our immigration right now is from
“Finally, our country has a very expensive health care system and we don’t have enough money to pay for it,”
Given the circumstances, Wilson and College of Public Health Dean James M. Raczynski, Ph.D., lauded plans for the Arkansas 2020 study, a state legislative initiative spearheaded by Sen. Shane Broadway of Bryant.
Broadway proposed the study and has solicited participation from the leaders of all
Ty Borders, Ph.D., associate professor of Health Policy and Management at the
Broadway noted that 14 percent of Arkansans are 65 or older compared to 12.4 percent nationally, and that Arkansas has the country’s second-fastest growing Hispanic population, with many unable to speak English.
“We need to know what specific demands these and other changes in demographics will place on
The study is modeled after a similar effort in