Important Meeting for Regional Health Department, July 19
For our readers and engaged community members — there is a very important meeting coming up on Monday, July 19 in Easton.
As many of you know, the Lehigh Valley Board of Health — composed of 11 members jointly appointed by the two counties — has been working on developing a services plan, staffing model, and budget for a regional health department.
In order for the Lehigh Valley Health Department to be established, the plan and budget must be approved by the county legislatures of Lehigh and Northampton Counties. On the evening of July 19, the two county legislatures are scheduled to meet in a joint session to vote on the future of the bi-county health department. It is important for community members to attend and show their support.
The meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. in County Council Chambers at the Northampton County Courthouse, 669 Washington Street in Easton [map]. County officials need to hear that the Lehigh Valley cannot afford to go without a regional health department any longer.
The public health department will provide essential preventative and health education services to currently underserved areas of the Lehigh Valley, while simultaneously accessing increased public health dollars for the region from the state. The Lehigh Valley Health Department would be the first bi-county health department in Pennsylvania, serving as a statewide model for regional collaboration in promoting healthy individuals, families, and communities.
Establishing a regional health department is important for the Lehigh Valley for several reasons:
- It will serve as a single point of contact for regional health needs and allow for more efficient use of public and private dollars through the coordination of prevention efforts across jurisdictional lines.
- Communities across Lehigh and Northampton Counties will have access to essential services, such as: child and adult immunizations, cancer prevention services, education to promote better nutrition and physical activity, chronic-disease management and restaurant inspections.
- In the event of a natural disaster, epidemic/pandemic or other public health emergency, an efficient regional emergency response will be critical in reducing illness, injury and lives lost.
- The region will be able to draw on over $3 million in allocated state funding for public health — money that the region’s taxpayers are leaving behind in Harrisburg.
Your participation at the July 19th meeting of the Lehigh Valley Health Commission can make a difference. Please consider attending and offering some brief remarks (during Public Input) as to why the elected officials should approve the establishment of a Lehigh Valley Health Department.
If you would like to offer your public support at the July 19th meeting or if you have any questions regarding this important initiative, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-893-1062.
For more information and resources on this effort, visit RenewLV’s Regional Health Initiative page. To stay up to date on the latest developments regarding the health department, sign up for our e-mail list on our Join Us page (making sure to check the box next to ‘Health’).