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Letters to the Editor 

by Inlander Readers

Big Mac Attack -- Former president Clinton's coronary bypass surgery should be a wake-up call for the millions of Americans whose chosen lifestyles elevate their risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heart disease and nearly 500,000 die each year. The lifestyle risk factors are a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol, smoking, and lack of exercise.

Scores of studies conducted in the past three decades demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that replacing animal fat and meat in our diet with vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains lowers substantially the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. These diseases account for 1.3 million American deaths annually. A plant-based diet contains no cholesterol or saturated fat, but ample fiber, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients for a long and healthy life.

Choosing a wholesome plant-based diet is a snap these days. Every supermarket carries a rich variety of veggie burgers, soy dogs, soy-based lunch "meats," microwave-ready dinners, dairy-free ice cream and a huge selection of vegetables and fruits. All we need is the will to live.

Allen Howard

Spokane, Wash.

How Many VPs Does it Take... -- I'm an LPN with 36 years of "nursing" experience, 16 of those at Sacred Heart Medical Center. The hospital has seen budget cuts over the last few years, of 3 percent to 5 percent each year on food and nutrition, housekeeping, nursing staff and supplies. At the same time, we watched the administration continue to create new vice presidential positions. During this recent layoff, administration stated that all departments would see cuts. Administration was affected by laying off two secretaries!

In 1988, SHMC had seven vice presidents. When recently asked by the UFCW Union they were unwilling to give the actual number. The rumors are 13 to 17 vice presidents, but no one knows for sure. Why can we run a country with one vice president but a hospital needs so many? I do not see the justification of keeping so many highly paid people who do not do patient care.

They say we have a mission, but I say they have lost sight of that mission because they are too far removed from it. When was the last time any of them cared for or visited a patient? When nurses care for patients, we do not know or care if they are able to pay. We care for each patient with the same respect and dignity that all human beings deserve. How the administration can say this layoff will not impact patient care is beyond me. It is a direct impact on patient care.

Tess Rosean

Spokane, Wash.

Publication date: 09/16/04

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