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The 2023 state health assessment is underway, and the Department Of Health And Human Resources (DHHR) will be asking state residents to fill out online assessments, collecting health data from partnering community and health institutions, and hosting eight community listening sessions to gather insight on health issues around the state.
The listening sessions will be held from Oct. 13 to Nov. 9 around the state. DHHR’s Dr. Mathew Christiansen says the information gathered will be used to develop a five-year plan to address public health issues.
“These listening sessions are really to provide a physical location where people can come and talk and brainstorm and think about what health improvement means to them here in West Virginia, and how we can improve their health,” he said.
The listening sessions will be held in Wheeling, Huntington, Charleston, Parkersburg, Berkeley, Morgantown, Buckhannon, and Mineral County.
Despite having the lowest life expectancies in the state McDowell, Boone, Logan, and Wyoming County will not have DHHR listening sessions.
“We are under a tight timeline to get this turned over and get this out the door,” Christiansen said. “Just because we’re not having a listening session in that region, doesn’t mean that the assessment won’t be responsive to those issues that we certainly understand.”