Foundation Leaders Call For Greater Support For Public Health, Not Criticism

Foundation Leaders Call For Greater Support For Public Health, Not Criticism

In a joint op-ed to the Prince William Times, Patricia Mathews, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation; Susie Lee, executive director of the Potomac Health Foundation; and Brian Castrucci, DrPH, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation called for greater investment in Northern Virginia’s public health infrastructure after a recent article publicly criticized the Prince William Health District’s pandemic response.

In the snippets below, the authors emphasize the importance of public health departments and why placing blame solely on the Health District is “seriously misguided.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has lifted the veil on the important role public health plays in protecting our communities’ health. We are now well aware that state and local public health departments investigate disease outbreaks. But they also provide clinical services such as immunization, health screenings, TB clinics and STD and HIV services…

Yet now, during the worst public health crisis in 100 years, there is criticism over pandemic response. The fact of the matter is that local public health department staff and leadership have worked tirelessly to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, while continuing to provide essential services. Moreover, those same public health departments have been regularly starved for funding, which has led to increased vacancies and a lack of competitive salaries…

If we take nothing else from COVID-19, it is that it has demonstrated for us that our safety, security and, ultimately, our economic prosperity are dependent on a well-financed and adequately staffed state and local public health infrastructure.

Click here to read the full op-ed.