THIS SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP DOESN'T SKIMP ON DEMOCRACY
The title of your article on the Boston University-Chelsea Partnership, "Democratic? No. Effective? Yes" (Social Issues, Apr. 7), should have been changed to say "Democratic? Yes."
The reason the school committee has not overruled any decisions is because there were discussions between both parties before the decisions were made. We have public sessions at all the school committee meetings for community input, as does the Boston University Management Team.
The partnership has taken time to develop, and the wrinkles are being ironed out. If I did not think or truly believe that we were going in the right direction, I never would have made the motion to extend the contract.
Under the leadership of Superintendent Douglas A. Sears, who has been the most positive superintendent I have ever known, we have come a lot closer to our goals than ever before. He has taken the politics out of the school system and is concentrating on the educational component for our children, teachers, and administrators. He has truly been a diplomat in this community in cementing relations under very trying times. I have never known any other superintendent to put in the hours he has to assure our children's educational and safety needs are being met.
Elizabeth A. McBride
Chelsea School Committee
Chelsea, Mass.Return to top
THE MILK OF HUMAN PUBLIC RELATIONS
Contrary to the impression given by your article ("Milk mustaches don't tickle folks," Up Front, Apr. 14), the milk marketing campaign has made great inroads to change attitudes and turn around milk consumption in a very short time. Here are the facts:
For the first year, the goal of the milk mustache campaign was to change attitudes and correct misconceptions about milk and milk's negative association with health issues, fat content, relevance in an adult's diet, and image. Research shows we've done that. Milk's image has improved.
Milk Processor Education Program
Editor's note: While U.S. milk consumption grew in 1996, per capita sales fell, as BUSINESS WEEK reported.
Why am I not surprised that the "milk mustache" ads aren't doing much to improve milk consumption? The advertisements reinforce the idea that milk is a thick, heavy, high-fat beverage--certainly not the choice of boomers looking to avoid or shed those middle-aged pounds. Interestingly, your article points out that skim milk consumption is up 5%.
A glass of milk has as much fat as five strips of bacon. For $300 million, you'd think the ad agency would at least ask a couple consumers why they're not drinking milk.
Cedar Rapids, IowaReturn to top
DOCTORS CAN CURE THE PATIENT-CARE GAP, TOO
I enjoyed "Doctors Inc." (Social Issues, Mar. 24) and concur with much of the writer's assessment of the physician-practice-management (PPM) industry. I did note, however, that one of the fundamental roles of truly visionary PPMs is not mentioned in your article: improving patient care.
NeuroSource, a specialty PPM, works with its physician and hospital partners to create neuromedical "centers of excellence." These have four components: specialist physicians; advanced diagnostic and treatment technology; comprehensive, interdisciplinary patient care; and strong research programs.
The costs associated with creating and maintaining the centers are great. But so are the rewards. When physicians do only what they do best and do it with the most sophisticated equipment available, better patient outcomes result. These superior outcomes attract both patients and payers.
PPMs with commitments to improved patient care as well as cost-effectiveness and profitability will prove to be Wall Street's best bet.
Chief Operating Officer
ChicagoReturn to top