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Guest Column from State Representative Tim Ginter: Talking about Health Services in Our Local Communities

March 29, 2016
Republican Newsroom

Press Release Poster

My job as a legislator, and representative of the 5th Ohio House District, is to shape, discuss and initiate legislation that supports the well-being of my constituents. With all of the changes and challenges in healthcare, it is important we regularly discuss what can be done to improve our healthcare system in Ohio.
I was fortunate to recently be appointed to the Ohio Legislative Committee on Public Health Futures. While the name may seem long and complex, the focus of this committee is simple: improving public health services in our local communities.

The information gathered by this committee is crucial to understanding how we can improve our population health planning in Ohio. There are many questions that must be answered for Ohio to move forward in an effective manner. Questions such as: What are the resources available to each community?  Do the citizens have access to healthy food? How do they access care for their medical needs? What sort of preventative care programs are they taking part in? Where are primary care services located?

Our goal is to assess various reports released in recent years that review the effectiveness and efficiency of health departments across the state.  By evaluating these reports, we can make further recommendations and draft our own report, using what we know about our local health services in the state.
The first meeting of this committee took place in early March. It focused on public health accreditation and the implementation efforts throughout the state. While the importance of accreditation was emphasized, the committee also heard testimony from several county health commissioners from across the state. Our own County Health Commissioner, Wesley Vins, provided excellent testimony addressing concerns with the accreditation process and the hurdles it places before many of the local health departments. Chief among these concerns are the timeline and costs. In response to these testimonies and at the suggestion of committee members, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health has agreed to create three sub-committees to examine LHD concerns before moving forward. I have also personally met with our local health commissioners to discuss these same issues and for that reason I have volunteered to serve on one of the sub-committees to examine ways the state can assist.   

Our local health department commissioners and I have also discussed ways we can improve the health and wellness of our constituents and increase access to medical care and local health services. I appreciate their dedication to the well-being of the citizens of Columbiana County and their desire for future conversations. Together we can build a stronger and healthier Ohio.
As always, I encourage you to contact my office on this matter or any other state topic. Feel free to call my office at (614) 466-8022 or email me at I look forward to hearing from you!