Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor - week of June 30

Measure C support

I would like to thank the voters for supporting Measure C in the June 7 election. You are true champions for higher education and access to a quality community college education.

With the passage of Measure C, State Center Community College District (SCCCD) will invest in keeping our technology, educational and training facilities up to date at Oakhurst Community College Center and the Career and Technology Center.

SCCCD will now provide state-of- the-art police and fire academies and improved training for paramedics and nurses.

We will also invest in vocational education classrooms to prepare students with skills needed for today’s job market.

Our campus buildings will be improved with up-to-date technology, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, instructional equipment and improved classrooms, labs and equipment.

Measure C will provide many local jobs, and all of the funds will be used locally.

Thanks to your overwhelming support of Measure C, your SCCCD colleges and centers will continue to provide an affordable education for high school graduates, veterans and adults to prepare them for higher-paying jobs or university transfer.

Dr. Paul Parnell, Chancellor, Fresno

So many stereotypes

How diligent of Sheriff Jay Varney to help eliminate the homeless in the Oakhurst area.

So many citizens stereotype those less fortunate than themselves. Contrary to belief, many individuals are not on drugs. Some have degrees and are victims of tragedy, crime, or other personal circumstances.

Too many people are presumptuous, gossiping like, “Pick-a-little Ladies” in the play, “The Music Man.”

Instead of judging others, why not show a little compassion and civility.

V.L. Manning, Mariposa

Prescription drug abuse

As the President of the Central Valley Pharmacists Association, I am growing increasingly concerned about the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. Over the last ten years in California, deaths involving opioid prescription medications have increased 16.5%.

Fortunately there is bill under consideration by Congress – The Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (HR 592) – that should be considered as a major contributor in helping to address the problem.

What this bill would do, in short, is allow pharmacists to perform a wider range of health-care-related services like additional vaccines and performing critically important (but routine) tests like blood pressure, blood glucose and bone density tests.

Specifically, this bill would amend Medicare Part B to designate pharmacists as non-physician health care providers in medically-underserved areas.

Areas that qualify are those that have a high percentage of the poor, of minorities, of elderly or children for whom getting to a medical facility for these types of everyday services is difficult. Pharmacists typically see their customers far more frequently than a physician does, meaning they have a completely different relationship with their patients.

Not only would improving the existing relationship between neighborhood pharmacists and their customers help with overall health and well-being, but it will allow for a more accurate log of prescription refill patterns which might indicate potential abuse of medications, which is one of the signs of opioid abuse.

This bill, HR 592, is truly a bi-partisan effort with more than half of California’s congressional representatives signing on to support. I urge Rep. McClintock to cosponsor HR 592 to help increase access to quality care and slow the growth of prescription drug abuse.

Ann W. Vu, President, Central Valley Pharmacists Association, Clovis