Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 9-29-22

Nuvance needs to act in good faith

In Grace Linhard’s letter about philanthropy at Sharon Hospital she used the word “community” seven times.

Hmm, I thought, I do not disagree with her. Community and philanthropy belong inside Sharon Hospital. How do I contact this person who thinks community is important? We need that from Nuvance. I put my Google on, as Ms. Linhard did not include any contact information in the letter.

But alas, despite how the letter was signed (Chief Development Officer, Nuvance Health Sharon), Ms. Linhard works for Nuvance Health Inc. at Danbury Hospital. There is no development office at Sharon Hospital. There is no email for Grace Linhard, I could not find any direct contact information.

Not a trustworthy act.

Nuvance, like its progenitor Health Quest, makes its own rules even with the state. They deliberately ignored the rulings by the OHS by espousing the closing of maternity services and the ICU before it had even applied for permission from the state of Connecticut.

Not a trustworthy act.

Where is the community relations organization the state mandated the Sharon Hospital Board to form? The community is still waiting 3-plus years later.

Not a trustworthy act.

This same Sharon Hospital Board also voted to sue the Foundation for Community Health.

Not a trustworthy act.

Ninety-five percent of the doctors voted against Nuvance plans. Nuvance ignored them.

Not a trustworthy act.

In early July, I sought conversation with the newly appointed president of the hospital, Ms. McColluch. The only way to communicate with her was through Marina Ballantine and Andrea Rynn. Did you know that the community cannot communicate directly with the president of the hospital? Ms. McCulloch needs a three-month lead time to schedule a conversation.

Not a trustworthy act.

There is no chaplain at Sharon Hospital. This is flat out unkind, borderline cruel.

This community has been built around access to safe birthing at Sharon Hospital for the past 102 years. Nuvance Health has expended substantial financial resources and time trying take that care away from of our community, risking lives.

Not a trustworthy act.

Trust is not something that can be conjured up by marketing speak.  Doctors know that.  Trust is built with genuine interaction and truth. These are not ways to create the community/hospital relationship described in Ms. Linhard’s letter.

Our community is not going backwards.

If Nuvance wants to be successful at Sharon Hospital consider acting in good faith before asking for money.

Deborah Moore


A physician’s birthing story

It was a cold dark December night as a I finished seeing patients in the Amenia clinic. As always, it was busy and one of the last patients was a lovely nurse who needed prompt attention for her painful urination.  My uterine contractions, which had been sporadic for weeks, seemed more regular now.  When I noticed a bloody show, I alerted my colleague Dr. Anna Timell. We are family practice doctors; and in our training we had delivered babies.  She did an exam and confirmed that my cervix was beginning to dilate.  My husband, who had to rush up from his work in Westchester County, arrived at last.  Snow was gently falling but the wind was picking up.

I have great respect for my colleagues at Sharon Hospital though it is the smallest hospital I have ever worked in.  The physicians are extremely well-trained and competent. It punches way above its weight in experience and expertise. Because I hoped to keep my professional and private lives somewhat separate, I planned to deliver at Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie. In good weather that is a 45-minute drive from Amenia. Dr. Timell said she would drive behind us in case there was an emergency.  The storm was gathering strength. Though Sharon Hospital would have no prenatal records for me it was only 10 minutes away, so we decided to go there.

During the short drive the labor pains increased considerably. On arrival I was whisked quickly up to labor and delivery. The nurses noted that I was fully dilated and wanting to push.  Dr. Mortman, who was still in his street clothes, had rushed over when Dr. Timell called to let him know what was happening. He asked me to please hold on a minute, because in addition to a sterile gown he wanted to put on his galoshes.  I thought this was funny, but it was very practical as there can be a lot of blood dripping on your feet during a delivery.  The whole team in the delivery room operated with the utmost professionalism; they were calm, smiling, and made me feel completely secure.

I was lying draped on the operating table when Dr. Mortman looked at me kindly and said don’t push, just give a little cough.  And with that Abraham was born safe and sound. A few minutes later I saw Dr. Timell’s face peeking through the round operating room window.  She could hardly believe that the newborn baby was suckling at my breast just 20 minutes after we arrived at Sharon Hospital.

The unspoken part of this tale is that the outcome could have been very different. I was a 39-year-old woman in her third pregnancy and if Vassar Brothers Hospital was the only option for me the community might have lost a mother, a baby, and a family doctor.

Lisa Straus, M.D.



Travel Club found great support in community

Since it was revived in 2018, the International Travel Club has dramatically changed the lives of students like us through a single focus: making international travel more affordable and accessible for every student. This club, under the leadership of Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) teachers and the essential partnership with volunteer parent Denise Cohn, have not only helped scores of students to become more worldly through their trips, but they have impacted the learning experience at HVRHS by enhancing our global awareness in subsequent class discussions and activities.

This year, however, we were staggered by the amount of financial support we received from area businesses and individuals at our annual Wine Dinner, held at The White Hart Inn on Sept. 13. In addition to selling out the event itself, the sponsors and auction raised approximately $65,000 for the cause.

We would like to thank all of those individuals and local businesses for their support, especially our host for the dinner, The White Hart Inn. Their support made this a true community effort, and we thank all of our friends for helping to provide us with these memorable learning experiences. It enriches the communities in which we live, and enables us to achieve our dreams of international travel. Sincerely,

80-plus HVRHS students

traveling in 2023

Ian Strever, Principal

John Lizzi, Advisor

for the International Travel Club, Housatonic Valley Regional High School

Falls Village


Farewell to Queen Elizabeth II

September has been a sad month with the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. I knew she was in poor health, but did not expect her death so soon.

I first learned of her and her sister Princess Margaret Rose when my Mom bought paper dolls of them. I wasn’t quite sure what a princess was, but I knew she had her own pony which made me very jealous.  I read about her over the years and watched her grow up and marry. She accepted the top job after father died and carried on.

I’ve been in England several times and have visited Westminster Abbey and the Chapel of St. George where funeral services were held. That made the funeral more meaningful.

It’s hard to image the world without her as she was always there doing her duty quietly and with grace. I miss her already.

Carolyn McDonough

North Canaan


Dare to care and share

Sensational September 2022 can be a turning point for more in our world and local communities to make the role of peace maker, participant and player on many teams the norm for “everybuddy.”

“Step into Sept” as Team Players can be the start of a movement that continues each month with inspiration (Outreach in October and so on...)

Hats off to all who brought the Goshen Fair and other wonderful events such as The Big E highlighting agriculture and animals among other offerings to educate and entertain thousands of people!

Seeing hundreds attend The Lakeville Journal final two events to celebrate the 125 years of news and views was exciting, especially as the illustrious Meryl Streep and Sam Waterston added their essays and comments as generous co-chairs of the stellar Gala!

That might make the Vice news and other mainstream media and put the TriCornerNews.com on the map and create a ripple effect!

Sept. 21 was the annual date for World Peace Day (with August being World Peace Month.) Corresponding with the founding date of Rotary International, February 23rd marks World Understanding and Peace with clubs doing special projects at that time.

CROP Walks are popping up to address food support with donations accepted online. A walk  was hosted by the Falls Village Congregational Church! Many thanks to everyone pitching in to all of these efforts on  with time, talent and treasure.

Let’s continue to launch meaningful ways to address many basic needs and funds to assist one another with  aging and protecting assets, caregiving, planning for transitions of hiring, firing or double-checking someone’s physical and mental health, medications and any drug use so resources are used appropriately.

That may mean prioritizing someone’s health and verifying with a few team players (doctor, social worker and POA — power of attorney or responsible family and friends over a week or more) before making decisions and changes.

Only using police or medical support if needed after a voluntary review (as is safe and appropriate to do so with online or phone support if not in person) could be promoted to use resources for emergencies and serious situations.

Through outreach and my blogs and on Facebook, I explore how to plan for safety in living, driving, and in many kinds of relationships. With more insights, game plans can be mapped out as well for issues in the home or on the job, in schools and groups to help communities hum and prevent problems from piling up at any life stage.

Here’s to daring to care and share more stories, ideas and news of the day as collaborators to create the communities we can all enjoy for decades to come!

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village


Bullies vs. heroes

The Bully in the schoolyard

Stirs up a viscous clatter

Age, size of victim doesn’t really matter

The Bully in the statehouse

Robs the coffers, spreads the cruel

Dumps what he deems trash, the heartless fool

The Bully on the Court

Declares Stare Decisis won’t stand

Yes, he’s willing to uproot any law of the land

The Bully in Congress

Would vote false electors in

Stomping democracy, anything to win

The Bully in Mara Lago

Safe as hurricanes wail

Yet fortified construction buffers no one from jail

The Bully in the Kremlin

Full of delusion and hate

His disposal is awaited, ‘tis monstrously late

The regal, in her crowns,

Was seven decades the jewel

Grace and honor, her steadfast dual

The master of the racket

Profound Power, grace, and ease

In London retires, no earthling is pleased

The Condor, feared extinct,

Now soars o’re Western lands

Native Indians with California, working hand in hand

The Soldier in the Ukraine

Pushes false Putin to the brink

May evil go down, sink, sink, sink

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

— Benjamin Disraeli

Kathy Herald-Marlowe



Thanks for a new CROP Walk

Congratulations go to the Bostwick Hill Walkers! Thirty-eight of our neighbors came out for our first neighborhood CROP Walk. We strolled the perimeter of Bostwick Hill, from Route 44 to Meadow Street, East Street, Prospect Street, Bostwick Street and Lakeview Avenue.

The best part was not only getting to meet new neighbors, but we were able to raise $2,330 for CWS/CROP. Thank you to everyone who supported our efforts.

Thanks also go to street captains Amy Lake (Meadow Street), Var Froundjian (Prospect Street), Patti O’Neill and Pam Patterson (Bostwick Street), Laura Bushey (Lakeview Avenue) and Jo Loi (East Street).

Here’s to next year!

Jo Loi



New challenges to getting a flu shot

The form you fill out to get a flu shot may have changed recently, along with your son’s gender, your daughter’s athletic competition, and your Air Force recruit’s vocabulary.

On the old flu form at my pharmacy, you simply checked a box for “male” or “female.”

Now, next to those same two choices, it says: “Sex assigned at birth.”

I pointed out to the pharmacist that sex is not “assigned” at birth but is simply “recorded” then. It develops earlier.

The pharmacist said some babies are born with both male and female organs, and in those cases the doctor “assigns” one sex for the birth certificate.

I asked why the pharmacy even needs to know one’s sex at birth. The form gives people the option of not stating their race or ethnicity, and it doesn’t ask for their current gender. Why not leave out birth sex as well?

The pharmacist said that adopted people may be confused about their race or ethnicity, so the pharmacy leaves that optional. And the pharmacy already knows your current gender (unless you changed it recently) from your original application to receive medicine there.

But for flu shots, he said they need your birth sex for insurance purposes, and since more people are changing their gender now, they have to ask for it.

Even so, it would be more accurate to say “birth sex” or “sex at birth” or “sex recorded at birth,” rather than “assigned” at birth.

Perhaps the form-makers are confusing sex and gender. While nature dictates your birth sex, your gender identity can be whatever you declare it to be, if you feel that your mind and body don’t match. You can even change your birth sex surgically to match your gender preference.

Or perhaps there’s an agenda at play. Perhaps wording forms to suggest that birth sex is arbitrarily assigned helps condition people to accept that gender can later be reassigned.

There are aggressive overseers at work in education, government, business and media today who are changing forms, speech, athletic competition, and even your children in order to reflect their own ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), whether you like it or not.

Educators have recently decided that helping children reassign their gender is a primary part of their mission. Parental interference is not appreciated.

Educators also insist that transgender females with male sex organs and body strength must be allowed to compete athletically against cisgender females, even using the same locker rooms and showers, all in the name of DEI. Dissenters face cancellation.

At the U.S. Air Force Academy, cadets are instructed not only on dropping bombs but on non-gendered word usage such as “parent” or “caregiver” instead of “mother” or “father,” and “partner” instead of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Modern warriors must be inclusive.

Back at the pharmacy, I filled out the flu form to the best of my ability and recollection, and got my shot. No lollipop. Now that’s really going too far.

Mark Godburn



Mostowy for probate

The job of probate judge is to take care of people. Our other political representatives take care of their districts, but the judge of probate takes care of our personal legal matters: adoptions and wills, negotiating arrangements when there are conflicts about individuals who can’t live on their own, these are the province of the Judge of Probate.

From personal experience dealing with Probate Court, I understand the compassionate temperament and experience with difficult personal situations that are required for that office. When families or individuals are facing the legal system with their personal problems, they need a judge of probate like Kristen Mostowy. In her legal practice she has dealt with mental health issues and family problems. She has represented clients in Civil Court, Probate Court, Family Court and Criminal Court.

Listening to Kristen Mostowy speak about the role of probate judge, reading about her legal experience, I think we are fortunate to have a candidate so well equipped to fill the job of probate judge. She’s someone who will take good care of the people who appear before her.

Betty Krasne



Hayes tackles youth mental health crisis

I remember my sadness when learning about the boy who was found hanging from a tree limb in the yard of my children’s school. He left a note telling his parents that he wanted to “see God.”  Teenagers are very vulnerable for depression as they face social pressures and hormonal changes. We are seeing a surge in mental problems in young people.

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes is very aware of this problem firsthand from her work as a teacher in Waterbury. She was recognized nationally as Teacher of the Year in 2016 and lauded by President Barack Obama for her work.

Last May, Congresswoman Hayes introduced legislation to increase mental health services in schools and communities.  This bill would improve support services and mental health treatment for students.

It would also increase awareness in families and faculty about youth trauma and provide professional development for faculty to learn about this mental health crisis that is plaguing our schools and communities nationwide.

Congresswoman Jahana Hayes’ re-election is important, for she has passed so many bills in Congress which help us here in Connecticut.

Liz Piel



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