Letter to the editor: Support Tri-County

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Support Tri-County

In July of this year, the Douglas County commissioners sent a letter to Tri-County Health Department with the intention of ending their 50 year partnership in order to establish their own health department for the county. The impetus for this were orders issued by the health department during the COVID-19 pandemic to which they were opposed. To date, there has been no definitive plan presented to TCHD as to how and when this may occur. In the meantime, TCHD has to set budgets and attend to critical priorities with the eventuality of Douglas County’s departure still pending.

Currently, Douglas County per capita for many services rendered is $7. In a previous study looking at the feasibility of establishing a standalone health department for the county, it was estimated cost per capita would be in the neighborhood of $40 — a clear example of economy of scale for a current population of 370,000 persons.

No doubt, dealing with a pandemic has made for some very difficult decisions but they have been done in the best interests of all three counties. TCHD and the board of health are independent agencies by statute and cannot and should not be governed or influenced by political decisions.

If Douglas County is to continue to benefit fully as a member of TCHD, protecting the health of our citizens, then let your voices be heard in support of remaining in partnership with this outstanding organization on Nov. 3 and beyond.

Marsha Jaroch

Lone Tree (board of health member for Douglas County)

Paulette Joswick

Castle Rock (board of health member for Douglas County)

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