Letters to the Editor, September 19, 2009
September 19, 2009
We were pleased to learn that the Park City School Board will be appointing a committee to develop a district policy regarding food allergies. Our daughter Jenny (now 30) has suffered from multiple food allergies throughout her life. She attended middle school and high school in Park City and we were grateful for the cooperation we received from teachers, administrators, and staff. We would have welcomed progressive and formal policies such as those now being considered, and we would have experienced an added level of comfort during her time at school knowing such policies were in place.
A common problem regarding food allergies is a general lack of understanding of the condition and the potentially serious nature of reactions. Even the smallest amount of a food to which a person is allergic can cause a life-threatening reaction. Elementary students are most at risk due to their developing level of understanding.
There are now tremendous resources available for families and schools regarding caring for children with food allergies. One such resource is the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Their website (www.foodallergy.com ) provides many excellent resources. We encourage the committee to review these materials.
Providing safe care for food-allergic children is a challenging and serious undertaking. We encourage the committee to consider all options, including allowing allergic children to carry epinephrine injectors and asthma inhalers if approved by their parents and doctor. We encourage school employees and parents of other children to consider the potential consequences of allergic reactions and weigh them against any possible inconveniences caused by restrictions. (And) we strongly support a district policy.
Jean and Fred Fox
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Local health care has a long tradition
As the founding physician of the Park City Family Health and Emergency Center, I congratulate Ms. Becky Kearns and the Park City Medical Center community hospital board for their success in bringing the new IHC hospital to Park City. I was privileged to tour the new hospital recently and it is an impressive facility that will take local medical care to a new level, a level unimagined when we started in a trailer next to the Mt. Air Market in 1978. Ms. Kearns’ commitment to the community and to improving the quality of local health care is evident in her passionate statement in a recent advertising supplement in The Park Record.
Unfortunately, and I trust unintentionally, she also suggested that the Park City community has been entirely lacking in local emergency medical care to this point, and that the opening of the new hospital’s doors will finally resolve the lack of quality local medical care. This portrayal of Park City medical care does an enormous disservice to the many physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other health professionals, primarily with the Family Health and Emergency Center but with other offices as well, who have devoted their careers, their lives and their nights and weekends to the care of Park City residents and visitors for the past 31 years.
I was pleased to see that the recent editorial in The Park Record recognized these contributions, but believe that further emphasis is necessary for Ms. Kearns, the community hospital board, and IHC leaders to understand how extraordinarily fortunate Park City has been in the dedication of its medical professionals. For the past 31 years, local physicians have provided 24/7 emergency care, covered thousands of ambulance runs, attended fires and accidents, carried ambulance and emergency radios, delivered babies on Christmas, drove to Salt Lake City hospitals daily or more frequently to care for hospital patients, volunteered to cover high school athletic events, supported the People’s Health Clinic, and volunteered their expertise for a wide range of medical events and needs too numerous to count — all while providing high quality primary care to all residents and visitors, irrespective of insurance coverage, time of day or type of problem. It would be appropriate for Park City residents to be more knowledgeable and Ms. Kearns to be more appreciative of the considerable sacrifice that has gone before and made the opening of the new hospital possible.
Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
Ann Arbor, Mich., and Park City
Community turned out to support NAC
On behalf of the National Ability Center, I would like to thank the Park City community for its generous support for two weekends of great events to benefit the NAC and the thousands of families we help each year.
Over Labor Day weekend, the Second Annual Summit Challenge bike ride brought more than 200 road cyclists and their families to the NAC for their choice of rides around Park City and the Wasatch Back. Questar, SelectHealth, the Park City Chamber and KSL 5 all sponsored this great event this year. The Utah Highway Patrol and Park City Police Department did a great job of keeping all the riders safe on the roads, and we thank them for their support.
The following week, A Starry Night celebrated the great accomplishments of many NAC participants. Guests were treated to inspirational stories of overcoming the challenges of physical and cognitive disabilities. Shay and David Dodson of Louisiana spoke of the great strides David has made since he began skiing with the NAC in 2005. Four years later, David and his family ski, bike, horseback ride and water ski together in our programs. Teague Cowley, an Ability Ski Team member and Paralympic hopeful, also shared some of his story and encouraged guests to help others participate in the NAC’s programs.
Through the generosity of our sponsors, Questar, KSL 5 and Salt Lake Magazine, the money earned at the event will go directly to providing life-changing and inspiring programs for individuals with disabilities and their families.
I would also like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, committee members and staff who donated their time and energy to these two events. We greatly appreciate your support.
Thank you again to all our supporters. Your commitment allows us to continue to provide opportunities to discover abilities.
Dale D. Schoon
NAC chief executive officer