Coen comments on Sedgwick County budget proposal

August 4, 2015

The following letter was authored by KHF President and CEO Steve Coen and submitted to publications in Sedgwick County. Coen urges Sedgwick County Commissioners to not cut funding for public health programs, which provide a valuable community service and save lives.

Far too often, discussions of health and wellness begin and end with a focus on health care. We talk about changes in health insurance, advances in health care technology and new patient care models.

Yet for all the changes in our health care, one truth remains the same: No amount of caring for the sick or injured can equal the benefit of preventing health problems before they occur.

At the forefront for Sedgwick County has been the local health department. It plays a critical but often unrecognized role in promoting and preserving the health of our citizens, which also has implications on the business community.

A healthier workforce brings higher productivity, fewer workdays missed and lower health insurance costs. Healthy people live in healthy communities — and businesses flourish as a result.

As our community seeks to grow, develop and thrive, we must have a population secure in the areas of health and wellness. Funding for the county health department is on the chopping block. Tell the Sedgwick County commissioners that a strong public health infrastructure is essential to each and every one of us.

When it comes to local health departments, it is truly an investment with long-term value.

Steve Coen, Kansas Health Foundation President and CEO

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