Public health is a priority for all
In the early 1900s, Kansan Samuel J. Crumbine, a public health reformer and physician, conducted two campaigns to fight tuberculosis. He campaigned to replace the “common” drinking cups with paper cups, and convinced brick manufacturers to imprint “Don’t spit on sidewalk” and sell them statewide and beyond. (Perhaps you’ve seen one.) Tuberculosis rates fell.
Today, public health challenges and campaigns are different. Diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and other chronic conditions have skyrocketed. We are grateful for the Kansas Indoor Clean Air Act, but tobacco addiction is still a problem, and e-cigarettes use is growing fast, largely unchecked.
April 3-9 is National Public Health Week. Please thank everyone you know who is involved in public health.
Remember the great strides made in the past and the opportunities in the future. Remind Sedgwick County commissioners, who serve as our Board of Health, of their responsibility to support public health.
Public health should be a priority for all.
Carolyn Gaughan, Wichita
Executive Vice President, Kansas Academy of Family Physicians
April is Autism Awareness Month, and Sunday is World Autism Day.
Autism, which varies a great deal in severity, is the fastest growing disability in America. There is still no known cure for autism, and people with autism live an average lifespan.
Raising children with autism can take an enormous toll on the entire family. The divorce rate is over 80 percent when raising a child with autism.
Our family, like many families who have children and adults with autism, are well aware of what it is like to live in crisis. We struggle to secure appropriate services for our son, and we couldn’t do it without the help we receive from service providers and direct support staff.
Though our son graduated from the school system last year and transitioned into adult services, his autism wasn’t cured. He will need the same level of supports and services to keep him healthy and safe his entire life.
So many young adults with disabilities graduating today languish on the wait list. They are losing a lot of the wonderful gains they achieved while in school. We can provide more for them, and we must ensure they receive services.
Please join us Sunday and wear blue in support of all of our children and parents who look for acceptance and understanding each day.
Aldona Carney, Wichita
Life for all
President Trump’s agenda includes cutting social, environmental and other programs in order to funnel money into building up the U.S. military and constructing a wall along the Mexico border. This is not a pro-life agenda.
I challenge those legislators and everyday citizens who consider themselves “pro-life” to go beyond the issue of abortion when considering what it means to hold up life as sacred.
Necessary programs that provide humanitarian assistance should not be forgotten, as well as our responsibilities to provide all children with a quality education and ensure environmental protections for our planet. The threat of limited access to health care is also detrimental, as it puts profits over people.
Building up our military will only push other governments to do the same, fueling distrust that destroys opportunities for non-violent solutions. Walls to keep those out who are desperate for a better life threaten ethical immigration reform.
I call on all those who consider life sacred to fight for a government agenda that truly promotes life for all.
Ann Fetters, Wichita
When will the pundits learn that health care costs are driven by insurance, not controlled because of it?
President Trump was never to be one to cure the errors of the Affordable Care Act, any more than President Obama was one to avoid them. Except for members of the Freedom Caucus, a status quo that has exhausted its abilities remains firmly in place, and a much-needed paradigm shift still too far off.
The Freedom Caucus is representative of a growing sentiment prompting the nation to come to terms with its historic level of debt and lack of interest for welfare reform, which is largely responsible for the debt. Throwing ever-more money at how health care services and products continue to be delivered is not genius. Rather, it is very much the definition of insanity.
It remains the heaviest of crosses for succeeding generations to bear that there still are not enough Democrats and Republicans to make the mission of government one that addresses ways and means to lessen the numbers needing assistance rather than increasing them.
We live in a stagnant time that negatively reaches into all socio-economic classes. The beacon call goes out to whoever may have the formula for the economic primer.
Ron A. Hoffman, Rose Hill
Hello? Anyone there? I’m trying to find the two senators who were elected to represent the state of Kansas. Has anyone seen them? Heard from them?
There was a sighting that involved one of them making a bad joke about mammograms. But aside from that, both senators are missing in action. We don’t even see them on the local news anymore.
I have sent e-mails, written letters and called my senators. Aside from an automated, immediate response to my e-mails that thanked me for writing, I have heard nothing.
I tried to attend their town hall meetings during their last break. Alas, they were unavailable. One would think that a guy who helped them get elected would at least get a response.
It is very frustrating to take several hours out of my life to communicate with people whom I depend upon for guidance and representation and to have those efforts ignored.
We’re in a volatile geopolitical time. The future of health care, our judiciary, our economy, taxation and foreign relations are tiptoeing across the sharp end of a razor blade. As citizens of Kansas, our only mode of direct communication or influence is through our elected officials. And both our senators are missing.
Don Samuelson, Wichita
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