Letters to the Editor
THANK YOU FOR YOUR STORY on collaborative
care [Holistic Healing]. Like
the Wilson family featured in your article, we
too have a daughter affected by infantile spasms.
Our daughter’s diagnosis and subsequent trials
of medications and treatments with dangerous
side effects left a serious toll on us financially,
spiritually, and physically. It is difficult for family
and friends to truly understand the daily
effects of living with a child with profound
developmental disabilities. We became isolated,
both physically and emotionally, because of our
When families face a catastrophic illness,
the physical, professional, and emotional maze
of issues to wade through adds further pain and
confusion. Collaborative care, from our perspective,
is essential to treating the effects of illness
on the whole family. We were very encouraged
to hear of SPU’s program and hope that hospitals
and medical practices will quickly come to
realize the benefit of offering such services.
Christie and Eric Riehl
AS A STUDENT IN THE pre-professional health
science program at SPU, Sarah Jio’s spring
article “Holistic Healing” caught my attention.
I wanted to address a certain bias from the
student perspective about what makes “good
medicine.” As Americans, we’re conditioned
to favor allopathic training (Western medicine,
antibiotics and drugs as a panacea for all illness)
over the naturopathic (herbal) or osteopathic
(emphasis on musculoskeletal/holistic
patient care). And I will admit, there are naturopathic
doctors that stigmatize the field.
When I worked at a clinic that served Tent
City last year, I encountered a shouting match
between a retired allopathic physician and a
naturopathic doctor over how to treat a little
girl’s ear infection. The naturopath wanted to
put garlic in her ear. Ever since then, I admit,
I began to assume that conventional medicine
was far superior. In the case of an infection,
you just can’t argue antibiotics versus garlic.
Then I met Dr. Wayne Centrone, a naturopathic
physician who runs a clinic in Portland,
Oregon, for homeless youth. A devout Catholic,
he was the first doctor I’d encountered who
so overtly allowed his spirituality to inform his
treatment. Even the most well-meaning of doctors,
when examining a drugged-out prostitute
will bring quiet judgments to their approach.
Yes, they will perform the exam, interpret the
lab work, and prescribe treatments to alleviate
symptoms. But abscesses from drug needles,
sexually transmitted infections, or alcohol poisoning
can be mere symptoms of a much
deeper illness. In this sense, allopathic medicine
seems to be the “easy way out.”
Dr. Centrone, however, had the training to
assess emotional and social symptoms as well
physical symptoms. Moreover, he treated each
patient with respect, compassion, and dignity,
and never pitied them. He made no assumptions
about their personhood, except one —
that each had inestimable value and deserved
the most tender care he could give. In my eyes,
Dr. Centrone’s approach makes him a living
vessel of the true Healer, the doctor that is willing
to cross socioeconomic and academic
boundaries and unite the spiritual to the scientific
in the face of the quiet dualism that continues
to haunt our health care system. He is a
model for those of us who aspire to be good
SPU Senior, Seattle, Wash.
Adam’s Fight for Life
I JUST RECIEVED MY NEW Response today and
was absolutely moved to tears and blessed by
the story on Adam Jennings’ fight for life
[Adam’s Story]. We have
known the Jennings family since I was little,
and to see them go through so many challenges
yet cling to God’s hand was awesome
and inspiring! Praise Him for Adam’s healing
and his and Jamie’s new life ahead.
Alyssa Ritter Morgan ’99
A Country Doctor Trend?
I WAS PARTICULARLY TAKEN with the article
about Doc Raney in Sultan [Country Doc]. What a treasure for their community.
I’ve shared the story with several people.
It followed on the heels of a focus in the
February/March issue of Country magazine on
the “country doctor.” Seems there’s “something
in the wind.”
Your Response periodical is always encouraging,
thought-provoking, and enlightening.
Praise, also, for the culinary program FareStart [Ingredients for Life] —
Thanks again for your excellent publication.
THANKS FOR DOING THE article on Doc Mark
Raney. I thought you did a great job of capturing
him. I especially loved the quote about
being on hallowed ground at a patient’s death.
He really means that. Last time I talked with
him was at a funeral for a mutual friend. Not
many doctors go to their patients’ funerals.
He cares so much for his work and people.
Mark was a great help two years ago when
my son, a student member of the Celtic Society
at SPU, planned the Celtic Fair on campus.
Mark had lots of contacts and got his whole
family of talented Celtic musicians to help out.
They provided the bulk of the entertainment
that day. It was loads of fun and so great for
the students to connect with an alum in a
totally different setting than they usually do.
Thanks again for such a nice article on
another SPU graduate who is making a big
difference in his corner of the world. I don’t
think “engaging the culture, changing the
world” was the school slogan when Mark was
there, but he embodies it in his life anyway.
Inspiration in La Conner
WHAT A GREAT SPRING 2006 Response, but we
were especially delighted with the article “By the Book” featuring John and Sharon Connell
(SPU grads of 1971) and “The Next Chapter”
bookstore. This being our fourth year living in
La Conner, we can attest to the fact that their
bookstore in this town is, indeed, a retreat —
even when we pop in every single week. Not
only have they become close friends, but they,
in their winning ways, have inspired us to also
get involved in serving this community. Sharon
and John give themselves tirelessly to everyone
who comes across their path, always giving a
listening ear and a willingness (if they’re not
swamped with customers) to engage in discussion
— no matter how big or small the idea.
The best thing is … their personal interest in
people is not contrived; it comes from the heart,
and that makes all the difference.
Leona Spurling Nelson ’64 and Wes Nelson ’63
La Conner, Wash.
Remembering “Miss Weter”
AS A FORMER STUDENT OF Winifred Weter
[Weter Legacy Lives On], I’ll
always remember that she made a point of
having us call her “Miss Weter.” Although she
had earned her Ph.D, she told us that she was
not a medical doctor and that prefix should be
reserved for physicians. Miss Weter was a
stickler for “getting it right,” and she would
look over those half glasses at us with her
piercing eyes, which also were usually filled
with a humorous twinkle. Miss Weter was
extremely serious about the importance of
Greek and Latin, and she was fiercely independent.
She would sometimes get exasperated
at us for not adequately preparing, but at
the same time she understood just how difficult
Greek could be. She pushed us, prodded
us, encouraged us, and chastised us. Yet, my
classmates certainly remember that she had
the most marvelous chuckle and laugh.
Miss Weter also shared her personal beliefs
with us. This was an incredible experience for
me, and I will always remember how passionate
she was. She helped me learn to think about
the importance of my life, and how it related to
others and to God. We all had great respect for
her. She commanded respect.
Years later, in 1987 when I was a prosecutor,
I saw her at the Historical Court House
in Pacific County. Instantly, I was 20 years old
again and her student in Greek class. She was
one of my great mentors in college and that
would never change. I thanked her for all she
had taught me and how valuable her instruction
had been in my life. I’m sure I speak for
all of Miss Weter’s students when I say she
was a great woman, a brilliant and caring professor,
and a magnificent mentor.
Mike Sullivan ’72
Superior Court Judge, Pacific and Wahkiakum
A Contagious Love for Life
THOSE OF US who knew Bill Rearick [RearickRemembered as a Renaissance Man] and were affected by him will
miss him very much. He was good, if not
downright excellent, in so many areas —
teaching, administration, mentoring, and
cooking, just to name a few — but the joy and
enthusiasm he brought to these activities is
what I will remember most. While professional
in every way, his “amateur” approach,
meaning literally for the love of doing it, was
catchy and his smile genuine as he invited you
to learn, think, or just hear his latest idea on
something. Bill’s high standards and professionalism
would be good enough to be
remembered by, but his passionate, contagious
love for what he did will be the mark he
left most on me.
Don Corson ’70
Port Angeles, Wash.
The Falcons Shine
SPU BASKETBALL IS a hidden gem in the Seattle-area sports scene. Where else, for about $7
a game, can you get center-court seats, 10 rows
from the floor, and see a great game of basketball
night after night?
I have been an SPU basketball fan since
attending the school in the early ’90s, and my
wife, an alumna of GNAC rival Central Washington,
has become a big SPU fan as well. It
has been fun seeing Tony Binetti’s growth in
talent and leadership from his freshman year
through his All-American senior season, and
seeing Dustin Bremerman fulfill the potential
he showed as a freshman. Hopefully the Falcons
will be able to repeat last season’s success,
but it is guaranteed they will provide a season
of exciting and entertaining basketball for fans.
Greg Lancaster ’93 and Jolene Lancaster
Life Lessons From Coach Holmgren
THANK YOU (and Greg Askimakoupoulos) for
the great story tracing Mike Holmgren’s life
and coaching career [Spiritual Lessons onVictory and Defeat]. It provided
a rare opportunity to see the many
influences that have shaped this man that
most football fans only know from sideline
camera shots and post-game interviews.
It was impressive to learn that frequently
during his coaching career, crucial decisions
were made on the basis of what was best for
his family —
this in the professional sports
industry, where the rule too often appears to
be, “win at any cost.”
It would seem that in his comment about
success, Holmgren’s phrase “it’s not about the
Super Bowl rings” echoes the words of the
apostle Paul: “Everyone who competes in the
games goes into strict training. They do it to
get a crown that will not last; but we do it to
get a crown that will last forever.”
More than just a story about a sports
celebrity, this article conveyed some powerful
life lessons for all of us!
Mercer Island, Wash.
“Esprit de Corps” at SPU
I was deeply appreciative of receiving
Response for the first time. The coverage reflects
the vision statement of President Eaton: “Can
a university change the world?” With your professionalism
and skills depicted in Response,
I can’t wait to receive my next copy! Without a
question, SPU has created in the present an
impact in the global world. Response reflects an
“esprit de corps” in all aspects of university life.
Robert D. Kroeze
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