TO THE EDITOR: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an enormous strain on health systems in the North Country, requiring them to respond to a multitude of immediate, pressing needs, and they’ve done an admirable job given extraordinary circumstances.

Perhaps more admirable, though, is the work the North Country Healthy Heart Network’s partners have done to continue long term, proactive programs for reducing the risk of chronic disease. Through the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, these organizations are demonstrating a commitment to replicating a successful program piloted by Adirondack Health, Moving Forward Together to Prevent Diabetes.

Now in its third year, the Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition is funded by a grant from the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health. Year one focused on assessing regional and partner capacity, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement, and building stakeholder interest and support; year two was spent developing a plan for addressing those gaps and opportunities.

In 2021, the coalition will establish evidence-based diabetes prevention and self-management programs to annually support at least .5 percent of the region’s diabetic and prediabetic patient population, approximately 144 people per year based on 2020 research. That means individuals looking for support to prevent or better manage their condition will have increasingly more opportunities to join programs that can help. Programs can be found at compasshp.org.

Members of the coalition that will be offering programs include area hospitals and behavioral health agencies, county and tribal Offices for the Aging, the North Country Center for Independence, the Community Health Center of the North Country, Clinton County RSVP, Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Hudson Headwaters Health Network.

ANN MORGAN

Executive Director, North Country Healthy Heart Network

Saranac Lake

 

TO THE EDITOR: In their statements in support of recreational marijuana, Mr. Cashman and Mr. Rosenquest make no mention of the harm it can do to the children of our city and our town.

Maybe they don't know that legal sale of marijuana increases availability to children and teens and does not eliminate criminal sales by those who will undercut the prices of legal suppliers and sell larger quantities to those who want them.

Maybe they don't know that marijuana use by children and teens damages developing brains, increases mental health problems, and decreases motivation and performance in academics as well as participation in sports and other extracurricular activities. Maybe they didn't think about the fact that increased use by parents will damage family relationships and thereby cause harm to the children of those families. Maybe they're only thinking about all that tax revenue. Maybe they will reimburse the schools for the increased behavioral, academic, and mental health interventions that will be necessary.

Maybe they should be more realistic and a little less enthusiastic.

STEVE KRIEG

Plattsburgh

 

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