The news of looming cuts at Public Health — Seattle & King County is worrisome indeed [“Big cuts possible at King County public health clinics,” Local News, June 13].
Our health department is one of the nation’s strongest, and has for years set the standard for local health department performance. Weakening its epidemiology functions is like removing the gauges and warning lights from a car: We lose the ability to detect and manage problems, even as we’re driving on more and more challenging roads.
And, weakening clinical services risks stranding those who need these services most. Ultimately, this will affect us all, through higher health-care costs and overburdened emergency departments. Clearly, our elected officials have many priorities to balance, but we need their vigorous support for public health funding.
Howard Frumkin, dean of the UW School of Public Health