Julie Cox-Kain, chief operating officer of the State Department of Health, said only 10 percent of what contributes to a person's overall health involves access to treatment.
Some 40 percent involves the person's behaviors.
The state's existing public health system can play an enhanced role in helping individuals and entire communities deal with health issues, set goals and get healthier, she
Using diabetes as an example, she
said the public health system could work with individuals to manage their weight to avoid the disease; for those who become diabetic, the system can teach them to manage the disease so that a chronic issue doesn't become an expensive acute one.
Further, the system can effectively help entire communities set goals and take steps that will result not only in less diabetes, but more health, she
"We want to create environments for people where they can be healthy," Cox-Kain
"These efforts are meant to achieve both higher health outcomes and a decrease in the cost of health care."
A healthier community means a healthier business environment, a healthier work force and a healthier state budget, she
"If you can do those things, it helps the bottom line.
It helps the state's bottom line, it helps businesses' bottom line," she