Allina says it can save $10 million by forcing its RNs into its nonunion health insurance plans, and that then it could use that money toward “improved patient care.” Oh, really? In what way? (Or are administrators just saying what they think the public would like to hear?)
Allina and all Twin Cities hospitals have opposed better nurse-to-patient ratios for years. That would definitely improve patient care and outcome, wouldn’t it? It is alarming to read that some of the Allina Hospitals are being penalized millions of dollars by Medicare in 2016 for subpar performance in relating to hospital-acquired infections and failing to prevent readmissions. Some of the other big hospital systems not only have avoided such fines but hold the distinction of being rewarded for value. Interesting.
Could saving that cool $10 million be a way of helping Allina pay those fines and also be used toward its numerous expansion projects and whatnot? Just saying.
The average age of the nurse workforce is not getting any younger. This should matter to society. Hospital nursing is not easy nor glamorous; benefits need to be there to keep new people coming into the profession. Nurses are there for you 24/7/365 (donning hazmat suits while caring for Ebola patients or whatever is next). Think about it. You or your loved ones will most likely need these skilled, caring RNs in your lifetime. Believe me, you will want the staffing level to be optimal.
Margaret Schons, Savage
ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY
In decision involving rape case, justice morphs into injustice
St. Catherine University President Andrea Lee provided a shockingly bad example of “women in leadership” when she capitulated to bullying by an outside agitator and took some pressure off herself by unjustly punishing an innocent party (“Protests over rape shake up St. Kate’s,” June 17). A young woman with no connection to the school was raped by her ex-boyfriend shortly after he was released from a mental health unit. He is serving a 12-year sentence and will be a lifetime registered sex offender. But the victim wanted additional vengeance by pressuring St. Kate’s into firing his parents, who provided “women in leadership” seminars for the school.
In a civilized society, the state should have a monopoly on enforcing criminal laws. Relatives of criminals should not be punished unless they are accomplices or accessories, and vigilante mobs should not be allowed to intimidate cowardly institutions into taking the law into their own hands. Standing in solidarity with victims of sexual assault does not give you the right to impose unjust, extralegal vengeance on behalf of a victim of rape.
Paul Hoedeman, Edina
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Appreciation for the objective reporting on the efforts of Sarah Super to take out her pain of rape on the perpetrator’s parents. The continuing pain of her experience is clearly real. As the June 17 story documents, the heaping of blame on the assailant’s parents seems misplaced and unfair. After efforts to destroy their lives and livelihood, it is ironic to read the closing quote from Ms. Super: “I don’t want anything to be done out of anger or vengeance.” We should all wish her peace.
Kathy Kosnoff, Minneapolis
Problem touches on issues of money and development policy
I agree with the June 20 Star Tribune editorial that the Legislature did a good thing in allocating money specifically to address racial disparities in Minnesota. As the editorial acknowledges, $35 million is inadequate to address a problem that is literally centuries old and interwoven into the founding of our country. White Minnesotans have been too quick to applaud ourselves for trying and too slow to fully acknowledge the extent and impact of the racism. Structural racism is so persistent in our state that the Legislature needs to address this through reforming its structure. It should create a House and Senate Racial Disparity Policy and Finance Committee that would oversee the $17.5 million a year that has been promised in ongoing funding. The committee would also scrutinize bills to see if they had racially disparate outcomes. If we are serious as a state about ending racism, we must incorporate into the structures of our state systems like this that expose and work to end racism.
Bobby King, Minneapolis
The writer is a community organizer.
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The writer of a June 18 letter called a proposed 40-story residential tower in northeast Minneapolis a “tower for white privilege” and urged the City Council to deny the private development based upon “de facto segregation” concerns. I support the city’s efforts to increase population density near its core. Such a policy helps to contain urban sprawl and alleviates the increasing traffic and pollution that sprawl creates. In addressing segregation concerns, the writer does not offer any viable alternatives, other than to suggest that residential developments that might attract wealthy white people should be denied. How exactly does this stance encourage racial integration?
Dan Eittreim, Minneapolis
To thrive or to choose suicide? Either way, respect the choice
I believe Sarah Bridges actually got the “Me Before You” message all wrong (“How ‘Me Before You’ gets the message all wrong,” June 21). The movie parents of the disabled character Will Traynor did not just warm up the car and drive off to Switzerland to expedite the assisted suicide he desired. They tried every means possible to stop their son, but as an adult he had the right to make his own choice. I think it’s wonderful that Bridges has her son in her life, but let’s let the Wills of this world decide for themselves, just as we all have that right. His decision does not and should not affect us.
Jane Schoening, Edina
Prepare an additional form for critical situations
The June 12 article on the failure of a health system to reliably access patient’s health care directive documents is an important one, and the June 19 readers’ comments expressing dismay are justified. Advance care planning is a multistep process. Individuals need to explore their wishes and values around end-of-life care, in conversation with their families, loved ones and health care providers. The wishes need to be documented in a valid health care directive, which must be readily accessible in their health record. And there is one final step for those who do not want to be resuscitated should their heart or breathing stop. They need to have a signed Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. This form translates those end-of-life wishes into a medical order that EMS teams are authorized to follow. The form must be signed by your medical provider to be valid, and should be available at your primary care clinic.
In an emergency where the heart has stopped beating, the person has essentially “died.” The EMS team is not able to read through a health care directive at that critical moment. The POLST form is an additional layer of insurance that “do not resuscitate” wishes will be followed.
Maureen Tyra, Plymouth
The writer is advance care planning coordinator at North Memorial Health Care.