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West Virginia gets fund to help promote healthy living

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health has received funding from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors to promote healthy living and reduce social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Building Resilient Inclusive Communities program.

West Virginia was one of 20 states to receive these funds.

The program will help the bureau and community-based organizations improve safe access to physical activity, promote healthy eating by improving nutrition security and reduce social isolation and loneliness.

The association will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, the Division of Population Health and the National Technical Assistance Partnership.

“Strategies to address nutrition security, physical activity, and social connectedness, will be implemented with a focus on health equity and inclusion,” Jessica Wright, interim co-director of the Office of Community Health Systems and Health Promotion, said. “The program also will emphasize improving quality of life and reducing health inequities.”

For example, through the Building Resilient Inclusive Communities program, the bureau’s Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease and the state Office of Rural Health will work with stakeholders to strengthen, enhance and expand obesity prevention initiatives in Boone, Clay, McDowell, Mingo, Raleigh and Wyoming counties.

“Although this last year has been challenging, West Virginia continues to move forward, working to improve the well-being of its residents, giving them opportunities to live healthy lives,” Wright said. “We are grateful for this funding and recognition from the NACDD. This will help support and enhance efforts, not only in the physical health realm but also in addressing mental health through social connectedness.”

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