It has come to my attention through some patients of mine that yet another community pool — Carole Ann Wald at St. Edward State Park — is threatened with closure. Speaking as a spine surgeon dealing with many complex conditions and patients, and as the director of the Spine Surgery Service at Harborview Medical Center, I am very disappointed with such a step.
Swimming as a regular exercise has profound and well-established health benefits for any participant and is particularly important for those patients suffering from joint ailments. For spine patients, swimming and hydrotherapy (water-based, low-impact gymnastic exercises) are extremely important and highly beneficial. From a societal accounting standpoint, patients who can pursue swimming as a regular exercise program can avoid far more costly surgery and consume far less in allied health costs, such as physical therapy or chiropractics.
Thus, the simple, and momentarily prudent appearing, act of closure of a community pool can have unanticipated but far-reaching side effects on the community it serves. Please consider these circumstances as you move ahead with the planning for the people who have entrusted you to serve them to the best of your abilities.
Jens R. Chapman, MD
Moorlands students adopt Sparrow Porter
A Sparrow Club is a youth-driven club where an entire school unites to help a child in a Sparrow Project. Sparrow Clubs form in elementary schools through colleges, and schools that are Sparrow Clubs will typically adopt a new child as their “Sparrow” each year as a new project. In a Sparrow Project, young people do community service and fund-raising activities in the process of helping their child.
Moorlands Elementary in Kenmore adopted Shawn Porter as their Sparrow on Sept. 8, 2008.
Shawn is an 11-month-old baby boy who has a rare type of cancer in his abdominal tissue. He will need surgery and radiation in the future and is currently receiving chemotherapy. He is a happy little guy who, in spite of his current health condition, loves to smile. He likes going for walks, reading books and swinging on swings at the park. Shawn and his mom will need to stay close to Children’s Hospital for his ongoing care for the next nine to 12 months. Sparrow cash raised will be used for ongoing medical expenses and basic family needs.
When Shawn came to visit Moorlands, he really touched the hearts of many students. One student was so touched she decided she needed to do more then the community service hours to help this little boy. She is organizing a school-wide garage sale with the help of the sixth-grade classes. They are taking in donations from the Moorlands community and holding a garage sale with all proceeds going to the Sparrow Clubs for Shawn. The garage sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 28 at Moorlands Elementary, 15115 84th Ave. N.E. This is a great example of the program uniting kids to help kids.
For information about the Sparrow Clubs Program, visit www.sparrowclubs.org/default.aspx.
Christi Robbin, Moorlands parent