published Friday, June 10th, 2011

Maintain vital health services

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Maintain vital health services

On behalf of the 1,058-member Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, we urge the County Commission to maintain the services provided by the Chattanooga-Hamilton Health Department.

Health Department services benefit the entire county, including but not limited to emergency preparedness, primary care, identifying and treating communicable disease, protecting children against communicable diseases through immunization, women’s health services, homeless health services, maintenance of vital records (such as birth certificates and death certificates) and environmental protection services.

Equally important, the Health Department performs community health research and engages the community to address those broad health risks. These efforts led to the creation of countywide initiatives such as the Step ONE (Optimize with Nutrition and Exercise) program, which plays a critical role in promoting good health for our citizens.

Loss of these services will impact our community in ways that are not immediately apparent. For instance, services that target our high infant mortality rate prevent infant deaths and high costs for premature infants who require lengthy stays in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Other critical roles include: diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community; enforcing laws and regulations that protect health and ensure public safety; mobilizing community partnerships to identify and solve health problems; providing or linking people to needed basic health services; and mobilizing the community in health emergencies.

The Health Department has protected and improved the health of our community since 1921. Any loss of critical public health services would cause immeasurable harm to our county and our citizens.

COLLIN CHERRY, M.D.

President

JOHN McCARLEY, M.D.

President-Elect

NITA SHUMAKER, M.D.

Past President

Don’t let Israel be destroyed

The Times page is getting bolder and bolder with their editorial “A message for Netanyahu,” June 6. The editorial actually states that Israel should go back to 1967 borders.

I supported Israel after a writer denounced Israel for not giving in to Palestinian demands and for killing those who attacked their borders.

This summer, there is going to be a flotilla of boats taking arms to Hamas in Gaza and Israel will stop them, and these same liberals will say Israel is the aggressor. Wake up, America. If Israel is wiped off the face of the map, we are next.

TOM FRICKE

Spring City, Tenn.

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