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Editor, The Beacon:

As a citizen volunteer who serves the West Volusia Hospital Authority, and a past director of operations for a Medicaid health-maintenance organization, I fully support Commissioner Judy Craig and candidate Jennifer Coen for the WVHA board. 

Both candidates possess the skills to be stewards of the tax dollars, and have the foresight to recognize the immeasurable benefit the WVHA offers.

Preventative health care and access to medical professionals will reduce hospitalizations and emergency-room visits and save money for our community.

In addition to primary and specialty care, nonprofits provide outreach services to members of our community who live in the margins and cannot access traditional care. 

The focus of the WVHA board is public health. During a pandemic, the board should be on a heightened alert to respond to these demands. Yet, it finds itself fighting for its survival from political ideologies whose mission is to defund the authority.

Now is not the time to throw the most vulnerable in our community off the only health care services available.

The WVHA board just reduced its budget by $1 million. The WVHA is also embarking on a cutting-edge medical-delivery system that streamlines and consolidates patient care, which will result in cuts to future budgets.

“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?” — Isaiah 10:1-3

Ending the WVHA coverage not only betrays our common humanity, it ignores the fact that we all have a stake in this. It undermines the values we have as a people: to take care of each other.

There are factions on the WVHA board who wish to do exactly the opposite of what is needed and required today to help keep this community healthy.

I urge you to preserve the work accomplished by the WVHA. Please vote for Judy Craig and Jennifer Coen.

Elmer Holt

DeLand

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