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February 22, 2011

For More Information Contact

  • Shirley Miller, education support specialist, LENOWISCO Health District, 276-328-1916
  • Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, 540-381-7100, x 151 or 540-580-2960


(BIG STONE GAP, Virginia) – The LENOWISCO Health District and your local health departments in Lee, Scott and Wise Counties and the City of Norton are pleased to invite interested individuals to join us in a discussion of health issues, challenges and opportunities in our communities. 

All area citizens are invited to a public meeting on Thursday, March 10 at 3 p.m., at the Mountain Empire Community College’s Goodloe Center in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. This meeting will continue the dialogue that was begun at an initial session in February 2010. Your input will inform strategic planning efforts by the LENOWISCO Health District, your local health departments and, hopefully, entire communities.

“Last year’s meeting provided valuable insight into the community view of health concerns,” said Sue Cantrell, M.D., director of the LENOWISCO Health District, Virginia Department of Health. “Our purpose is to continue to solicit your help to identify priority goals and objectives for the upcoming year. We also hope that some from this group will remain involved in long-term health improvement planning. Anyone can attend -- we welcome and value your input.” 

As studies demonstrate, people living in rural Appalachian communities, including our own, suffer disproportionately from a variety of poor health outcomes including those related to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, depression and suicide, prescription substance abuse, lung cancer, dental caries, and some unintentional injuries and accidents.  Exploring further the root causes and contributing factors for these conditions in our communities will require the efforts of us all, each bringing his or her particular expertise to bear on these challenges, and we all have expertise to share.

We welcome participation by individuals who themselves or family members have been impacted by these conditions, or who wish to avoid them in their future. Faith-based organizations, civic groups, doctors, pharmacists, counselors, social workers, nurses, educators, local and regional elected leaders, healthcare insurance representatives, and any interested individuals from the communities are encouraged to attend.

“Many diseases and conditions can be prevented and the impact of existing disease reduced when individuals and communities address the factors leading to poor outcomes and take the necessary steps to create safe, healthy habits and lifestyles,” said Shirley Miller, education support specialist for the LENOWISCO Health District, Virginia Department of Health. “We value hearing from you not only what is working but, importantly, what is missing, needed, and who or what you believe to best fill in those gaps.”

Registration is free, but requested. To register for the meeting, or for more information, contact Shirley Miller at 276 328-1916 or You also may contact the Wise County Health Department at 276-328-8000 or visit


Last Updated: 07-30-2011

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