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Prevention, wellness at core of ACA

July 9, 2013
by Joe Goldeen
Stockton (California) Record

A wise Stocktonian said on many occasions, "To prevent is to cure." As far back as the early 1980s, Dr. Guillermo Vicuña's hope was to inform, to educate, to provide as many people as possible with the basic knowledge to maintain good health and improve their prospects for a long life.

Vicuña, a Stockton dentist who retired and returned several years ago to his native Argentina, spent 23 years dedicated to Su Salud ("Your Health"), Stockton's grass-roots free health fair that transformed into a national model.

There's another transformation taking place in health care today that reminds me of the spirit of Vicuña's dream. It's right there in the Affordable Care Act: changing the health care establishment's focus from one of treating disease to one promoting prevention and wellness. While Vicuña might chafe at the thought of comparing his dream to the ACA - he has said "It doesn't go far enough" - he might soften his stance upon learning about the law's Prevention and Public Health Fund.

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