An opinion piece in Maryland Matters praised state and local public health efforts as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic, but also called on leaders to recognize the daily importance of public health professionals. The author, Leni Preston, urges elected officials to ensure local health departments are properly supported with sufficient funds and supplies not only in times of crisis but everyday for the unseen and often underappreciated work they do keeping the population safe and healthy.
Governor Hogan, the members of his administration, and those who are working on the front lines deserve our sincere thanks for providing true leadership to address the current dangers. But, we must also ask that they seize the opportunity afforded by this crisis. One positive step would be a strategic planning process with two primary goals:
- Reverse the funding cuts of the last decade to ensure that local health departments and community-based health clinics and organizations have all resources they need to do their jobs effectively each day; and
- Identify resources required for the next public health crisis and make a plan to secure these when and where they are needed. Face masks, ventilators, and hospital beds now are in short supply. We also will need larger numbers of medical professionals and support staff.
The 2020 Maryland General Assembly passed, and the governor signed, critical legislation to address COVID-19. Now they have an important role in setting policy and providing funding to secure the health and well-being of all Marylanders in the future.
For more information:
Opinion: As Public Health Emerges From the Shadows, It’s About Time (Maryland Matters)