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May's President's Message

Monday, May 18, 2015  
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Remarks from NALBOH President, Margaret Brink

Due Diligence:

As a board of health member, are you diligent in your role? What were your reasons for accepting when asked if you would serve on the board of health? Our answers may vary but the basic reasons may have included “caring for others” and “watching our tax dollars”.

As board of health members, we need to be aware of water, sewer, safety and healthy environmental issues in our communities. Caring for others must include the safe and healthy conditions in all neighborhoods. If we are hearing, asking or watching the issues with health of the public in mind, we are exercising due diligence.  Assuming most board of health members have home and health insurance, a preferred family physician, a personal dentist, a favorite grocery market and an accessible hospital or medical clinic, we can appreciate what our own families have, our “comforts” of access to healthy living. We also need to assure the available access to health care for everyone in our public health department service area. If we are not comprehensive in our caring, then maybe we are not doing our due diligence. Please be that board of health member who demonstrates caring for others.

As a local city councilwoman, watching the city’s tax dollars is 24/7 for me. As a board of health member I assume the responsibility of watching the fiscal health of our health department. We need to be aware of the financial health of the local and the state public health budgets. We need to be watchful in the coming months of political change, and follow the conversations about the public health dollars at the federal level. Watching our tax dollars is part of our due diligence as board members. Ask your health officer/ director what she/he needs from the board of health in supporting the financial health of the department. Our stewardship is important for public health. Please be the board of health member who is exercising due diligence. Advocate for public health resources that are beneficial to the local and state health departments and federal public health partners. Be the board of health member who is watching the tax dollars.

Please write to share the experiences you and other board of health members are having. There are great examples, plain and simple to complex and difficult, of due diligence. Please tell us about your board of health.

Thank you for your continued caring and watching with due diligence.