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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Readers on literacy, the pope and the Crew


Literacy affects health care, too

This is in response to Shari Cooper’s “More medical accommodations, please,” Sept. 26. Aside from physical disabilities, even otherwise able-bodied individuals may have literacy barriers such as reading and following medical instruction. Here is some additional food for thought and helpful hints to traverse the health care chasm between what your health care professional wants you to do and how you can effectively accommodate those wishes.

First, the office person doing the cursory medical intake on the patient needs to inquire, “How best do you deal with medical forms and instructions in self-care, by reading or having it read to you?” Another diplomatically posed query might be, “How often do you have problems learning about your medical condition or ability to take medications because of difficulty understanding written information?”

In my Public Health education at Kent State University’s College of Public Health and in practice, I advocate assessing an individual’s “health literacy” or ability to comprehend and follow healthcare instruction by using the free The Newest Vital Sign (Pfizer Labs) questionnaire, which uses an ice-cream carton nutrition label to ask six basic questions about the label’s per serving information. An individual’s ability to answer at least 50 percent or more of the six questions usually suggests adequate health literacy. Those responding at less than 50 percent may need help with maneuvering health care instructions and self-care. To wit: if the patient cannot read and comprehend basic information on an ice cream nutrition label, chances are he may be at risk for low health literacy. JERRY A. O’RYAN, SPRING VALLEY

The Pope vs. the President

Pope Francis says that if President Trump is a good pro-lifer, he should understand that the “family” is the cradle of life and you must defend its “unity,” i.e. maintain the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Why is the Pope so eager to scold Trump about DACA and associate it with “family” and “pro-life”?

If the Pope truly believes the “family” is the cradle of life and that its unity needs to be defended, he would be a lot more concerned that over 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce (over 20 percentof Catholic marriages) and only 46 percentof U.S. children under 18 live in households headed by two heterosexual parents in their first marriage. These statistics represent a lot bigger challenge to “family” and “unity” than maintaining DACA. In fact, the Pope seems to lean toward being more accepting and accommodating of non-traditional families.

It seems pretty obvious that the Pope is a liberal progressive and is much more focused on his dislike of Trump than he is focused on “family” and defending family “unity.” JOSEPH BRAFFORD, BEAVERCREEK


On the story about the Columbus Crew soccer team considering a move to Austin:

Roger Schaub: They were the first team to build a soccer-specific stadium. Half the teams I ref are sponsored by the Crew. They couldn’t. Best fan base in the country.

Craig Turner: Why should taxpayers build a no public company a stadium? That is NOT the public’s responsibility. Go ahead, leave.

Rob May: The owner doesn’t intend to move them, but is using it as a bargaining chip in getting a new stadium.

Scott Rairden: From what I’ve read, he only bought the team to move them, so a new stadium deal is simply an excuse. As a soccer fan in the area, it sucks.

Marty Jones: Sounds like the browns in the ’90s all over again.

Kevin Barlow: Money talks.

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