(Charlottesville, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health’s Thomas Jefferson Health District (TJHD) will change its name to Blue Ridge Health District, effective January 2021. This change reflects the District’s commitment to ensuring that public health services are inclusive and welcoming to all of the communities served. Blue Ridge Health District also aligns with other health districts in Virginia where majority are named after regional geography.
The District's Director requested permission from VDH Central Office to change the District’s name in fall 2019 and the District’s Management Team approved the name change process and timeline in December 2019. TJHD’s Management then shared this name change announcement with all staff in January 2020, and engaged staff and MAPP2Health partners in selecting the new name in early spring.
“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,” said Dr. Denise Bonds, TJHD District Director. “Our mission is to ensure the health and wellbeing of all community members and it is critical that our name reflects all of the communities we serve.”
The Thomas Jefferson Health District serves the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson counties. As of January 1, 2021, TJHD will be the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD). Over the next few weeks, the District will be adding a webpage where community members can follow the District’s process on organization equity work.