Letters to the Editor (November 2009)

Need More on Health Care

After thumbing through the Association's October News, I was stunned to find nothing advocating health care reform. The only mention I could find was the director's editorial on the "death panels."

Does this mean NASW, like the American public, is more satisfied with its own health insurance coverage than the public option sponsored by the Democratic Party?

Your silence is deafening, particularly at this crucial time in the congressional and public debates. I thought NASW would use its paper to be all over this; touting the need for universal health care and urging its members to contact their elected representatives for passage.

Ed Weaver, LCSW
Cedar City, Utah


Inappropriate Column

I read Elizabeth J. Clark's "From The Director" column in the October 2009 issue: "'Death Panel' Rhetoric Sets Us Back." Then I sat down to write this letter. Letters to the Editor which are defamatory are not printed. Apparently, this does not apply to the content of the director's column. I usually see the column as a platform for the dissemination of information and even occasional inspiration, but for the "Death Panel" column, the platform was utilized as a gallows for character assassination.

Ms. Clark owes our organization and our membership an apology. Such personal attacks have no place in the NASW News.

Don Gilkinson LCSW-R, DCH
Otego, N.Y.


Beckwith Deserves Honor

I was thrilled to see the picture of Samira Beckwith, president and CEO of Hope Hospice of Southwestern Florida, on the front page of the September 2009 NASW News.

My parents were both patients of that hospice, both at home and in the excellent and beautiful inpatient facility in North Fort Myers.

Their staff members, from nurses to social workers to the home health aide, were uniformly caring and reliable. Families were cared for as well as the patient.

My parents only used their services for two weeks, but it made a world of difference in their deaths, which occurred a day apart and nearly overwhelmed our family, all of whom had to come from far away after they both had emergency hospitalizations.

If Ms. Beckwith is the source of all this care and caring and professionalism, she does indeed deserve the Ruth Knee/Milton Wittman Lifetime Achievement Award.

Katherine A. Zinn, LCSW
Culpeper, Va.