Good, Bad, Indifferent
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "It's a Good Thing," in the April 24 issue:
Who cares whether Governor Roy Romer knows who Martha Stewart is? I'm more worried that he may not remember where Colorado is.

Hey, Roy: It's in the center of the country. Remember?
Jack Haynes

I'm baffled as to why Pat Calhoun ripped up Martha Stewart last week. What did Martha do to make her so mad? Make millions putting out a magazine devoted to beauty, instead of a rag like Westword?

Maybe Martha can use copies of Westword to make newspaper cornstalks next harvest season. It would be a good thing.

Susan O'Hara

The Turn of the Screw
Regarding Scott Yates's "Footing the Bill," in the April 24 issue:
The action can sure get perverse in that bordello we call the Colorado state legislature. Imagine: Lobbyist Pancho Hays and a band of venal legislators can actually twist and contort a tenant-rights bill until it becomes a landlord-rights bill. Just goes to show: In some brothels, only the little guy gets screwed.

David Seppa
via the Internet

Department of Parks and Wreck
There's lots to these High Line Canal changes (Alan Prendergast's "A Hard Line on the High Line," April 24). Widen the path--make it hard concrete more suitable for rollerblades, bicycles, etc. Let's ruin the only place left for people to enjoy the quietness it takes for a walk without the aggravation of being run over by the jocks. I can remember when our parks used to be peaceful, especially Washington Park. Been there lately? It is maniacal because of the cyclists and rollerbladers.

My question is: When are they going to allow trail bikes, snowmobiles and stock-car tryouts? Forty-five million bucks for this aggravation. Gimme a break.

Phil Spanier

Hospital Zone
We carefully reviewed Stuart Steers's article "Roll On, Columbia," in the April 24 issue. We have found that the prevalence of uninsured and underinsured in Jefferson County is much higher than is usually quoted, and we have detailed data to support our claims.

Thank you for your very fine article, which adds to our information.
C. Frazer Shipman, M.D.
Resource Centers for the Uninsured

The author of your recent article "Roll On, Columbia" spent one minute on the phone with me and asked one question based on an "alleged quote from me that someone else had heard as a rumor." I denied having made the statement and said that it was not the way I would characterize my discussions with the leaders of other hospitals.

I have personally participated in discussions and meetings with boardmembers of Children's to explore how Presbyterian St. Luke's, HealthOne and, finally, Columbia/HealthOne might work with the Children's board to improve the quality of care for the children of the region and to avoid an unnecessary duplication of services. The fact is that leaders of both organizations could not fashion a solution to the substantial issues that complicated the discussions.

It is now my belief that this region can sustain and is best served by having two highly qualified providers of care for our children. Some will characterize this as competition between a "for-profit and a not-for-profit." That is a simplistic explanation.

Hospitals have closed in this community because there was excess capacity. St. Luke's and Mercy were closed prior to the arrival of Columbia. I am certain that the decisions to close those facilities were painful for their respective boards, but they were courageous decisions made because they dealt with the reality of the health-care revolution. One was a "for-profit" and the other was a "not-for-profit" system.

Those who continue to waste their energies on such discussions fail to seize the opportunity to deal with the real issues facing this community about the delivery of quality health care at cost-effective rates to a greater portion of our community.

Your article suggests that Columbia receives almost all of the profits from the Columbia/ HealthOne joint venture. A fifty-fifty joint venture was created, and profits are divided equally. As a result of the formation of the joint venture, HealthOne has substantial assets, which are growing as a result of the success we are experiencing. HealthOne's financial viability is significantly better than it was in the past, and prospects for the future are excellent. The community has and will continue to benefit from the joint venture.

Richard L. Anderson
Chairman, Board of Governors
Columbia/HealthOne LLC

Stuart Steers responds: Columbia HealthOne recently announced a net profit of approximately $60 million in 1996--and said the money would be spent on improvements to the six hospitals controlled by the joint venture. While it is technically true that profits are divided equally between for-profit Columbia and nonprofit HealthOne, Columbia stands to benefit directly from any investments made by HealthOne in the hospitals. It's worth noting that none of the $60 million in profits was earmarked for the nonprofit HealthOne Foundation. However, Columbia/HealthOne executives will receive large bonuses for this record financial performance.

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