January 28, 2010


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The Chestnut Hill Local
8434 Germantown Ave.
Phila. PA 19118
Ph: 215-248-8800
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2009© Chestnut Hill Local
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Distressed by hospital criticism

I have been distressed by letters in the Local criticizing care at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

Although I have spent many years on the hospital staff, I am now, and have been for some time, without direct connection to the hospital, except as a member of the hospital’s Patient Safety Committee, and as a community member together with Dr. William Mebane and Fred Weissberger, pharmacist.

The purpose of this committee is to monitor patient safety issues and is mandated by the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals.

The other members of this committee are members of the hospital administration and include the head of nursing services, the head of infection control, the pharmacist in chief, the medical director and a representative of the CEO.

Statistics are reviewed monthly and include reports of infections, medication administration, allergic reactions, patient falls, operative statistics and patient complaints. Any undue events harmful to patients are reported and, if necessary, action is recommended.

These statistics are compared to other hospitals in Pennsylvania, and I am happy to report that we not only compare favorably with other hospitals, but in many areas exceed these standards.

As committee members, Fred Weissberger, Bill Mebane and I will continue as patient advocates to keep a watchful eye out for the community so that we continue to operate at a high and a safe level.

John Roberts, M.D.
Mt. Airy


Thanks for help

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all those good people who showed a great interest in my previous articles asking medical labs to continue to do more work in correcting faults with the optic nerve.

The very fact that although so far we have little major success in this area, yet, the fact that at least two blind people were able to gain something: one, distinguishing light from dark and the other, seeing shapes.

Over my 60 years as a volunteer-caregiver for people who had a terminal disease, the most heart-breaking was the first time my wife and I were sent to the room of a patient and when we came into the room saw that the patient was wearing black glasses. My wife broke down and left the room. I told the patient she would be back in a moment.

But, strangely enough, over the following years, visiting with a fair number of blind patients, we learned that while they were in this position, they could still enjoy humor.

Any humorous incident we could think of, we told. One patient asked me how I looked. I told him I was the epitome of ugliness, just to have a laugh.

When Dr. Walter Denning, a blind retired professor from Georgia State University, heard about my work with blind patients, he came to visit me with his wife Marie, who had full sight. He invited me to visit his large group of blind and vision-impaired members. And each week I would visit with them telling them about my work.

Once I asked Dr. Denning how people who are blind visualize things we see normally. He teased me and ordered me to write an article dealing with this area. And from my pen came the article, “The Maker of Dreams.” The article won a number of prizes, and all the money I received was turned over to agencies serving the blind.

At age 92, I may  never be able to see a blind person regain his sight by use of stem-cell theory or gene theory, or whatever good theory will be found. But even the thought of blindness being eradicated adds much to my day.

Gerald Samkofsky
Chestnut Hill

Editor’s note “The Maker of Dreams” is a story Mr. Samkofsky wrote about a blind Chinese boy who was blessed by the God of Dreams so that every night, his dreams were filled with colors — of grass, trees, and so much more.


Crime at CH Village

I want to thank Joel Hoffman for his article in the Dec. 17 issue.  The increase in burglaries in Chestnut Hill Village has been shocking, and since the writing of the article, there have been three more, plus one attempted burglary.  Crime has now increased by over 60 percent within the complex, over the 2008 statistics. 

This is even more interesting after hearing that overall crime in the City of Philadelphia is down, including a double-digit percentage decrease in burglaries, as per Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.  It is a sad state of affairs when again the residents of Chestnut Hill Village (CHV) have to rise up to battle AIMCO, the company that manages CHV.

I thought that the greatest priority of any landlord is the safety of its residents/tenants.  From the lack of action, lack of support, and overall corporate disinterest in this situation, we again are being “bottom-lined” by the big, bad Goliath.  Again, we must come together to ensure that nothing worse than a non-violent burglary occurs on our 42 acres.

The residents received one letter informing the complex of the incidents.  This letter was quoted in the Dece. 17 article and a spokesperson from AIMCO was quoted as saying “we are doing due diligence and working with residents and police to maintain a secure environment.”

I do not feel that one letter has achieved their goal.   The letter discussed what the residents could do to deter crime, but it t left out the following: What action is the landlord going to take?

This is the not the first time this pass-the-buck mentality was chosen by AIMCO. They tried this last year during the heating season.  If they want to play this game again, we are ready to play.

Thomas Lind


Fact, Rumors, Fun (and a Movie)

When Borders closing was announced, I heard a rumor that locally known, rival developers, were going to band together to acquire the building. Somehow it didn’t seem to fit within the facts — too many egos and too much money required.

Then, I read in all the downtown giveaway papers (and even the Inquirer) the rumor that Stephen Star’s next restaurant will be in Chestnut Hill. Could it be true?

Then I read Greg Walsh’s opinion piece in last week’s Local with the clever addition of the collocation of all Chestnut Hill services and organizations on the second floor of the Borders building. We get to forge our own destiny and find the needed space for all. But wasn’t that the intention of the purchase of 8439 Germantown? Haven’t we been here before?

Maybe this time it will have a better outcome. Maybe Greg has a secret. If not, it will be an example of insanity, doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome.

Even if those developers were again to get into a bidding war over the existing properties, there would still be a hefty mortgage, no long term funding for the day-to-day expenses of the second floor occupants, and insufficient return to the REIT. I guess one or more Chestnut Hill residents could simply write a check for the difference. I guess that would be fun.

So, do we want facts, rumors or fun?

Google… “facts, rumors, quotes” and you’ll get the following

“I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing.” [Col. Hans Landa to Perrier LaPardite] from Inglourious Basterds . 

And, even if you didn’t see or didn’t like the movie, isn’t it fun to end a letter to the editor with that word?

Ed Budnick
Chestnut Hill




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