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Virginia holding health care work force forum

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- An upcoming forum is set to discuss the health care work force in Virginia.

The forum hosted by the Department of Health Professions Healthcare Workforce Data Center is scheduled to take place on Jan. 9 in suburban Richmond.

Officials say the meeting will explore the implications of the age, gender, diversity, early development, academic preparation and geographic location of the health care work force.

Virginia Secretary of Health & Human Resources Bill Hazel is scheduled to discuss the demand for dentistry, nursing and pharmacy services from Virginia's 8 million residents.

New survey data show that nearly 72 percent of all Virginia dentists are male and that the median age of Virginia's nursing work force is 47. Additionally, almost 13 percent of Virginia's pharmacists plan to retire within the next five years.