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Working amidst the debate

The heated and seemingly never-ending debate on health care reform has nearly made all of us sick in one way or another.

Whether you favor the recent passage of the bill and are sick of the obstructionist acts of Republicans or you feel the measure goes too far and you are sick of the political techniques of the Democratic leadership to pass the bill — there is a good chance that you find yourself exhausted, run-down and tired of the entire discussion.

But while the federal government has wrangled with this legislation — and state governments have cut back on the funding of Medicare — local citizens have taken the lead in solving some of the more immediate healthcare needs and finding real solutions to real problems.

During a recent meeting of the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community, the group’s members and friends gathered to celebrate the successes they have had in recent years and talk about new projects aimed at making Suffolk a much healthier community.

The group was the driving force behind the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, which just recently moved into a new and high-tech facility; it started the Suffolk community garden project that helped grow nearly a ton of fresh produce for needy families and charitable organizations; it inspired Suffolk on the Move, which aims to “broaden the definition of active lifestyle” and get city residents to improve their health through daily activity; and much more.

In short, the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community saw a need in the community and developed solutions.

Its strength as an organization and as a driving force in the Suffolk community comes from the volunteer spirit of its members and their core belief of helping their neighbor.

We can always find a way to celebrate groups such as the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community and challenge others to join in.

For more information about this organization or to learn how to join, call 238-3261 or visit www.suffolkpartnership.com.