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Worcester, Mass. aims to be healthiest city in US by 2020

Jun 5, 2012 7:35pm
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(NECN: Katelyn Tivnan, Worcester, Mass.) - There's a new program in Worcester, Mass. aimed at bringing medical experts and people together to come up with winning ways of reducing illness and obesity in the next few years.

Becoming the healthiest city in the country by 2020 is the goal of a new health initiative in Worcester.

The program was announced Tuesday and combines the work of city health officials, hospitals and community partners.

The group will focus on developing a holistic approach to making the city healthier on every level.

“We're not looking at the absence of illness; what we're looking at is total social, economic, medical and spiritual well being,” says John O’Brien, of UMass Memorial Health Care.

The community health improvement initiative will combine research with public input.

They are reaching out to the public through a series of meetings this summer and want to see what they identify as areas of concern.

“They may be telling us about violence, unsafe places to play so their kids are sedentary because they can't get out and play,” says Dr. Michael Hirsh, acting commissioner of public health.

The process will combine the city's resources to achieve one common goal.

“Reducing obesity, focusing on cancer, reducing arthritis, but how do we braid all those together to have a single strategic plan,” says Tim Garvin, with United Way of Central Massachusetts.
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