Pathways to a Healthy Stephens County
Located in Southwest Oklahoma, Stephens County was formed in 1907 in tandem with Oklahoma’s official recognition as a state. It is named for politician John H. Stephens, who supported Oklahoma’s push for statehood. The centrally located town of Duncan was named the county seat.
Measuring 27 miles from north to south and 33 miles east to west, Stephens County encompasses 891 square miles of land. It lies along the historic Chisholm Trail where cattle were driven from ranches in Texas to railheads in Kansas during the late 19th century. Early on, Duncan prospered with cotton as a main crop. The oil industry quickly brought greater prosperity to Duncan during the 1920s. Stephens County’s oil fields became and remained Oklahoma’s highest-producing area until the 1980s.
Although rich in history and oil, Stephens County has not been rich in health. In recent years, local partners have identified a need for change. During the spring of 2012, the Stephens County Health Department and Duncan Regional Hospital collaboratively engaged community partners and advocates in an effort to assess the health of Stephens County through a comprehensive study.
To ensure county-wide representation and participation, a committee was formed of individuals who encompass the diversity of Stephens County. The Pathways to a Healthy Stephens County Committee is comprised of business and industry, local government, coalitions, education, community and civic organizations, public health, health care and other entities working together. Committee members represent the communities of Bray, Central High, Comanche, Duncan, Empire City, Marlow and Velma. On March 19, 2013 the committee adopted a vision statement for Stephens County to reflect the true progress and personal accountability they hope residents and the county as a whole will embrace. This vision will steer future efforts to build richness in health.
In April 2013, Stephens County representatives met to identify strategic issues from the data compiled during the Community Health Status Assessment. Items were prioritized and ranked by community leaders, stakeholders, lay members, and the general public. Those in attendance embraced the vision to move Stephens County forward toward a healthier community.
In July 2014, the first Pathways to a Healthy Stephens County Board of Directors met with agency and community representation from members from Bray, Central High, Comanche, Duncan, Empire City, Marlow and Velma.
In August 2014, Pathways to a Healthy Stephens County was Incorporated per the State of Oklahoma and continues to work on its designation as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization.
The Board of Directors meets monthly on the third (3rd) Tuesday of each month at the DRH Conference Center. For more information on the organization, its members, committees and community programs and services please see the links below.
Pathways to a Healthy Stephens County Vision
A county where citizens are aware of and inspired to live a safe and healthy life
while maximizing resources to provide and encourage a healthy Stephens County.
Board of Directors