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Letters to the Editor

November 19, 2008

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UNCLE BOB

I really enjoyed your article, “Bob’s Your Everything” [November 12].

Bob is everything. Besides being my uncle, he is my friend. We all know he’s the type of guy who can do anything and would do anything for anyone. This article was done perfectly to reflect the kind of guy Bob really is.

Living in Ohio, I had never visited Burlington before Bob’s 50th birthday party. I got to meet many of his friends and truly realized how many people he touches in the different “jobs” that he has.

Bob has no biological family to speak of in Burlington as most of us still live in Ohio. However, by visiting Burlington in person and reading articles like this one, it’s very apparent that he does have a family in Burlington that he has created by being the person that he is.

Thank you again for doing such a fantastic article!

Wes Bolyard

PICKERINGTON, OHIO

MENTAL LAPSE

I read Brian Wallstin’s article, “Shortage of Psychiatrists Strains Vermont’s Mental-Health System” [Local Matters, November 5], with great interest, which turned to dismay and a sense of déjà vu.

Wallstin writes without one mention of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), who practice psychiatry with skill and experience equal to psychiatrists, and in a very cost-effective manner.

This article would never have been written if Vermont held the same respect for APRNs that other states hold. In New York, where I trained as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, there is no question of the value of the role. Many of my patients rarely saw a psychiatrist, if ever.

We see a different dynamic in Vermont, with poor understanding and recognition of the APRN role and how that role can so clearly help health-care systems in trouble. We still see confusion at the state level in defining the role and determining the scope of practice. In Vermont, an APRN with a license, master’s degree, prescriptive authority and years of clinical experience makes, in some cases, a few more dollars an hour than an LPN working in a nursing home without any degree.

In no way am I diminishing the value of what so many psychiatrists do; I am pointing out that Wallstin’s article is a reflection of why this problem exists. If Vermont valued the APRN the way the general public does, if we challenged the top-heavy medical system the way other regions have, if we paid APRNs competitively — we might not be reading articles of such desperation. A vision of collective expertise could prevail, and we could truly become the model that Ken Libertoff speaks of, following the lead with our parity successes and our brilliant recovery initiatives.

Nina Gaby RN, MS

BROOKFIELD

Gaby is an artist, writer, educator and nursing administrator in central Vermont.

DRAGON JONES

Congrats to Cheryl Herrick for her prized chicken dish [“Side Dishes,” November 12]!

I was not surprised to learn the daughter of the owner of Five Spice is a fabulous chef. I have been in a state of despair since January of 2007, when a fire raged through the lovely decorated rooms (including the comic-wallpapered bathrooms!) of that unique and sublime restaurant.

I fell in love with the perfectly textured mock duck, the delicate tangerine cheesecake and the various flavorful curries. The food, the atmosphere, the drinks and the experience were heavenly and always incredibly pleasing. Since the closing of Five Spice, I have not met a single person who has not longed for its dragons.

Cheryl, I am begging you, and I expect others could be too, to follow in the footsteps of your father.

Carrie Shamel

BURLINGTON

CORRECTIONS: The November 12 article on Progressive-Democratic relations was published with the wrong byline. Kevin J. Kelley wrote the story. And in “It Takes a City” [Art, November 12], we attributed photographer Nancy Weber’s work with the Holga camera to someone else. We apologize for the errors.

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