U.S. Health Secretary Thompson visits Alaska

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson was headed to Fairbanks Friday, the first stop on a four-day swing through the state.

Thompson's agenda includes visits to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Denali Center at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and the Life Givers substance abuse treatment center.

In addition, a reception was planned at Doyon Ltd., and Thompson will attend a fund-raiser on the Riverboat Discovery II for U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski, the leading Republican contender for governor.

Thompson also will also travel to Galena to visit the village clinic there.

Thompson will also visit Bethel, Dillingham and Anchorage before heading back to Washington, D.C. early next week.

Thompson travels to Bethel on Saturday and Anchorage and Dillingham on Sunday.

The secretary is known for his work to promote healthy living. Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin, is also behind a government push to improve rural health care.

He created a task force on serving rural communities last year. The group's report, released last week, said among other things that rural providers have been hamstrung by federal regulations geared toward urban and suburban communities.

Christine Todd Whitman, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency, is expected to visit Alaska later this month. The two are among a parade of federal officials, mainly congressmen, who are visiting the state during the August congressional recess.

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