Protecting the health of the public is the responsibility of individuals and of government, but one that the LePage administration proposes can be done effectively by primary care providers alone.

That’s not going to happen. Think about this: Will your doctor show up in the day care centers around the state and help them improve nutrition and increase physical activity and educate parents about both?

Will your docs show up at town council meetings when they’re making decisions about increasing bike lanes and adding sidewalks so kids can get to school safely?

Will docs show up when schools are trying to figure out how to write an e-cigarette policy or what to do about the corner store where they know kids are getting their tobacco products?

Or maybe docs will start and lead the community discussion about how to make our neighborhoods the healthiest place possible for people of all ages – and make sure someone follows through on that.

Or maybe they will start setting up vaccine clinics in schools when we have the next flu outbreak. Or maybe not.

These are all the things, and many more, that we rely on our public health system to do. The Fund for a Healthy Maine is nontaxpayer dollars that help. Let’s let docs do what they do best and let the public health system do what it does best – improve the health of all people in our communities.

Karen O’Rourke