Gene Nixon

Health commissioner

Summit County Public Health

Not surprisingly, the downturn in the economy including job availability, housing affordability and poverty rates negatively affects health in our community. Paradoxically in these trying times, when many families and individuals most need access to public health and social services, federal, state and local funds for these programs have been cut, eliminated or diverted.

In Summit County, local governments have addressed the stresses of strained resources by developing innovative and unique affiliations, creating cross-jurisdictional partnerships, sharing resources and staff and even consolidating departments and agencies. By leveraging and coordinating our public service capacity and aligning our agendas out of necessity in Summit County, we are leaner yet stronger for it.

There remain many social and health concerns in our communities and significant degrees of variation in health status within and between communities. Contributing factors to poor health including poverty, educational attainment, housing or health-care access demand broad based strategies coordinated across public, private, faith-based and philanthropic disciplines. As our economy slowly recovers, I have great confidence that we are now more than ever stronger and more able to address these issues.