This past week's "At a glance" column noted County Council member Greg Fox's opposition to Healthy Howard receiving an award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This reminds many of us of the worthy reasons for the council member to take just the opposite position.
For example, the African American Coalition of Howard County, at the inception of Healthy Howard, spent many months traveling to over 30 county churches introducing the program, resulting in many residents being thankful for the opportunity to receive the health-care benefits of the program. Even more successful was an early initiative this year involving AACHC and St. John Baptist Church, which sent people throughout the village of Long Reach identifying those needing health care. Contact was made with hundreds of residents, most notably senior citizens and low- and moderate-income families, expressing a need for some sort of health care.
Moreover, the Healthy Howard model is expected to be attractive to other jurisdictions, educating residents of those jurisdictions of the consequences of bad health habits.
Then, with the cost of health care what it is today, broad nationwide implementation of the preventative aspect of the Healthy Howard, Healthy Howard Coaching, could reduce the cost of health care in the country by the millions.
Council member Fox must be reminded that many of us here in the county aren't children of icons, meaning the council member should discontinue his intransigence toward preventative health-care policies, specifically the Healthy Howard type.
Sherman Howell is vice president for research and agenda planning for the African American Coalition of Howard County.