* Cost containment, with goals of reducing preventable hospitalizations and hospital readmissions.
With West Virginia ranking among the unhealthiest states for poor nutrition, high tobacco use, lack of exercise, and obesity, along with high rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, Fucillo said it is imperative that the workgroups take action.
"We're to the point now where we can't just engage in more studies," he said.
Committee Chairman Ron Stollings, D-Lincoln, a physician, agreed.
"Sometimes, we can't get things moving until there's a crisis," Stollings said. "If you look at these things, and think there's not a crisis, think again."
With the state-run Public Employees Insurance Agency, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Plan providing health coverage for about 750,000 of the state's 1.8 million residents, Fucillo said the DHHR can play a key role in the initiative.
However, he said it also will require the commitment of the private sector, and of individual West Virginians.
"If individuals cannot take responsibility for themselves in terms of engaging in healthy lifestyles, this will fail," Fucillo said.
"We're at a point where we have to try to tie everything together," Stollings said afterward. "We've studied this a lot. Now, we have to implement it."
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.