Providence has heart care

An April 14 Mail Tribune article incorrectly stated that Asante RRMC has Medford's only cardiac catheterization lab. In fact, Providence Medford Medical Center also has cardiac catheterization labs, and has had a coronary intervention program since 2007.

Providence provides high quality cardiac care, including emergency heart attack care 24/7. We are proud to have achieved the highest rate of rapid heart attack (STEMI) care in the region, with 94 percent of our patients undergoing a procedure to open a blocked artery within 90 minutes — a gold standard of heart attack care.

Medford is fortunate to have two excellent cardiac programs. Our EMS colleagues play a vital role in the time-sensitive window of care for heart attack patients. At Providence we strongly believe in the importance of early detection and treatment of heart attacks, and feel it is critical for EMS to transport patients to the nearest STEMI capable hospital.

If you or a family member experiences heart attack symptoms, remember to direct EMS personnel to transport to the nearest STEMI capable hospital — of which Providence is proudly one. — Christopher Cannon, M.D., director, interventional cardiology; and Cory Bergey, D.O., medical director, emergency department

Closure is regrettable

It is regrettable that the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center is being considered for elimination to balance the Jackson County budget. As an advocate of strength training for older adults, I have participated for six years in a "Strong Women, Strong Bones" exercise class held there three times a week. Through that connection I have become familiar with numerous programs offering opportunities for education, information and enrichment — rewards that benefit our entire community.

Research conducted recently at the experiment station identified a fruit fly that threatens local berry crops. Solutions to limit damage can be obtained through classes and advice is always available. To compromise operations that protect our food supply seems short-sighted and irresponsible.

Yes, I am passionate regarding physical fitness for senior women, just as I am for all the activities involved by the Extension Center. Value received is immeasurable. Please review the decision to close it. — Donna Golphenee, Medford

Article was disappointing

On May 3, the Mail Tribune published an Associated Press article that caused me to lose a lot of faith in both news sources.

The article dealt with the increase in suicide rates for people in middle age, broken down into ethnic groups. A big deal was made about the 40 percent increase in suicides, between 1999 and 2010, for middle-aged whites and speculated on various possible reasons for this increase.

Nowhere in the article is there a mention of the American Indian/Alaskan Native group, which had a 65 percent increase in suicides over the same time period. I realize the total number of whites involved far surpasses the number in the indigenous grouping, but the latter are still human beings and do not deserve to have a 65 percent increase in their suicide rate be so cavalierly dismissed. It's a big deal to them and it should be a big deal to all of us — and our trusted news sources should not ignore it. — James S. Tobiason, Phoenix

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