It is very disturbing to see that Mayo is spending $600,000 for naming rights for the civic center at a time when the hospital still has hospital rooms with two beds in the same room.

That is Third World mentality in this day and age. Who would want to even stay in a hotel room with an unknown roommate, let alone in a hospital room when they are seriously ill and need rest, quiet and privacy?

It has been pointed out for years that this practice is not only archaic and inhumane, but it violates the HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and infection control principles. It is no longer an acceptable practice.

The HIPPA law protects all personal health information including verbal information. There is no way to protect verbal health information privacy when two people are in the same room.

I wonder if veterinarians even put two sick dogs together in the same enclosed kennel. That $600,000 could be spent much more wisely on updated single bed rooms.

When Mayo bought ISJ hospital for a dollar, they stated clearly that they were there to provide services not currently provided in the area and not to compete with existing services.

Not only have they spent millions of dollars building clinics and recruiting physicians as a nonprofit organization to compete with tax paying existing physicians and services, they seem to have closed existing services in the area and have directed patients to Rochester that could have been treated locally.

Now they not only are spending $600,000 that could have been directed toward safer more compassionate hospital care, they seem to have also voided an agreement the civic center had with existing competition.

Dr. Stephen Penkhus


Hagedorn’s denial more than foolishness

Recently, Rep. Jim Hagedorn released a fundraising email that demonstrates his careless neglect for the needs of his constituents. His denial of climate change is not just foolish but also irresponsible.

To deny that human behavior is causing a dangerous warming effect around the globe is unconscionable in an elected official. For decades, the Pentagon has warned that climate change has serious consequences for national security.

In 2017, the EPA released a report that clearly stated that climate change has and will continue to cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually, with the numbers rising as the climate worsens. These costs will affect everyone, but farmers, who rely on a healthy climate to run their farms, will face increasingly dire circumstances.

The negative economic effects of ignoring climate change far outweigh the speculative effects of addressing the issue, especially for the people of southern Minnesota.

Furthermore, what sort of personal freedom will be available to people affected by climate change? As the climate deteriorates, people may not be able to live in the places they want to live, consume the goods they wish to consume or work the jobs they wish to work.

Hagedorn’s McCarthyist attacks on Dan Feehan and the Democratic Party not only mischaracterize his political stances but also mis- represent the facts in a shameful manner. Southern Minnesota doesn’t need a representative who peddles misinformation and divides his constituents for political gain. We need a representative who will tackle the biggest issues and unite us with a common goal of a more prosperous society for all of us. We need Dan Feehan.

Nicholas Summers

St. Peter

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