Winnepesaukee Public Health Council Letter

A letter written to their Senators by Lisa Morris, NHPHA Board Member and the PHN Coordinator of Winnepesaukee Public Health Council, detailing anticipated impact of the budget in their region

In 2013, the Winnipesaukee Public Health Council was developed to advocate for improved health outcomes and better coordination of services among public health partners. The Council is comprised of community leaders representing multiple stakeholders from the towns within Belknap County, Franklin, Hill, Danbury and Northfield. Representatives include leaders from municipal government, health care, social services, first responders, faith, planning, business, education, public health, elder services, and citizens.

The Council has identified priority health issues in the region (based upon local health assessments). These priorities include:

  • Access to Health Care
  • Assistance in Navigating through the Health Care System
  • Substance Misuse
Much progress has been made to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable health care. The New Hampshire Health Protection Program has provided health care access to people, many who have never had insurance before.  Health literacy is provided through primary care practices and other programs to improve individual and community health outcomes.  Community Health Centers (FQHC), provide the critical safety net with state support for those with very low income and social determinants of health compounding their personal health care needs   These improved outcomes will benefit individuals, families and assist in the economic vitality of our community.  Please support the continuation of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program (NHHPP), and the funding of Community Health Centers

Navigating the health care and social service system can be a daunting task.  Helping individuals and families identify their needs and assist them in connecting with services and supports are vital services for our citizens.  This is especially true in individuals/families seeking long-term care services.  In a region that is getting older, these services are a lifeline, part of the safety net preventing more costly institutional care.  Please support the continuation of the statewide network of ServiceLink Resource Centers.

Our family, friends and neighbors are reeling from the growing trend of substance misuse.  Prevention treatment and recovery services are scant and are unable to service the growing demands for care.  The impact to individuals, families, communities, and to our local economy is extensive.  It is critical that we provide the services and supports needed to change the course of the lives of our citizens with addictive disorders.  Please support the continuation of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program and support a substance use disorder benefit to those individuals on regular Medicaid for FY 17.

The collective result of the massive changes to the safety net that the House budget proposes would result in shifting expenses down to the local town services fire, police, welfare, which are already struggling with their own budgets. Not only will this be a burden to the county, it will not be a solution for the people affected.  We know that in the past, down-shifting has resulted in no-shifting and the needs of the community members you represent will not adequately be served.


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