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Letters to the Editor

January 30, 2009

A greener hospital



To the editor:

After perusing the Winter 2009 version of the magazine Health Focus, I was intrigued by the article entitled "Helping Our Patients and Our Planet." As a conservation biology major at the University of Maryland-College Park, I often notice with interest businesses that attempt to "go green."

I was initially impressed that Washington County Hospital was looking into environmentally-friendly methods during the building process of the new hospital, but was disappointed after actually reading the article. Even the picture of the medical center design fails to convince the reader of its "beneficial" environmental impacts.

The extensive asphalt parking lots are certainly a cause for concern. Although I was unable to find measurements regarding the amount of land utilized for these lots, it is obvious that a parking garage could provide the same number of parking spots closer locality to the medical center and lower the detrimental effects of the hospital's environmental impact by utilizing less raw land.

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While your attempt to filter rainwater runoff through the "bioswales" is admirable, its absorption by biomass is more beneficial. The development of land for parking lots lessens the weight of all the living organisms, or biological factors, in a given area through complete desecration.

As a citizen concerned about both the sociological and biological aspects of development, I was hopeful that a local business such as the Washington County Hospital would utilize "green" tactics in the building of their new facility.

My only request is that the possibility of a parking garage be considered as opposed to the sprawling, asphalt parking lots in order to truly move forward and utilize "green initiatives."

Gretchen Downey
University of Maryland




Thanks for help



To the editor:

My husband and I were in the accident on Interstate 70.

From the picture that appeared in The Herald-Mail, front page, on Tuesday, Jan. 20, you can see our blue pickup truck on the left side right above the tanker truck.

There are no words to truly express our thanks to the compassionate people who were also involved in the accident, several of whom spoke with us asking if we were OK, and all of the state police, emergency crews, paramedics, the Red Cross on Conrad Court in Hagerstown, the emergency room nurses, technicians, doctors, and the rest of the staff at Washington County Hospital.

There was the receptionist in the main lobby at the hospital who offered us a place to stay at her home. And the nurse who made arrangements for the hospital shuttle bus to take us to the CVS so I could get a prescription for pain filled, and the shuttle bus driver who then took us to a motel.

We wish we knew all of your names so we could express our gratitude to all of you on a personal basis. We were very fortunate, even though our truck was totaled; we came out of the accident with only minor injuries mainly resulting from the air bags deploying.

We got out and got over the guard rail to get out of the way because our fear was the tractor-trailers that we could see up from us still coming our way.

I said a prayer for all of the people involved in the accident and thanked the Lord that my husband and I were alive.

Our sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you. God Bless you.

Linda and John Simmons
Essex, Md.

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