|P.Mean: I get a letter published in the Kansas City Star (created 2013-08-26).
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I try to write regularly to the Letters to the Editor page of the Kansas City Star. Most of the letters I write are about politics and are irrelevant to the topics on this web site. Today, though, I got a letter published about research.
There is a proposal being debated right now about adding a half cent to the sales tax in Jackson County (the county that includes most of Kansas City, MO). This tax would pay for medical research conducted at Children's Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke's Hospital, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Several editorials have been written already about this, and a question commonly raised is along the lines of "sure this is great for those insitutions, but how will Jakcson County benefit from this research." One example is this editorial
and it prompted me to write the following letter.
Yael Abouhalkah (8/22, "Questioning a New Tax to Boost Medical Research") talks about medical researchers as if they were giant black holes sucking up money never to be seen again. As a statistician who has worked with many healthcare professionals at Children's Mercy, Saint Luke's, and UMKC, I have a much different perspective.
The researchers that I work with are actively engaged in our community trying to solve real health problems. They are going into our homes to remove sources of mold that can exacerbate asthma. They are working with African American ministers in our churches to preach greater tolerance of people with AIDS and to encourage parishioners to get tested for HIV. They are developing exercise opportunities in our neighborhoods to combat obesity in our children.
If Mr. Abouhalkah wants proof that money spent on medical research will help our community, there are plenty of examples out there already.
The letter was published pretty much unchanged. When the letter gets posted on the Kansas City Star website, I will post a link here.
This page was written by Steve Simon and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. Need more information? I have a page with general help resources. You can also browse for pages similar to this one at Human Side of Statistics.