Issues:

Implement a County Health Department

Delaware County is one of the few counties its size in the nation without a county health department. The county must implement a health department run by medical professionals who can coordinate our response to emergencies like the overdose crisis or any other threat like bio-terrorism, an outbreak of Ebola, the West Nile virus, Meningitis, an uptick in AIDS cases, Hepatitis C, sexually transmitted diseases, a new flu strain or the effects of an environmental hazard. A county health department ensures tap water we drink, restaurant food we eat and air we breathe is safe. A county health department will participate in developing new policies and standards that address existing and emerging challenges to our community’s health while enforcing a range of laws to help keep us safe. A county health department will work with local universities and hospitals conducting research to make sure issues effecting us are addressed by these stake holders and provide our staff training to maintain and co-ordinate standards of excellence in providing medical services. A county health department will work with local hospitals, treatment facilities and doctors to insure that adequate levels of care are available to meet the needs of those suffering from mental health and substance use disorder. Our loved ones should never be told that a bed is not available to them or a doctor certified in an area of treatment is not locally available. A county health department will insure that facilities are expanded and doctors are recruited to meet local needs. A county health department will insure that the Federal Parity Act (2008) is enforced, providing best medical practices to those suffering from mental health and substance use disorders. Implementing a health department is the only way to insure that the county receives its share of grants from the state and federal governments as well as private foundations.

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