The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

December 1, 2013

Readers' Forum 12-1 | Pasquerilla would be good fit on authority

JOHNSTOWN — Mark Pasquerilla has, on at least two occasions, submitted his name for consideration to fill a vacancy on the board of the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority to city Mayor Tom Trigona.

I understand that Trigona, between now and the conclusion of his term, has the authority to appoint someone to fill vacancies on the authority, or he can appoint new members to this board to replace members whose terms are set to expire.

I would urge Trigona to name Pasquerilla to this important board. Pasquerilla has continuously demonstrated a commitment to the region’s economic development, is a locally-based business owner, is well-educated, has demonstrated outstanding leadership and has indicated that he is willing to roll up his sleeves to work with others to help chart a more promising future for our region.

Pasquerilla maintains an exemplary reputation and, as his mother and father before him, invests personally and through his enterprises in the businesses and charitable organizations throughout our area and beyond. I cannot think of anyone more appropriate to serve in this important capacity, and I believe our region and the authority would greatly benefit from his expertise, commitment and concern for Johnstown.

Ed Sheehan Jr.

Westmont

It’s easier to blame victims than system

In response to the coverage of the recent malpractice civil trial in Cambria County Courthouse, we didn’t get the verdict expected but that doesn’t make the reason for filing the lawsuit wrong and certainly doesn’t make them (Conemaugh Health System) right and without fault. The purpose was to hold the health industry responsible. It was never about money. We never wanted to profit from Dave’s death. Had the verdict gone our way, we would’ve helped our family and friends and made charitable contributions in Dave’s name.

What came out of the trial was that we did make a difference and may have saved lives. Before Dave’s death, there were no policies or procedures at Conemaugh Counseling as to when a patient is seen by a psychiatrist. Although this was not admissible in court, Conemaugh Counseling now has a policy that all patients be seen by a psychiatrist initially and every

three to five visits thereafter between being seen by physician assistants. It took Dave’s death to initiate that policy.

Physician assistants aren’t doctors. State law requires doctors to be integral parts of patient care.

Dave wasn’t the only patient seen at Conemaugh Counseling. How many others were there?

After the defense’s testimony, the judge ordered my burden of proof lowered from gross to ordinary negligence and instructed the jury. Why?

It seems obvious.

Yet they were cleared. The question remains unanswered at to who was Dave’s doctor at Conemaugh Counseling. Who took responsibility for Dave’s treatment as his doctor? We still have no answer.

Suicides aren’t always by choice but a result of bad medicine.

When all else fails, blame the victim/survivors.

Jeri Sedlmyer

Richland

 

Editor’s note: We asked Conemaugh Health System to comment, but it declined.

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