Summit Daily letters: Centura’s trauma surgeon decision flawed |

Summit Daily letters: Centura’s trauma surgeon decision flawed

Centura’s trauma surgeon decision flawed

My husband and I, both doctors, moved to Dillon from Houston in July 2017. During his 23 years of practice in a large surgical group, U.S. health care changed radically, so we are very familiar with today’s challenges to patients, doctors and hospitals.

In August, our son had a bad neck fracture. The Summit ER doctor and staff were extremely capable. We moved to St. Anthony Lakewood, as the surgeon there specialized in the procedure our son needed. He performed the surgery flawlessly. He is with Panorama.

This May, I severely fractured my femur. Summit provided excellent ER and inpatient care. The VSO orthopedist on call was one of the best anywhere to perform my complex surgery — he reconstructed the bone.

VSO doctors have shown reliability for decades. They run a large clinic next to the hospital. Their surgeons can spend on-call days working in the hospital and nearby office, steps from the ER. In ski season most ski trauma calls come within lift hours, then the surgeon stays until they’re finished treating the day’s injured. Bad weather makes leaving work unlikely — driving risks increase for both patients and doctors.

It is wrong to replace many seasoned surgeons with two just out of fellowship. Everyone starts out new, but experience is crucial to excellence in surgical fields. A new surgeon joining a group practice has mentors and backup. Centura isn’t sending established Panorama doctors here: The just-trained Panorama contractors will be on their own. Many people will be deprived of the benefit of VSO’s expertise and there may be worse outcomes for orthopedic trauma patients.

Strategies to reduce costs of health care will repeatedly change. St. Anthony Summit must remain dedicated to providing the best possible care for the injured in our county. Centura and St. Anthony Summit must reinstate Vail Summit Orthopaedics. The Summit ER needs an on-call rotation of many locally practicing, experienced orthopedists, especially those of VSO.

Meanwhile, if I have an accident, our Level III ER can stabilize me for transfer to Vail for orthopedic surgery.

Sarah Guyton Moore, M.D.


The ignorance inhabiting the White House

Donald Trump is a threat to American democracy. He reaches for increased power and authority. His latest egregious act of pulling John Brennan’s security clearance and threatening those of his critics represents his attempts to curtail free speech. His attacks on the media are the same and are reminiscent of other fascist ploys. That he, consistently, has surrounded himself with people of little integrity, truthfulness and ability is more than worrisome. We citizens cannot afford mediocrity and mendacity in the White House.

Ultimately, I believe that the Mueller investigations will reveal Trump, officially, to be the liar and fraud that he is. Just what that might lead to is, perhaps, perceivable through the lens of Richard Nixon’s demise. Trump seems to be following that path rather closely. His Watergate is Russiagate, but there may be other “gates” as well.

Most frightening is that, at the moment of horrific fires and extreme, worldwide weather events, we have this man at the helm who disdains science and rejects climate change. Recently, I wished I could have jacked him out of Washington and brought him to Summit County. The smoke from the Western fires has been so thick as to irritate the eyes and cause sinus and throat problems for many of us who live in the Rockies because we love and appreciate the cooler temperatures and the purer air at a higher altitude. Those fires have killed, ruined lives and threatened air quality across the U.S. Climate change leaves us as individuals at a loss to know if we will survive the abject ignorance of what inhabits the White House.

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman


Let the Forest Service do its job

With all these people complaining about logging Ophir Mountain/Peaks trail, I have to wonder, how many forests have they ever managed? Do they have any idea what it takes to make a buck as a logger?

The rangers and foresters involved, I would bet, all have degrees in forest management and have been working with the forest service a long time. This isn’t their first rodeo and I doubt they took classes on how to “Piss off the public.”

In the 1970s, a good friend of mine worked as a forester in Dillon (his degree in forest management was from the University of Northern Arizona) and he was disgusted because public opinion against logging, let me repeat that, public opinion, NOT science or experience in forest management, was so persuasive and relayed to Washington/Congress that logging pretty much ended everywhere, including Colorado. My friend, as did all the forest staff, knew then that the pine beetle was working its way not only to the Blue River drainages, but beyond. It’s mind boggling at the devastation that little bug has done these past few years and I wonder if any of those foresters had any idea how things would look like today. In 1967 I worked for the forest service in Montana on a crew planting trees in clear-cut areas. Replanting a clear-cut seems like a positive concept for forest management and stabilizing future logging. I don’t see much of that anymore and I would guess because the forest service doesn’t have the money.

To get those monies, I would urge the folks opposed to clear-cut logging to instead address their messages to public officials and members of congress to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan (17 years plus and billions/trillions? of dollars) in order to redirect funds to our forests and parks. Let the forest rangers and foresters do their job. It’s what they’ve trained for. It’s what they know.

Terry Cochran


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