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Wednesday, July 31, 2013
In communities across the country, people have improved their health and well-being with the support of public health programs by changing the way they live through limiting tobacco use, eating healthier and becoming more physically active.
Yet, these recent advances are being dangerously compromised by recent cuts to proven community-based health programs.
The current health delivery system is a patchwork of services, programs and regulatory authorities neither designed for optimal performance nor funded for sustainability and success.
At a time when government budget shortfalls throughout the Roanoke area are facing even tighter restraints, federal, state and local health departments are being asked to do more with less.
The capacity for health professionals to prevent and respond to some of today’s pressing health challenges or simply provide basic public health and preventive services is in grave danger.
As a result of Congress’ failure to act, U.S. public health agencies’ programs are being severely impacted by across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration.
These devastating cuts are, in essence, a cut to state and local communities that compromise our health, security and economic growth.
Their impacts will compound year after year over the next decade if Congress does not find a well-thought-out solution to address the deficit.
Improved funding for the public health system is one critical piece of the puzzle that could save millions of lives. It’s time to act on what we know is the right thing to do.
For our congressmen and senators, the message is clear: Long-term health consequences and costs far outweigh the short-term savings. The public health community strongly urges renewed and desperately needed public health funding.
We cannot afford to wait. The future of our nation’s health depends on it.
Weather JournalMidday update: More ice likely later