Better candidates would help

I received an email from Mayor Kenney, urging me to register to vote. He said this is the first step to improving our government.

To that, I reply that I will always vote. I do ask, however, that I be offered candidates who I can be proud to support. I ask that we end election of judges, a process that rewards incompetents via a lottery for ballot position. I ask that we end cronyism among party bosses and ward leaders, promoting hacks and punishing qualified candidates. I ask that we have an election cycle without corruption charges and indictments. I ask that some official has the cojones to carry Seth Williams out of his district attorney's office, if necessary, and cut off taxpayer income for him.

It is time the public got some favors.

|Bill Robling, Philadelphia

Nurse practitioners need doctors

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 25 is starting to heat up, with nurse practitioners planning to demand an end to collaborative agreements with doctors. This bill would permit individuals with graduate nursing degrees to practice medicine and provide medical care without the guaranteed backup of a medical doctor or having a medical degree.

Myth: Collaborative agreements are unnecessary business contracts between nurse practitioners and physicians.

Fact: By law, the collaborative agreement requires immediate availability of the physician, a predetermined plan for emergency services, and availability of the physician on a regularly scheduled basis. It ensures that every patient being cared for by a nurse practitioner has a medical doctor involved in the management of his or her medical care - an assurance that is critical when medical care goes beyond the nursing education, experience, and clinical ability of a nurse practitioner.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society asks: Wouldn't you want your health-care provider to have a concrete, written plan to ensure the best possible care in the event of a complication or emergency?

|Chuck Moran, director, media relations, Pennsylvania Medical Society, Harrisburg, stat@pamedsoc.org

Government should fund research

As a clinician scientist who has been in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry, I disagree that funding for science should come from philanthropy and industry ("Fund science with private or public sources?" April 10).

Industry funds only research that contributes to profits. It has no obligation to consider public-health needs. Philanthropy funds what philanthropists are interested in, without consideration for the health needs of the nation.

Only the government has the responsibility for public health and knowledge and the resources to carry out this mission. With the support of government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, science progressed rapidly after World War II, contributing to public health, and making the United States the envy of the world (not England or France). China is escalating research support and recruiting Chinese who we have educated. For us to abandon government's role in scientific research would be an unimaginable abdication of responsibility to our nation's future as a world leader.

|Mary F. Morrison, M.D., Wynnewood, maryfmorrison466@verizon.net

Improve women's heart health

Our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends are at risk of heart disease and stroke, which cause one in three deaths among women each year. That is more deaths than all cancers combined. Fortunately, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events can be prevented with education and action.

The American Heart Association Go Red For Women movement inspires women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities, and shape policies to save lives. Together, we are working to improve the health of all women.

Through the outreach and efforts of Go Red For Women, about 293 fewer women in the United States die from heart disease and stroke each day.

As chairwoman of the Southern New Jersey Go Red For Women Luncheon, I want women across the state to be more aware of their heart health. The luncheon, set for Friday, April 28, at the Mansion, in Voorhees, will help raise critical funds to combat the nation's top killers. Let's unite for a day of awareness, education, and inspiration. For information, visit SouthernNJGoRedLuncheon.Heart.org.

|Stephanie D. Conners, senior executive vice president, Cooper University Health Care, Camden, erin.boyle@heart.org