Stopping disease starts at local level

Not one city in Snohomish County is contributing a dime toward ensuring our public health system is strong and ready to respond to health situations that impact us all. Communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and the emergence of new diseases like Ebola have our U.S. public health systems in the spotlight. Some 850 babies were recently exposed to TB in El Paso, Texas, and Ebola tragically continues to affect families in West Africa and across the globe.

When we shine a light on our public health systems in Snohomish and King counties, we see years of budget cuts and now upcoming reforms that thin out public health’s core work. Eighty full-time staff positions since 2008 have been eliminated at the Snohomish Health District. As much as we are shocked by the lack of infrastructure for public health in developing countries due to crippling poverty, we need to strengthen our core public health programs here in Snohomish County. This is possible with your support, but you must speak out. If we don’t invest in public health at the community, state, and national level, the minimum will get done and vital programs that we take for granted will disappear.

Teresa Rugg, master of public health

Director of TB Photovoice

Snohomish

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