The loneliest number

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The loneliest number

In response to Katherine Ludwig’s lovely profile of Donna Vinal, CNM [“On hand from the first breath,” June 17, 2008], I am compelled to note that contrary to Ms. Ludwig’s assertions, there are, in fact, several certified nurse midwives (CNMs) working in Charlottesville.  To my knowledge, Donna is the only CNM currently delivering babies in an area hospital. However, there are several other CNMs affiliated with both UVA and Martha Jefferson who provide well-woman gynecology care and/or work in specialty areas of women’s health. There are also CNMs in Charlottesville who attend home births. Furthermore, I would point out that midwives who do not provide obstetrical care consider themselves to be practicing midwifery as much as those catching babies. Midwife means “with woman” and midwifery care includes care of the woman throughout all stages of her reproductive life, from puberty to beyond menopause.

Pat Dougherty, CNM, MSN
University of Virginia Health System

Shouts and no murmers

Now that plans for expanding the Ragged Mountain Reservoir have passed final approval, discussion of the costs of abandoning a large reservoir comes as an afterthought [“Next big water question: Why dredge?” Government News, June 1, 2008]. As the Rivanna Reservoir continues to silt up and stagnant mosquito pools begin to appear during dry spells, shouts to do something will grow louder and louder.

If the Rivanna Reservoir is dredged after all, we will end up with a redundant reservoir plus a pipeline connecting the two. Whether water users, taxpayers, or both (often they are the same) bear the cost of such folly, millions of their dollars may be, um, headed for the drain under the present scheme.

J.A. Barker
Charlottesvillle

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