A decade or so ago, an array of groups got together, organized by RenewLV, to pursue what we thought would be an easy project: creating a bi-county health department. Our two counties are joined at the hip; so much so that the connection that is the city of Bethlehem is actually in two counties. Like Patti Duke in The Patti Show, we look alike, we act alike sometimes we actually are alike, what a crazy pair! That might be because we once were the same county. And, while merging the counties isn’t a bad idea, we could at least work together more. The most obvious opportunity would be to create a bi-county health department.
It was a brilliant idea then and, according to Vicky Kistler, director of Allentown’s health bureau, is a no-brainer now. It is tempting to strut our I-told-you-so stuff, but there is no doubt that such an organization is desperately needed today. Actually, right now. As in, right this very minute. Actually, more than a year ago.
The time is right: a plague is upon us. Every one of us is a witness to our own failures; we have seen the enemy and it is us.
So, let’s work on this again – a do-over. Let’s get the business community, municipal and county officials, the nonprofit sector, the philanthropic sector, the hospitals and others who get the importance of such a move together before Covid-22 strikes. Yes, I know, it will cost a little bit and everyone hates paying taxes but how much would you be willing to pay to get ourselves out of this mess?