In Albuquerque, New Mexico's metropolis, we're supposed to be intelligent, responsible city-dwellers. However, the moviegoers at the Guild Cinema, located in Nob Hill on Central, are Neanderthals. My daughter and I enjoyed a plethora of Oscar-nominated short films at the eclectic cinema, but upon exiting the packed theater I was astounded. Littered all over the floor were popcorn buckets, cups, used Kleenex and other unmentionables. This well-to-do, high-on-the-economic chain of people who came to see three and a half hours of movies left the place in ghetto-fashion. I wanted to say something. Perhaps as they stepped into their Land Rovers, Saabs and other Euro-sedans, I should have yelled out, "Get your asses back in here people and pick up your shit you've left behind!" I'd like for the theater owners to give everyone an intelligence quotient test next time. I'm certain these beings, some with doctorates, will score high on intelligence but low in common sense!
To Your Health!
Congratulations to the Alibi and to Whitny Doyle for a great defense of health care reform [Miss Diagnosis, “Get Your Hands off My Health Care Reform,” Feb. 17-24]. The article was clear and balanced about the legislation and the need to improve it. I know how busy a grad student in family nursing can be, and this shows knowledge and intelligence plus a desire to communicate with the public.
Health Care Smealth Care
[Re: Miss Diagnosis, “Get Your Hands off My Health Care Reform,” Feb. 17-24] First of all, no one has a right to health care.
As I read this rant I began to wonder if it was [Jerry Ortiz y] Pino who wrote it. It said it wasn't, but I still have my doubts. The author didn't provide a single source where her "facts" could be authenticated. I read rants like this and I treat them as such. It's not serious reporting, after all it is in the Alibi, it's just commentary.
Editor’s note: It’s too bad you feel that way about health care, because you’re sorely in need of an eye exam. ( ... Shazam!) The sources that Alibi health columnist Whitny Doyle, R.N., draws from are provided in all her pieces—in this case, that includes studies by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act text itself ... they’re right there in the article. What’s more, when you read the story online at alibi.com, each reference is hyperlinked to the original source text. It’s indeed a commentary—a meticulously researched one that’s been fact-checked by the best of them.
Using Emergency Departments as Primary Care
I applaud your hard work on this piece [Miss Diagnosis, “Get Your Hands off My Health Care Reform,” Feb. 17-24].
As a former ER nurse at UNMH, I know firsthand the ways in which the ER is used inappropriately. This misuse is concerning because those who really do need to be seen end up waiting excruciating hours to get their health care needs met.
Recently, I read that Presbyterian hospital has a new idea to de-bulk their ER and save money. They are calling it the "ER Navigator Program." In this program, they weed out the non-emergency cases and give these patients an appointment with a Presbyterian primary care provider. The primary care providers see these patients either the following day or the day after that. The program is already working as evidenced by the fact that these patients are keeping their primary care provider appointments. The Presbyterian Hospital ER undoubtedly has seen a reduction in ER traffic and will likely see a reduction in ER staff burnout. I'd say that Presbyterian hospital has just hit the jackpot on an innovative way to address the problems with which the health care system has left our hospitals.
Albuquerque's Mayor Berry has his own innovative way of addressing health care costs. He is addressing Albuquerque's homelessness and their lack of housing and their frequent use of ER services. Not to mention there are enormous costs we taxpayers have to pay for rescue calls made to the police and fire departments regarding homeless individuals being “found down” in the streets, usually heavily intoxicated.
Every day in the ER, we would have numerous homeless patients who were brought in by the police for intoxication. They slept it off once triaged and given a room in which to see a physician. Often they didn't want to see a physician, but wanted a sacked lunch. Little did they realize, they had just delayed other patients from seeing a physician for a true emergency. I spoke to one homeless man about this and his reply was, “I didn’t ask to be brought here!” Homeless or not, all of our patients are important to us. Mayor Berry's Heading Home Project just may reduce the amount of homeless misusing the ER as a safe, warm, food-filled place to sleep. This project aims at obtaining housing for homeless individuals. Thus, the ER is one step closer to being a place everyone can come to for true medical emergencies.
The misuse of ER resources is a touchy subject because some people don't intentionally misuse it. In fact, I met hundreds of patients who were out of a job, uninsured and didn't think they should come into the ER until their health problems were worthy of an ER visit. In other words, these patients put their health at risk by delaying having their health care needs addressed until they were ill enough to go to the ER. Little did they know that resources were available to them that would have allowed them to be seen in an outpatient clinic early in their disease process. Such resources include the UNM Cares program.
My overall point is, it's not just up to the health care reform bill to change the way we offer and accept services, but rather it's also up to us to find ways to use resources and make them readily available so that needs can be met earlier rather than later. In the ER, we all deserve to get our health care needs met, but not at the expense of stepping in front of someone who has a true medical emergency.
Seeds of Love
[Re: Food, “We’ve Created a GMOnster,” Feb. 17-23] I'm so glad you covered this. It's extremely disconcerting to have to fight for keeping food—just food—and not another source of subversive toxins created by agribusiness. The Center for Food Safety will be hearing from me!
Grapes of Wrath
[Re: Food, “We’ve Created a GMOnster,” Feb. 17-23] Aside from the fact that there's absolutely no evidence that GM food is in any way harmful, every living thing is the product of the genetic modification of something before. Get real.
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