Our health is an excellent indicator of sustainability. For example, life expectancy and infant mortality have long been an indicator of health worldwide.
As for health care, while we need to advocate for real health care reform on a national level, there is much we can do on a personal level, and in Franklin County, much has been done.
Wellness. On a personal level, there is much we can do to promote wellness, and in fact promoting wellness should be our first line of defense with the health care system as a safety net, rather than vice versa. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Developing healthy lifestyle habits eating well, exercising, managing stress, and avoiding unhealthy habits is key to both our physical and mental health. There are many clubs and businesses that offer outdoor and indoor activities such as walking, hiking, biking, boating etc. For example, in 2009, the YMCA will launch Walk Franklin County for the Health of It and numerous recreational opportunities.
Health Care – Franklin County offers a wide range of conventional and alternative medical options including an excellent hospital. We will mention only one unique facility here. See the Yellow Pages for other listings and the Town of Greenfield’s Web site for their health and safety listings.
Community Health Center of Franklin County – Started in the 1990’s by Sarah Kimball, we have a unique facility that is community-owned, that provides health care to all on a sliding scale. More specifically they “provide comprehensive preventive and primary care services to all who need or desire such services, without regard to income, insurance status, ability to pay, or past medical history.” Located at the Cherry Rum Plaza on High Street, we can support this effort by using it, volunteering, and/or donating.
Greenfield Health Study. In 2010, Greenfield Community College nursing students did a comprehensive assessment of Greenfield from a health point of view.