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West Virginia Public Health Impact Task Force Kicks Off Work

Ashton Marra
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State officials have kicked off a push at redefining the mission of public health in West Virginia.

The Bureau for Public Health held an initial meeting of the public health impact task force Wednesday.

The task force includes members of the Bureau for Public Health, local health departments, private and public partner organizations and policymakers. It's headed by Dr. Rahul Gupta, the state's health officer. 

The panel will recommend structural and organizational changes to make the state's public health system work more effectively with communities.

On Wednesday, Gupta highlighted the state's abysmal ratings in most major wellness categories. He added that much of the focus should be on problems stemming from people's lifestyles, which requires an active approach in the community.

The group has planned nine meetings through November.

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