(Original Position, No longer in effect)
STATEMENT OF POSITION ON HEALTHCARE IN MANHATTAN-RILEY COUNTY
(revisions printed in March 1999 and July 1994; printed in the VOTER in 1986)
The League believes that quality healthcare, including mental and dental healthcare services, should be available to all persons. The League has identified criteria for healthcare in the community and will cooperate with other groups in the community to achieve these goals. The League's goals are to support those policies which:
- Assure that basic services necessary to maintain optimal health are available;
- Remove social and/or economic barriers that prevent some people from receiving basic services;
- Create awareness of the need to fund basic healthcare services for all; explore new approaches to healthcare funding; strengthen support and funding for the Manhattan-Riley County Health Department;
- Promote wellness, prevention of disease, and individual responsibility for one's health;
- Reduce unnecessary duplication of hospital services;
- Encourage availability of a variety of qualified healthcare providers, for example, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, and home health personnel;
- Encourage the participation of healthcare providers, consumers, and public health officials in healthcare planning.
Recommendations regarding the composition of the Manhattan/Riley County Board of Health, in view of Resolution No. 100196-B passed and agreed to by the Governing Board of the City of Manhattan, on October 1, 1996 and adopted by the Board of Riley County Commissioners on October 10, 1996 are:
I. Composition of the Board:
A. The County Commission will appoint:
- one (1) Riley County Commissioner
- one (1) physician
- one (1) citizen with professional competence or education in infectious diseases (DVM, Ph.D)
- three (3) citizens at large, none of whom is a healthcare provider, or elected County or City official, one of whom shall be recommended by the rural townships and live in the unincorporated area of the County, and one of whom shall have experience in rural health issues.
B. The City Commission will appoint:
- one (1) City Commissioner
- one (1) nurse, BSN preferred
- one (1) dentist
- two (2) citizens, neither of whom is a healthcare provider nor elected County or City official, one of whom shall have experience in public health and/or the environment.
C. The City Manager, or designee, as advisor and ex-officio non-voting member
Explanation: The League of Women Voters of Manhattan/Riley County, Kansas has a longstanding interest in and concern with healthcare in the community. In 1964, after more than a year's study, the League published the results of its study of health and welfare in relation to county government and the history and function of Memorial Hospital. In 1978 the League reached consensus on the composition of the board of the Riley County Health Department and took action to implement those goals. Since that time the League has studied the crisis in healthcare experienced in our community as well as in other communities across the nation.
In 1985-1986 community healthcare options were the local study focus. The process that resulted in the formation of this position included workshops, public forums, and interviews with healthcare providers, appearances by experts in health care at Lunch With League and other general meetings, and frequent opportunities for discussion. As a result, the members of the League gained an understanding of the trends in healthcare and the implications for the future.
In 1993-1994 the composition of the Manhattan-Riley County Board of Health was again studied. As a result of this study changes were recommended in the County resolution of July 21, 1980 which established a joint city-county Board of Health as provided by KSA 65-205 and which also established the composition of the board. The recommended changes were approved by the League of Women Voters Board in March 1994 and presented to both the City and the County Commissions.
League of Women Voters of Manhattan/Riley County Position on Local Health Care 4/11/2015
The League believes that quality public health care should be available to all persons.
The League will advocate and cooperate with other community groups to:
1) Assure that basic services necessary to provide comprehensive quality health care for all persons are available and accessible. We believe that basic services include, but are not limited to, dental care, vision, hearing and mental health, as well as preventive treatment and education in healthy and safe living.
2) Identify and remove social and economic barriers, including transportation availability, which interfere with persons from receiving services.
3) Promote sufficient funding to provide the basic services (above) and especially to strengthen, support, and fund the Riley County Health Department.
4) Promote outreach and public education to encourage individuals and families to take responsibility for their own health care.
5) Provide for substantive public access to and participation in the proceedings of public bodies responsible for health care, along with measures to ensure openness and accountability in their planning, decision-making, and record-keeping.
6) Encourage availability of and accessibility to a variety of agencies and providers that link to each other so that a full range of health services is maintained.
7) Encourage wellness through strong health education and preventative practices to address problems specific to this community by promoting healthy environments in areas such as housing, parks, pedestrian travel, safe exercise, and a living wage.
8) Increase availability of a variety of qualified health care providers and services.
For consideration at LWV/MRC consensus meeting 1/17/2015
For consensus consideration at LWV/MRC Annual Meeting 4/11/2015
Approved at Annual Meeting, with amendment 4/11/2015