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Healthy Virginians Aim of Conference Held at UVA

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Dorothy McAuliffe was in Charlottesville Wednesday along with state Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Hazel. They spoke at a conference at the University of Virginia to give their support to a new program aimed at improving public health statewide.

The conference kicks off a year-long program called the Virginia Excellence in State Public Health Law. The program is funded in large part by a grant from the Washington D.C.-based Aspen Institute. UVA also supports the program.

Hundreds of public health stakeholders filled UVA’s Darden School of Business Wednesday for workshops and seminars on public health. The goal of the program is to begin to develop solutions that will focus on ways to improve public services to benefit the people who rely on them.

Hazel says the solutions focus on two specific areas.

"How do you ensure that the food that's served in publicly funded institutions is of high quality,” said Bill Hazel, secretary of health. "The second piece is we know there are facilities out in the communities that people can use for exercise, but they don't always have access to them. There's confusion around policies relating to liability, cost, those types of things."

In her speech, Dorothy McAuliffe mentioned the importance of programs that ensure low-income students are getting enough to eat.

The program has already created a website where people can share innovative ideas to improve the state's health care system.

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