11/09/2012 09:54 am ET Updated Jan 08, 2013

Congratulations, President Obama! Our Work Will Continue Stronger Now More Than Ever

Dear President Barack Obama,

Congratulations on your second term, Mr. President! Shortly after your inauguration in 2009, Mary's Center was proud to host First Lady Michelle Obama for her first visit to a nonprofit organization and has tremendously appreciated your family's ongoing support.

As you are intimately aware, our nation is currently at a crucial turning point regarding public health. I applaud your championing of health care reform and urge you to stay strong to ensure that it is upheld. My decades of experience in the public health field lead me to attest that your health care reform initiative is a sound investment in the health of our nation.

The knowledge to do the right thing for yourself and your family is the first step toward halting the ever-increasing price of health care. Every day, we see the smiling faces of families learning how easily they can prevent diabetes, hypertension and dental cavities in their children. Knowledge is powerful! It spreads like wildfire from neighborhood to neighborhood -- that is what preventative care is all about. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, our health outcomes, which consistently surpass national averages despite the disparities in income and education of the population we serve, reflect the effectiveness of our health promotion program, regular health screenings, and high-quality care providers. Preventative care is cost effective and maximizes productivity by keeping healthy people engaged in their workplaces.

Second, we have seen how necessary it is for young adults to have the option to be covered by their parents' health insurance until they are 26 years of age. Through this important time in their life, our future leaders need the stability of health insurance in order to stay healthy and to move up the economic ladder before they start their own families. As you must know from your own experience, an economically stable family is more prone to plan their own family and become their children's first and best teacher.

Third, new initiatives to channel chronically ill individuals out of emergency rooms and into ongoing, patient-centered care structures need to be supported. Our goal in primary care is to prevent, stabilize, and eventually eliminate health problems, and this can be done most successfully in patients' home environments in the course of their daily life. This cost-saving model allows hospitals to be used appropriately for acute care and life-threatening situations and offers the hope of better medical outcomes.

Finally, I urge you to continue to prioritize the education of our children -- from early childhood through college. Thanks to your support of the DREAM Act, children can look forward to a full education and follow through with their commitment on their sense of allegiance to this great nation. A nation lacking quality education opportunities for all will also lack in the safety and security of its residents. We must ensure that our children and future generations have the skills and opportunities they will need to support themselves. For those still struggling on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, it's our duty as a nation to meet their basic human needs while providing opportunities for economic success.

President Obama, we've still got a lot of work to do! Thank you for reigniting hope for change in our nation. Your service and commitment to this wonderful nation is deeply appreciated. We promise to work with you to get the support you need to ensure a better future for all of our children. In their lives, every second counts -- they can't afford to wait.

Yes, we can!