Homebound patients can get house callsWe are writing in...

LETTERS

November 17, 1997

Homebound patients can get house calls

We are writing in response to Myra Welsh's Oct. 31 letter to the editor to let her and other readers know that there are programs that have nurse practitioners and doctors who will visit homebound patients.

In the Geriatric Nurse Practitioner House Call program at Bon Secours Hospital, a nurse practitioner visits homebound patients and provides primary care for them just as a physician would.

Nurse practitioners are licensed in Maryland to perform physical exams, order tests and prescribe medicine. In the Bon Secours program, nurse practitioners are supervised by physicians, who will accompany them on visits, if necessary.

Many of our patients have dementia, like the woman Ms. Welsh describes, and are unable to get to a doctor's office without going to extreme measures.

We agree that there should be more programs which serve the homebound population in this day of managed care. The House Call program not only helps families, it saves the health insurance industry money that is lost on unnecessary, costly emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Christie Lamping, M.D.

Maureen Kelly, CRNP

Lynda Davis, LCSW-C

Baltimore

Humanitarian groups against paying ransom

Thank you for the Oct. 29 article, "Kidnapping foreigners becomes Chechen industry."

The article vividly describes the tragic reality of conditions in Chechnya and the surrounding area, thus providing information TC that is not generally available.

International Orthodox Christian Charities is continuing all possible initiatives to establish the whereabouts of its two kidnapped staff members. To date, no contacts have been initiated by those who have abducted our employees.

A note on the question of ransom: while it is true that ransom demands are routinely made, it is also true that the firm policy of IOCC and other humanitarian agencies is not to pay ransom, but to negotiate other terms for the release of abducted humanitarian workers.

The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky

Baltimore

The writer represents International Orthodox Christian Charities.

Bike paths are unsafe for bicyclists

I want to thank Henry J. Knott Jr. (letter, "Add bike path along MTA's light-rail line," Nov. 11), but he is off track.

Since the Mass Transit Administration has made the light rail bicycle-accessible, having a bike path parallel to the line would not be practical.

The term "bike path" is a misnomer. A bike path becomes a pedestrian walkway that tolerates recreational bicycling.

As a instructor for the League of American Bicyclists Effective Cycling program, and having thousands of miles of road experience, I can attest to the fact that a bike path is the most dangerous route that a bicyclist an travel.

Bike paths were created by transportation engineers to get bikes off the road for the convenience of motorists, not for the safety of bicyclists.

Bicyclists are safest when sharing the road and, in the words of cycling expert John Forester, "when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles."

Cartoonist John Overmyer should have drawn a safety helmet on the character in the accompanying cartoon, which demonstrates unsafe cycling.

Bradley I. Schwind

Baltimore

Small town's crime is not Baltimore sized

As someone who lived his first 22 years in Baltimore and the past 23 years in New Hampshire, I found staff writer Peter Hermann's comparison of crime in Baltimore and in his home town of Bow, N.H. (Nov. 2), interesting though stretched.

Yes, bring the town manager of Bow and a watch commander in South Baltimore together and both would bemoan a culture awash in drugs and violence. But there the similarity would end.

I would walk any place in Bow, where there are few streetlights, at any time without a second thought. I would never walk past some corners in Baltimore, night or day, and would venture on other streets with great apprehension.

"Homicide" set in Bow, N.H., would be but a mini-series, with no plot worthy of an Emmy. For that we are grateful.

John Fensterwald

Concord, N.H.

Trade policy should be simple

I have followed with great interest President Clinton's endeavor to pass his "fast track" authority to negotiate trade agreements. Even his own party members are uneasy to back what to me appears to be a blatant attempt to directly repay foreign contributors to their election campaigns.

I find it hard to understand why Congress continually wrestles with our trade agreements with other nations. Since the United States is the richest market in the world, I believe that our trade agreements could be easily negotiated if we passed a law stating that our trade barriers would be established by whatever trade barriers other countries put on us.

For example, the Japanese would have the same restrictions put on the import of their cars as they place on the import of ours.

Albert M. Harris

Towson

Op-ed is no place for advertisements

The Sun must be getting desperate if it has to resort to paid advertisement on its Opinion Commentary pages.

This opposite editorial page has traditionally been one of the few that was sacrosanct from advertising.

Surely that quarter-page could have been filled by one of the nature articles that are returned unpublished.

Understanding the natural world and the invaluable services it provides for sustaining all life on earth is far more important in the greater scheme of things than political or economic opinions or paid advertisements.

If monetary needs require advertising, please at least correctly identify the page as Opinion Commentary Commercial Ads.

Ajax Eastman

Baltimore

Pub Date: 11/17/97

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