The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

June 25, 2013

Readers' Forum 6-25 | Walter Reed facility second to none

— It seems we live at a time when Americans appear to have far less trust in government than at any other time in history. Every day, a new occurrence shakes our faith that the federal government can’t do what is right for this country.

However, there is at least one shining example contrary to this belief – the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The medical center, in Bethesda, Md., is the largest military medical center in the U.S. caring for military beneficiaries from around the world.

Smiles may be too simplistic a way to evaluate something as complex as health care; nevertheless, they are a great indicator of satisfaction, and smiles are what you see throughout this facility. Patients, providers and visitors all seem to share the common ability to smile. Whether it’s a combat-wounded soldier or a woman with breast cancer, this hospital deals with a group of patients who are particularly vulnerable.

The staff at Walter Reed recognizes the sacrifice these men and women have made for this country, and consider it essential that the care they are given is the best it can possibly be. This empathy and rapport between patients and providers have resulted in a standard of care that rivals any facility anywhere else in the world.

This kind of innovative patient-focused practice should serve as a model for all hospitals in this country.

Taxpayers should further appreciate that, sometime ago, Walter Reed dis-

covered that providing quality health care is also the most cost-effective health

care.

Tom Kurtz

President/CEO Windber Research Institute

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