Nursing home group pushes quality care by member...

Letters to the Editor

August 17, 1998

Nursing home group pushes quality care by member facilities

In response to the recent focus on initiatives designed to improve the nation's long-term care industry, the Health Facilities Association of Maryland (HFAM) would like your readers to know of our work here in Maryland to safeguard the health and safety of this vulnerable population.

Our association consists of more than 155 member facilities representing the full continuum of care including long-term, post-acute, sub-acute, assisted living, adult day, rehabilitation, hospice, and home health services.

We take very seriously the responsibility for care entrusted to us by our residents and their families and have remained steadfast in our goal since our inception in 1948.

Let me state in the strongest possible terms that members of the HFAM do not tolerate neglect in our facilities ("Clinton calls for tougher oversight of nursing homes," July 22).

We work to equip long-term care providers with the important resources they need to deliver the highest quality services in an environment that is dignified and secure.

In addition to our educational activities, HFAM also works with government and regulatory agencies to ensure quality of care and address problems within the industry.

Criminal background checks, one of the initiatives currently championed by President Clinton, is already required in Maryland, and HFAM has always supported this initiative.

As President Clinton said in his statement, the long-term care industry has made tremendous progress in its quality of service in the past decade, and we are committed to continuing that progress.

The majority of nursing facilities in Maryland provides high levels of care for Marylanders, and we believe the work of HFAM has been an important factor in this outcome.

We continue to embrace initiatives that crack down on poor quality and ensure high quality care.

We concur with President Clinton when he states that "the job is far from over." We have long understood that the job is never over.

Robert C. Bristol


The writer is chairman of the board of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland.

Shelters must work to find homes for pets

The executive director of the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recently wrote a letter to The Sun bragging that it has an adoption rate for its animals of 40 percent.

That's nothing.

The Defenders of Animal Rights in Phoenix has an adoption rate of more than 90 percent.

This may be due to the fact that it frequently advertises in The Sun.

Karl Berger


Weighted grading system would not be fair to all

I had to disagree with the editorial on weighted grades ("Some B's worth more than A's," August 7). The editorial claimed that weighted grades were a good idea because it is harder to get an "A" in an advanced course than in a regular course. However, there are several issues that it failed to take into account.

I am a high-school sophomore. My school schedule involves taking four years of band and German as well as every mandatory course. With a schedule like that, I can cram in only four advanced courses.

Another student took only two years of Spanish and one year of chorus. This left him more room on his schedule to tackle advanced courses. He signed up for every advanced course our school offers.

If the two of us were in the same grade and we both got straight A's, he would finish with a 4.28 grade-point average while I would have a 4.14. Therefore, because I was more active in foreign language and music, neither of which offers advanced classes, I would have a lower GPA. There are several other music students who have not been able to schedule many advanced classes because they don't have room for both.

Also, many schools offer more advanced classes in one area than in others. For instance, our school offers one advanced English course, one advanced government course, one advanced math course, two advanced history courses and three advanced science courses.

Students planning for science-related careers and take as many science classes as possible end up with a higher number of advanced classes than students who plan careers in humanities. Unless a school offers equal amounts of weighted courses in every field of study it is impossible to be fair.

Students should not be forced to choose between being valedictorian and taking the classes they truly want.

Rachel Armstrong


Clinton can blame himself for causing public display

I do not believe anyone but President Clinton has put his life on display. While I personally cringe at the tax dollars being spent on such an investigation, I cringe more at the need for it.

Those who don't worry about the small lies don't stop there, and cheaters don't, either.

As far as the economy is concerned, Mr. Clinton has been riding the wave set in motion by Reaganomics and deregulations in previous administrations.

Pamela White


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