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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 12, 2011

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Smoking ban is good idea

Our local legislatures, Rep. Brad Montell and Sen. Paul Hornback, said they aren't interested in passing a statewide anti-smoking bill. This bill should be voted on and passed. Why?
According to the National Cancer Society, secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds of which more than 60 are known or suspected to cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke in the US each year is responsible for:
•    An estimated 46,000 non-smokers dying from heart disease.
•    About 3,400 lung cancer deaths in non-smoking adults.
•    Lung infections in children younger than 18 months of age.
•    Increases the number and severity of asthma attacks in children who have asthma.
Middle ear infections in children.
•    Other breathing problems including coughing, mucus, chest discomfort, and reduced lung function.
This list goes on, but I think you get my drift.  The workplace is a major source of secondhand smoke exposure for adults.  Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air and ventilating the building cannot prevent exposure if people still smoke inside the building.  Because there are no safe levels of secondhand smoke, it is important that policies be as strong as possible.  Making all indoor public facilities smoke free is the only way to go.
We look for non-smoking restaurants in Shelby County but mainly go to smoke free Jefferson County.  It would be nice if all smokers gave up the habit for the sake of their own health but this will not happen.  Because of this, the cost of medical care goes up for both smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke.
Hopefully Rep. Montell will change his mind, and Sen. Hornback won't let his vote be clouded because he grows tobacco.  
Linda Humphress
Simpsonville

JSH is a real asset

In response to the My Word written by M. Ellen Redmon (“An employee’s take on Diagnostic Imaging,” Jan. 5) with regard to the closing of Diagnostic Imaging Shelbyville, I would first like to say that I am very sorry Ms. Redmon has had to endure such stress and uncertainty for her future employment.  Unfortunately, the economy has forced many struggling companies to succumb to closing or select opportunities never previously considered.
I am a medical/surgical registered nurse at JHS and have been for more than 16 years. I, too, have endured many changes and uncertainties as have all health-care providers given the national health-care crisis that is at hand. Having worked with all the local doctors, I know this community is fortunate to have so many professionals that live in the community and want to provide the best care for the people of their community. Unfortunately, the health-care crisis has forced many of them to merge with the Jewish Hospital corporation so that they can continue to stay in their community and provide care.
I do not believe that Jewish Hospital has compelled mergers but merely provided an option other than closing – a choice which would leave many out of jobs, fewer healthcare providers for this community, and cause more wait time and less quality care.
I have lived in Shelbyville my entire life and feel very fortunate that, with JHS being here. My family and friends can be treated within minutes of a life-threatening situation.  In fact, this happened with my mother who was treated at JHS and, without the availability for rapid treatment, could have died before reaching Louisville.
JHS may be small, but it has outstanding doctors, specialists, nurses, patient caregivers, and staff.  More than 75 percent of JHS’ employees live in Shelby County, and the rest live in surrounding counties that are served by this hospital. As health-care professionals, we live in this community, we know our patients’ needs and take pride in giving the best care we can. The nursing staff at JHS is as highly trained as at any hospital, possibly even more so because of the wide range of illnesses for which we care.
If you are a patient at JHS, the staff will give you the best care they can. The employees at JHS are not a corporation. We are health-care providers that want to do our best.  JHS is here to provide health care to the people of Shelby and surrounding counties. As with all hospitals in the health-care crisis, changes are being made.  Some may not be favorable, but others are improvements, e.g., JHS has all private rooms so that patients can be more comfortable and enjoy privacy during a stressful time in their lives.
I hope the people of these communities will support this hospital and keep business in this community.  I regret that the employees of the DIS are going through this turmoil. It is unfortunate they had to close, but is JHS really to blame?
Jennifer Roberts   
Shelbyville

Thanks from Millers

As of Dec. 31, we have decided to sell our business, Miller’s Lawn Care, to John Hance Jr. This business has given service to more than 1,000 customers for the past 32 years. In the past three years of his working for us, we have found John to be hard-working and honest. We hope you will give him a chance to serve you with his service, Hance Lawn Care. Thanks, again, for giving us the opportunity to serve you.
Steve and Donna Miller
Shelbyville