The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

November 10, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-10 | Honoring 'invisible' health care providers

JOHNSTOWN — Nov. 10–16 is National Nurse Practitioner Week. It is a time to celebrate our often “invisible” health care providers.

There are more than 171,000 practicing nurse practitioners in our country with more than 7,500 in Pennsylvania. We are all registered nurses with master’s degrees or doctorates and advanced clinical training. We offer high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care across the life span.

You will find us in walk-in clinics, private offices, schools, emergency rooms, in hospital units, employee health settings, prisons, mental health clinics, gynecologist offices, etc.

We provide a full range of services, such as ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests, diagnosing and treating acute and chronic conditions, prescribing medications and treatments and managing overall patient care.

Our emphasis is on health promotion and disease prevention. We focus on the health and well-being of the whole person, including helping patients make educated health care decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.

As the health care provider shortage continues and the Affordable Care Act is implemented, many more people will need providers so you will likely be working with a nurse practitioner in the future. We look forward to caring for you.

Information on becoming a nurse practitioner is available through the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners website at www.pacnp.org or visit the National Association of Nurse Practitioners at www.aanp.org

Lorrie Borrell, NP

President, Laurel Highlands

Nurse Practitioner Association

Jump on bandwagon for term limits

There was a time when members of the Pennsylvania Legislature served out of a sense of civic responsibility and not to perpetuate themselves as full-time professional politicians. They’d serve part time for a few years with little or no compensation.

Now they’re among the top-paid state legislators in the country. But is Pennsylvania any better off? I don’t think so.

That’s why there’s merit in a proposal to limit their years in office. A constitutional amendment would, should, limit state senators to two six-year terms and House members to three three-year terms.

Most legislators are opposed to the idea. They say the only way to become of real value to constituents is to build up seniority. Of course, at the same time, they’re building up big pensions.

As re-election becomes more important, serving constituents and Pennsylvania’s best interests becomes secondary. Incumbents  build up such power that it’s almost impossible to replace them. That’s why a constitutional amendment for limit terms is so attractive. It should make legislators less intent on building power bases and more committed to public service. And think of the money we’d save in pension benefits.

Setting arbitrary term limits means that some very competent legislators will have to step aside when their time’s up. In most cases, though, the state will be better off with the turnover.

Any proposed amendment would stand little chance without strong public demand for change. If you favor limits on legislative terms don’t hesitate to speak out.

Jim Edwards

Johnstown

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