Virginia health district changing name to reflect commitment to inclusion

USA

A health district in Virginia announced Tuesday that it will be changing its name at the beginning of the new year in order to reflect its commitment to inclusion.

Effective January 2021, the Thomas Jefferson Health District will become the Blue Ridge Health District.

The district says this will further its commitment to ensuring that its public health services are “inclusive and welcoming” to everyone in the community.

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“Changing our name is symbolic of the deeper work we are doing as an organization to create an inclusive, equitable environment for our staff and clients and to acknowledge and address the impact of racism on health,” district director Dr. Denise Bonds said.

The name also aligns with other health districts in Virginia that are mostly named after regional geography, the health district said.

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Bonds had requested permission to change the district’s name last fall, which was later approved by December 2019.

The announcement was then shared with staff in January who collectively engaged, along with MAPP2Health partners, in selecting a new name for the district moving forward.

The district currently serves the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties.

The district will also be adding a webpage for community members to follow the district’s process of its equity work.

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