Letters to the Editor

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HEALTH: Families need public health support

Letter by Peggy Zurfluh, Tacoma on March 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm with No Comments »
March 28, 2013 9:27 am

Re: “Family support centers could close due to funding cuts” (TNT, 3-21).

Soon after I read the article, I was privileged to attend the second annual gathering of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department public health nurses and social workers.

This group represented five decades of nursing services to Pierce County families which included home nursing visits for pregnant women and new mothers, classes on infant and child care, 15 well-child clinics and adult health screening clinics.

These services were provided in partnership with local pediatricians and other doctors. Education and early intervention was provided to our most vulnerable citizens. Some examples of conditions identified were failure to thrive in infants, child abuse, and multiple other physical and emotional conditions.

One purpose of public health is to develop services for the community when there is a clear need and no private health care providers are able to provide these services. Considering the current community climate, those services might not be duplicated by the private sector if the family support partnership is dismantled.

As our Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department director said, if the family support partnership is disbanded, “It will never come back.”

 

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