June 22, 2017

As prepared for delivery. The speaker may add or subtract comments during his presentation.

Thank you. Good morning. I want to thank Towanda Brooks and her staff for all their hard work. There is a wealth of information available. Very impressive.

As a doctor, I didn't want to miss this event. I have spent most of my life talking about health, trying to preserve health. And I know healthy practices and behaviors must be part of our work. HUD is more than policies and programs. We are friends, neighbors, as well as co-workers. Every day. It is you and me, the people who are employed here. Each one of you is essential to HUD. Every one of you.

Good health preserves of freedom, our dignity, and our self-sufficiency. It is the way we stay independent and enjoy life.

I want you to stay healthy. Good health must be part of our environment. Our work together must lead to a healthy lifestyle. Part of the job. This has always been true at HUD. Back when the department began, the first Secretary was the legendary Dr. Robert Weaver. He often spoke of the human side of our work. Dr. Weaver asked that we look at housing as a "human solution." He wanted us to become the human side of government. And just as we want our public and assisted housing and homes to be healthy, we must work for good health for ourselves and our family and our co-workers. We owe good health to those we serve, our family, and the many who depend on us. Now and for the future.

This month we celebrate and encourage healthy homes. But I also want to celebrate and encourage healthy people. I want you to be as healthy as possible. The vendors, displays, screenings, and information available today deserve our careful attention. This information will help us stay safe and well.

Our theme today is "Healthy Living - One Size Fits All." We all benefit from good information, a sound diet, exercise, and the right choices. We must see ahead. Frontload our lives with healthy living. Avoid disease, disability, premature death. Prevention is the best course of action. We must be pro-active through sensible, smart decisions.

I would like to challenge you - to set goals in diet, lifestyle, and exercise. Set benchmarks for yourself. Write them down. Make a record. Keep a log. Then, put your resolutions into action. For example, avoid sugar, salt, and the wrong kinds of carbs. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables. Get outside more. Exercise each day. A half hour in the gym, or walk a mile or more. Discover the pleasure and joy of healthy living.

Good health is good government. In fact, one of the Founding Fathers was a physician, Dr. Benjamin Rush. He was an original signer of the Declaration of Independence and a powerful advocate for freedom, both political and personal, in our government and in our own life. He argued for good health practices, and urged our colonial citizens to adopt a healthy lifestyle, to exercise, practice sanitary hygiene, live in safe homes, and avoid disease through clean water and air. He thought healthy living was as much a part of citizenship as passage of laws and governance.

Today, here, we are part of his legacy. Public and assisted housing, and good health practices, are government at its best, its most noble and enriching. Here at HUD, we need to be good role models and advocates of healthy lifestyles.

So, again, welcome. I hope all of you take full advantage of the resources available in this room. As we service the nation, let us also find healthy living as a way of life.

Thank you.


Content Archived: January 2, 2019