New plan aims to cut Shelby County healthcare costs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New plan aims to cut Shelby County healthcare costs

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced a new initiative Monday that he says will cut the cost of public healthcare in Memphis and Shelby County. Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced a new initiative Monday that he says will cut the cost of public healthcare in Memphis and Shelby County.

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell announced a new initiative Monday that he says will cut the cost of public healthcare in Memphis and Shelby County.

Healthy Shelby is an initiative to lower the cost of health care through prevention and streamlining.

The plan will work to change how, when and where people receive health care.

Luttrell, flanked by the area's top health care and business leaders, announced a new alliance to streamline health care in Memphis and Shelby County.

"If you're going to have education, you've got to have good health care," he said. "If you're going to impact public safety, you've got to have a healthy community. If you want to grow our workforce, you have to emphasize health."

The new alliance of health care, business, church and government leaders will strategize to fill health care gaps in birth, chronic disease and end of life care.

The chronic diseases include infant mortality, diabetes, teenage pregnancy and obesity.

"It will have just a great benefit to the citizens of the City of Memphis," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.

Healthy Shelby has support from the Memphis mayor and CEOs for four area hospitals, who say prevention is key.

"Tomorrow's medicine has to focus on more than sick care," said Gary Shorb, of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. "It truly has to focus on bringing up the health status of our community."

They say the 2 year, $250,000 initiative will help stave off increasing health care costs for patients.

"All of our emergency rooms are overcrowded by people seeking primary care in the wrong space," said Dr. Reginald Coopwood, CEO of the Regional Medical Center. "So we as community, need to look at how to address that."

Shelby County Health Officer Dr. Kenneth Robinson will spearhead the project.

The Healthy Shelby Memphis Fast Forward council is made up of 39 community leaders.

The initiative will be funded with county tax dollars and private donations.

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