Printed letters, Oct. 3, 2010

No ‘opt out’ of

physician supervision

Since 1909, the tradition of the nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is well-established to extend the care and plan of a physician within a scope of practice for which the nurse is trained.

This training does not encompass diagnosis or independent decision-making, is years shorter, less rigorous and based upon supervision as compared with that of a physician. Training a physician anesthesiologist requires eight or more years of coursework and clinical practice in a setting that is unpredictable and constantly evolving.  In a recent letter to the editor, Kathy Akers says “70 percent of rural Colorado” is served by CRNAs without a reference. Feeling uncomfortable “under the supervision of a doctor who has little or no training in anesthesia” requires addressing that specific situation and not further complicating it by freeing her from supervision.

St. Mary’s Hospital is staffed by physician anesthesiologists with no CRNAs. The remaining hospitals in Grand Junction have a very small number of supervised CRNAs. Why suddenly liberate CRNAs without changing or extending their training? This is dangerous and misguided.  Thirty-five states have mandated nurse anesthetist supervision. Question elected officials who support the “opt out” initiative. This is a financial and political battle, not one in the best interest of good medical care.

Call Gov. Bill Ritter’s office to ask specific questions about both physician and nurse training in anesthesiology by speaking to one of his health care representatives, Ken Weil or Lorez Meinhold.

Demand unbiased data and facts beyond a scripted response. See the Colorado Society of Anesthesiology website ( Finally, review specific, unbiased data in support of improved patient care under a physician anesthesiologist at the following address: /nurseanescope.pdf.

ANGELA PENNELL, M.D. Pediatric Anesthesiologist Anesthesia Consultants of Western Colorado St. Mary’s Hospital Grand Junction

Houpt is the best choice for Garfield commission

I am a Colorado native, resident of embattled Battlement Mesa and a registered independent voter and would like to take this opportunity to ask the residents of Garfield County to vote for Tresi Houpt in the upcoming county commissioner race.

Tresi is one of the few candidates statewide who realizes that to depend on a single industry like the transient gas industry to support our economy and jobs is foolhardy. That is demonstrated by the recent news that Garfield County now has financial problems because of the gas industry moving out and the county having spent a large portion of its revenues on infrastructure and projects that served only the gas industry, instead of saving these funds for the future when the gas boom ended.

Tresi has promoted the idea that we need a variety of stable, long-term businesses that are supported by tourism, retirees, ranching and other diverse interests, in addition to the gas-drilling industry. That is more than you can say for the other incumbents on the present board of county commissioners.

Please disregard any partisan affiliations and vote for candidates like Tresi, who will represent all of the citizens of Garfield County.


Battlement Mesa

Woody’s article helped explain what kitchen does

Thank you so much to William Woody for the article in the Sept. 28 edition of The Daily Sentinel about Christ’s Kitchen in Montrose. His story and the picture gave a good description of what we do at the kitchen.

We continue to welcome senior citizens, homeless individuals and families and low-income individuals and families as they struggle with the cost of providing healthy meals. We cook for 125 each day, and the menu items vary from week to week, but we do serve from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. We do take donations, but the meals are free.

We serve a four-course lunch, consisting of homemade soup, fresh salad, an entree and dessert, accompanied by lemonade and iced tea. The generosity of the various businesses here in Montrose allows us to serve great bread and desserts to our guests.


Christ’s Kitchen Board



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