Letters to the Editor for April 18, 2014

Despite actions of some priests, church does good

To the Editor:

The news has spotlighted the damages suffered by the Catholic church due to the evil acts of some priests.

You cannot condemn the whole church for the actions of a few.

Catholicism is more than a handful of priests who don’t know what it means to be a priest. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and 67 million in the U.S.

Every day the Catholic church feeds, houses and clothes more people, takes care of more sick people, visits more prisoners and educates more people than any other institution.

In the time of Jesus there were no hospitals. The sick were huddled at the side of the road, abandoned by family and friends. The very essence of health care and caring for the sick emerged through the church in direct response to the value and dignity that the Gospel assigns to each human life.

In the United States the Catholic church educates 1.6 million students every day at a cost of $10 billion a year to parents and parishes. If there were no Catholic schools, these same students would have to be educated in public schools, which would cost $18 billion. The Catholic education system saves American taxpayers $18 billion dollars a year.

In the field of secondary education the church has more than 230 colleges and universities in the U.S. with an enrollment of 700,000 students.

The Catholic and non-Catholic students educated in these schools and colleges go on to occupy many of the highest positions in any field. In terms of health care, the Catholic Church has a nonprofit hospital system comprising 637 hospitals, which treat one in five patients in the U.S.

Catholic Charities in Chicago provides 2.2 million free meals to the hungry and the needy in that area. That’s 6,027 meals a day – just one small example of the church’s enormous contribution. Every city has hundreds of stories like this. We don’t ask the needy if they are Catholic – we just ask them if they are hungry. Rediscover Catholicism, it may be old but it leads to treasures.

Marge Miller
Coon Rapids

Overtime for nurses a safety concern

To the Editor:

Quality of health care and access dominate in today’s politics. Politicians have made health care – Obamacare – a center piece of their campaign. The health care policies are hoped to limit overtime for nurses. Nurses get recognized as they deliver high quality health care as an important piece of nursing.

Federal regulation allows employers to increase forced overtime for hourly paid nurses, because salaried employees don’t get paid at a time and half. What is the outcome? Many nurses working overtime but, never getting rewarded for their extra effort.

Health care facilities will continue to pay overtime to nurses because of the nursing shortage which is even believed to continue until late 2020 maybe. Access to health care and the quality of health care has been affected severely with the nursing shortage. Working overtime is unsafe for both patients and nurses, and I believe this is the driving reasons why nurses are leaving the profession, worsening the ongoing nursing shortage.

To meet patients’ health care needs employers are having nurses work more and more overtime, sometimes mandating overtime. Honestly, do we really want nurses working overtime even with incentives?

The lives of patients are solely in nurses hands. Nurses, we have gained the skills that are required to monitor patients and be able to recognize any changes in patients assigned to our care daily. We are able to recognize changes in condition inpatients, vital signs, and medications. Giving a wrong dose of medication or missing an irregular heartbeat because a nurse’s attention span is decreasing will affect the quality health care for patient in both hospital and long term care facilities.

I honestly believe that health care policies both at all states and federal levels should include the issues about overtime for nurses and limit the number of hours nurses should work per week in order for a nurse to operate, effectively and safely as they handle patients. Its not an easy thing to talk about, but patient safety should be a priority.

Orina Machoka
Coon Rapids

Community rises to the challenge

To the Editor:

I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to those who attended, made a donation, or sponsored the Alexandra House 2014 Hope Gala held at the Tournament Players Club in March.  With their support our event was a huge success –  raising over $100,000

Our event sponsors included: Connexus Energy; Nystrom & Associates, Ltd. ; Bromley Printing; Mercy & Unity Hospitals; The Mowry Domestic Violence Protection Fund  of Mercy & Unity Hospitals Foundation; James & Pamela Deal; SBS Group of Companies; International Parts Supply; Anchor Bank; Corazzo Bookkeeping, Inc.; Rasmussen College; Jackson Lewis; Matt Entenza; Velocity Tech Solutions; Carlson Toyota; Polaris Industries; St. Paul Family Dentistry; 21st Century Bank; Evolve Systems; Highland Bank; Minnesota School of Business; Mpls Central Labor Union Council; Northgate Liquors; Corrective Care Chiropractic; Rasmussen-Northeast Bank Foundation; Rotary Club of Blaine & Ham Lake; Ken & Jane Daniels; Hi-Ten Service Center; Whitney Properties & Management; David & Susan Carolan; Steve & Paula Wells; Klein Bank; Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.; HOM Furniture; and the Tournament Players Club.

All nonprofits are challenged each and every day to raise the revenues they need to continue to do the important work of helping to make their communities a place where everyone can thrive and contribute.  We are so thankful for all of our community partners who help us meet this challenge because without their support we could not exist.  Again, thank you to all of you who helped make the Hope Gala so successful and fun!  If you want to learn more about how you can join our efforts please go to our website at www.alexandrahouse.org or call us at 763-780-2332.

Connie Moore
Executive Director
Alexandra House, Inc.

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