Printed letters, April 15, 2012
April 15 is, for some, a day for under-the-breath muttering. It is that day when, for all of the effort one can muster, the foot dragging of an entire year must finally come to an end. It is that day when “big government” reaches into our pockets and takes its “fair share.” For a few angry Americans, it is a sad day, a day of mourning. Not for me, but I’ll get to that.
It’s not like Coloradans to complain about pitching in, or doing their part. After all, our state was born of the wild Western frontier. We built much of what surrounds us with all the grit and moxie of that American frontier spirit. Only the strong survived out here in those days, and there was strength in numbers. Some things aren’t all that different today. There is, as always, strength in unity. Shouldn’t we all do our part in equitable proportion to our successes?
As a Navy veteran, I have personally benefited from the national tax revenue, both while on active duty and after, as a student drawing the post 9/11 GI Bill. I have been very fortunate to have access to the kinds of benefits that I have. But I know that they don’t come free, nor are they cheap. I look forward to the day when I can point to the attainment of my degree as the lever that lifted me up and into a professional position in this great society of ours.
I actually want to reach that point when, on April 15 of each year, I gladly settle up with my government, giving my fair share, proportionate to my successes, so that opportunities may continue to exist for my family and others, for generations to come.
JUSTIN M. KOLENC
St. Mary’s physicians work closely with law enforcement
It was with disappointment that I and my colleagues in the St. Mary’s Emergency Department read the March 24 article regarding a physician not signing an SBI (serious bodily injury) form. Reality is quite different than that which was portrayed in the article, as we work very cooperatively with law enforcement and our judicial colleagues.
In summary, a Grand Junction police officer asked someone who was not the treating physician for an assault victim to sign the SBI form. That physician appropriately declined to sign the form, as it would be inappropriate, and perhaps even a violation of federal privacy law (HIPPA), for a non-treating physician to sign this legal form.
We, in the St. Mary’s ED, always sign these forms when we determine that an injury qualifies as “serious bodily injury.” These forms are signed by the treating emergency department physician, either on-shift or in the days following an assault case. Indeed, the treating physician in this case did sign the SBI form in the days following the patient visit. And we’re frequently subpoenaed to provide our professional opinion about such cases for the district attorney and other entities.
As physicians in the ED, we evaluate and treat every person who comes, or is brought to us, regardless of any factor, including the ability to pay. We see every illness or traumatic event that can happen to the human body, and too frequently we see the victims of various kinds of assault, as well as the perpetrators of those assaults. We do this 24/7, every day, all year.
We greatly appreciate the support of St. Mary’s Hospital and our specialist and primary care consultants, and the security staff who keep us, staff and patients safe. We work very closely with local EMS, Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol and Colorado West Detox and Psychiatric facilities, among many other entities. And we nearly always enjoy the greatest professional respect and cooperation from our colleagues in these fields.
We have been, and will continue to be, a resource to our law enforcement and legal colleagues. We respectfully ask that an unjust and incorrect picture not be painted of our group that does so much to serve our community.
Colorado West Emergency Physicians
City and county should continue CMU partnership
In reading The Daily Sentinel editorial, “A partnership about prosperity, knowledge,” I realized my head was nodding in agreement. Having been involved in a number of economic development projects over the years, I can say that our community is blessed to have such a vibrant and growing economic engine in the form of Colorado Mesa University in the heart of Grand Junction.
It is worth noting that all of the recent growth at CMU would not have been possible without the strong support of the city of Grand Junction and Mesa County. Our elected leaders in the Grand Valley rightfully deserve a bunch of credit for their vision and willingness to invest in CMU. Without city and county support in recent years, we likely would have a sleepy commuter college at 12th and North instead of a robust, growing university.
As funding from the state of Colorado continues to dry up for higher education, it is incumbent upon all of us to think creatively about how to keep CMU thriving in challenging times. It is my hope that the city of Grand Junction and its partners at the county will seriously consider “doubling down” on their investments in our economy and our kids by helping CMU build a new classroom building.
It really is about economic development for our community.