Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Rev. Chris White: keep NHD staffed and funded

The following letter, written by Chris White, Pastor of Norwood Presbyterian Church, was distributed to City officials at last Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

September 25, 2008

To Whom It May Concern:

It has been my pleasure to serve as Pastor of the Norwood Presbyterian Church for the last five years. Unfortunately, during that time, I have seen and heard from many people who have urgently needed help in obtaining basic health needs: flu shots, car seats, home safety assessments, general health care information, etc. Fortunately, Norwood has had an excellent local resource for such much-needed services: the Norwood Health Department. What a relief it has been for me to be able to refer folks to the Norwood Health Department, knowing they would get the attention and care they so desperately needed.

As a Norwood homeowner, I am very proud of Norwood and the many services it provides for its residents. The Norwood Council is to be commended for ensuring that such services are available. Much has been said about the excellent “response time” our police and fire departments provide. The Norwood Health Department has just as impressive of a record in responding in a timely manner with highly skilled care to the many needs of our community. However, it appears that the services provided by the Norwood Health Department might not have been given the level of recognition and appreciation it deserves. In the five years I have lived and worked in Norwood, I have had to call on the Norwood Health Department for emergency care many more times than I have for service from any other organization.

To borrow a phrase from our real estate friends: location, location, location. Most of the folks I have referred to the Norwood Health Department would not have been able to get help if the facility was located outside of Norwood. They would not have been physically, mentally, nor emotionally able to travel outside Norwood to seek help. In addition, several church members and friends, who have been unable to leave their home due to health reasons, have been blessed to receive regular visits from the Norwood Health Department staff. I am deeply concerned that such services would not be readily available if the Norwood Health Department became absorbed into a county-level organization.

I understand, only too well, that monetary funds are a limited resource and that distribution within a budget must be done very carefully. I pray that the Norwood Council will agree that for Norwood to continue to be the safe and healthy city it is, we must keep the Norwood Health Department within our city limits, fully staffed, and adequately funded. Thank you for your attention to my concerns.


The Rev. Chris White