Support the midwives |

Support the midwives

Aspen Center for Women’s Health (Linda Vieira, Teresa Hall and Carole Moran) are an indispensable part of our community and we should do whatever is necessary to ensure that their practice remains.

I think we should give Kenton Bruice the benefit of the doubt, however. He must not truly understand what damage his actions have done nor what harm he will continue to do if he insists on separating his practice from theirs.

It may be a lack of understanding of how to work in a small community or impulsiveness due to youthful inexperience (when Linda Vieira began delivering babies 30 years ago, Kenton Bruice was in kindergarten).

Perhaps it’s a lack of awareness of the position he puts them and our community in by making it impossible for them to work at the hospital. Maybe it’s ignorance of the unique and important service they provide in caring for those who cannot afford medical care and who can’t speak English.

It may be a misplaced sense of importance as one of only three OB/GYNs at the hospital (since at the moment the hospital will not allow any more OB/GYNs to practice here).

I read his letter to the editor (Aug. 14). It’s nice that he’s chosen to spend his money on equipment so those of us who can afford it can get live 3-D ultrasounds when we are pregnant.

It’s too bad that he couldn’t see his way clear to spend his money on appropriate salaries for three accomplished and experienced nurse-midwives who have a long history of providing care not only to the affluent, but to low-income and even indigent women in our community.

Were it not for the hospital bylaw preventing our community from acquiring a new doctor, Kenton Bruice’s actions would be a mere business decision. But since Aspen Center for Women’s Health has no recourse without the supervision of a medical doctor, his decision and the abrupt manner in which he implemented it have far greater ramifications.

Whatever his reasons, Linda, Teresa and Carole have been providing excellent medical care to women of all socio-economic classes in our valley for longer than Kenton Bruice has been a doctor. In fact, they have been servicing our community for longer than Kenton Bruice has been an adult.

As a community, it is imperative that we support and reward those who have been there for us, and help those who aspire to be a part of our community understand what “community” really means.

We cannot allow Aspen Center for Women’s Health to be forced to close their doors. Whether it means compelling Kenton Bruice to remain with ACWH, changing the hospital bylaws that prevent a fourth OB/GYN from practicing here, allowing a doctor who is already practicing here to move her practice to ACWH, or replacing the doctor who put the community in this position, we must not let Linda, Teresa and Carole be forced out of practice.

The hospital board needs to hear from you. Letters can be addressed to: Aspen Valley Hospital Board of Directors, Aspen Valley Hospital, 0401 Castle Creek Rd., Aspen, CO 81611.

Pamela Prestyn


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