An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

By Dr. Roberta Knorr,  Pediatrician

Today, there are many points of view when it comes to vaccinating children – Community Health Association of Spokane’s newest Pediatrician, Dr. Roberta Knorr, weighs in on the topic.

The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, could not be truer in the pediatric world.  There are so many things now days that parents would never do or let their defenseless child do. You would never put your newborn infant in a car seat without buckling him or her up, or let your toddler play in the bathtub without supervision, allow your 4-year-old to cross the street by themselves, or let your 6-year-old ride a bike without a helmet.  It’s the small things that help keep our children out of harm’s way.

Yet 40% of parents in the U.S. declined or delayed vaccines for their children in 2008. 66% of children remain unvaccinated against influenza annually, despite the fact that influenza causes more than 8% of the fatalities during the flu season.  Children 5 years and under are especially susceptible to serious infections and hospitalizations when left unvaccinated.

There are far more benefits than risks when it comes to vaccinating children. Children who get vaccinated not only prevent serious illness in themselves, but also help prevent the spread of disease to the elderly and other high risk groups.  The average cost of Influenza management and treatment in the U.S. per year is $126.8 BILLION!  The average cost to achieve herd immunity in the U.S.  (getting the majority of patients immunized and protected against serious disease) per year is estimated to be $21 BILLION.  You chose.

Don’t be like Benjamin Franklin who regretted the loss of his 4 year old son to Small Pox because he neglected to vaccinate him.

A Different Meaning of the Word Retirement

Dr. Rutherford is a retired orthopedic doctor. But upon observation, it seemed as though I have a different perspective of what it means to be retired. As he walked in and out of patient rooms with a medical student, he appeared to be as active as any medical staff member. And it was apparent – he truly loves what he does.

Dr. Rutherford has been volunteering at CHAS for the last ten plus years. He can be found one day a month at the Denny Murphy Clinic, in Downtown Spokane. He sees between 8-12 patients each day, depending on the presence of a student. “I love CHAS patients; they might not receive care otherwise, so I am happy to help.” Rutherford said.

In addition to volunteering at CHAS, Dr. Rutherford also volunteers at Dirne Community Health Center, Spokane Guilds’ School, and Project Access (a network of providers who perform services to patients who could not otherwise afford them). Once a year, he travels to New York for six weeks to volunteer his services. Additionally, he spends time training interns, as well as offering continuing education classes for current providers.

When asked why he volunteers, he simply states because it provides something for him that cannot be explained, and that someone needs to help people who otherwise would not be able to get the services they need.

From the time spent with Dr. Rutherford, it is clear that he truly loves what he does, and loves that he can do it around a schedule that is now working for him and his family.

We’d like to take a moment to thank you Dr. Rutherford for all you provide to CHAS and the community at large. Your contributions have benefited so many and your commitment to helping others in need is truly admirable!