To the Editor:
I am a recent graduate of the Community Health program at Potsdam State University. The curriculum is based on community health education. My degree enables me to work with individuals, groups, and communities to address important threats to public health. Prevention plays a key role in our goal, which is to reduce risk and injury related to lifestyle choices.
Prevention, as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, are activities that are designed to stop an action or behavior. It can further be used to describe activities that promote a positive action or behavior, such as getting a mammogram, having a glucose screening, or wearing a seatbelt, just to name a few.
Each year the U.S. government spends hundreds of thousands of dollars treating disease, yet puts little money into prevention. There is an old adage that goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure.”
I bring this up because as I sit here, so many vital programs are being cut. Recently a pregnant and parenting teen program was cut, North Country Adolescent Outreach recently was denied their grant and operations were closed, several other programs are in danger such as Linkages for Youth, and the Family Resource Center located in Gouverneur. Not to mention the Seaway Valley for Prevention Council which is on hiatus, and has also had to cut staff because of funding gaps.
These programs are vital to our community. I urge you to write to our representatives in Albany.
If we do not take action now, we will be paying later; in fact even more money will be needed for prevention programs.
Below our representatives are listed. Please write or call and say “We need prevention programs.”
Addie Russell, St. Lawrence County District Office, 70 Main St., Suite One, Canton, NY 13617, 386-2037; Dede Scozzafava, 93 East Main St., Gouverneur, NY 13642, 287-2384.
Jason C. Matice, B.S.,LPN