Tag Archive for: Health Care Reform

Santa Clara County unveils Healthy Workers program

While the debate on health care reform rages on in Washington, local leaders in Silicon Valley are getting it done. From the same coalition that created the wildly successful Children’s Health Initiative in 2001 comes a new effort to provide affordable health insurance to the employees of local small businesses. The new program, called “Healthy Workers,” kicked off Monday with a press conference on the campus of Valley Medical Center.

Through a unique partnership with small businesses, community organizations, and the public health care system, the coalition has created a new insurance product that is affordable and comprehensive. Check out the video below, featuring Bob Brownstein of Working Partnerships USA and Elizabeth Darrow from the Santa Clara Family Health Plan.

As H1N1 fears subside, support for Public Health Departments should not

Fifty-seven million Americans were infected with H1N1 since last April, according to a new estimate for The Center for Disease Control released today. That’s roughly the population of all of Italy. While thousands did sadly perish form the disease, the rate of mortality was nowhere close to previous flu pandemics, thanks in large part to the aggressive response by local, state and federal public health agencies.

Of course, the danger from this pandemic and others is still present. And while we breathe easy that our worst fears about H1N1 never materialized, major weaknesses to our public health infrastructure have been exposed, so says Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, public health officer for Santa Clara County. Many public health agencies, including the one in Santa Clara County, are have seen budgets and staff slashed in recent years, slowing the ability to monitor and respond to major public health crisis.

As we think about health care reform in this country, it is critical that we remember how essential Public Health Departments are to our safety net. It seems we dodged a bullet this time with H1N1 – but it’s a game of Russian Roulette not worth playing.