UA-Banner marriage

needs due diligence

The branding of a well-regarded academic medical center in need of resources and the economic heft of a very large, efficiently run medical system in need of academic prestige seems like a marriage made in heaven.

However, many in the medical community are cautious about this merger. Due diligence must be given to listen and respond to the experiences of physicians who have worked in either systems (crossovers).

From my experience, the cultures of University of Arizona and Banner Health systems are different in philosophies and goals to achieve excellence in patient care. In some cases, these differences are why crossovers have left one system to join the other.

Faced with this fusion of two systems, some may view this merger as an impending calamity; as a crossover, I am cautiously optimistic in its success if the resulting institution listens and learns from crossovers, meaningfully acting on the input from its health-care staff, improving on its operations and gaining better understanding of the mission of medical education and research.

Leander Zapanta

Physician, Tucson

Nice Little League piece

needs follow-up

Re: the July 4 article “Little League, big memories.”

With Greg Hansen’s great article on Little League, it would be nice to see the Star follow up on Arizona teams that are competing for their very own chance at an appearance in the Little League World Series.

In our own backyard, the Tanque Verde Little League All Stars just won state in the 50/70 intermediate division and will be playing their hearts out in the West Regional tournament in Nogales, Arizona, starting Thursday.

Kirsten Polivchak

Self-employed, Tucson

Steller off the mark

on Chagus fever

RE: the July 13 article “2 doctors cry wolf on migrant health dangers.”

I must admonish Tim Steller for listing Chagus virus as a transmissible disease agent as a boo-boo. There is no such thing. Chagus fever is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi , an animallike parasite, which is not a virus. The comparison being made between Chagus fever and HIV/AIDS is inane and misleading.

Edward L. Jeska

Retired parasitologist, Tucson

‘The Giving Tree’

is no ‘great metaphor’

Re: the July 14 article “Book given to new judge has enduring message.”

Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” is hardly “a great metaphor for our responsibility ... to give.” It is a metaphor for a co-dependent relationship in which the taker keeps taking, and the giver keeps giving, to the point of self-destruction.

As the story begins, the tree has a special talent to offer — producing apples — which it could have done for many years, providing food for many people. Instead, the tree decides that it is solely responsible for the boy’s happiness.

The boy concludes that his personal desires outweigh the needs of any others; he eventually chops the tree down and uses the trunk to build a boat to travel away.

In the end, there is nothing left of the tree but a stump, and the taker even uses that. Did the boy ever truly find happiness? Ironically, he has never learned to give; only the tree is happy in the end.

Jeanne Holt

Retired teacher, Tucson

Latin America’s anguish

is our responsibility

How come U.S. responsibility is never mentioned in the articles on children from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras?

Have we forgotten what the U.S. has done to these countries, and their children?

In 2009 there was a coup in Honduras by U.S. trained generals.

In the 1980s in Guatemala U.S.-backed forces were responsible for killing 200,000 people as part of Ronald Reagan’s offensive in Central America.

In what is referred to as the Rio Negro Massacres, 444 Mayan Indians were slaughtered. In El Salvador, U.S.-backed soldiers were responsible for killing 75,000 civilians, Archbishop Oscar Romero, six Jesuits and some 1,000 peasants, as part of a war on communism.

The U.S.- backed drug war in Mexico is responsible for the killing of more than 100,000.

Many of these atrocities can be attributed to the commercial interests which drive U.S. policy. The North American Free Trade Agreement is responsible for farmers fleeing to work in the United States. In light of the above, don’t we owe these children compassion, love and justice?

Rosemary Hallinan

Retired, Tucson

We should just leave

Agua Caliente alone

Re: the July 15 article “Agua Caliente pond has all but vanished.”

Doug Kreutz’ s article on Agua Caliente’s condition comes as no surprise, does it? As he stated, between Tucson’s overpumping and our severe drought, it doesn’t stand a chance. My concern is spending more money to pump more water in a hole that will suck it up just as fast.

I guess our first mistake was to make Agua Caliente a park, rather than just letting it exist as the natural resource it is.

Agua Caliente was here well before we were and it will be here well after we’re gone. Just leave it alone.

Scott Saylor

Technology consultant, Tucson