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Life Insurance and Annuities ktPlife Martin Elfant, CLU 4223 Richmond, Suite 213, Houston, TX 77027 would come into play and it would have to be broken up. The preliminary division could be made on cabinet lines such as the Health and Welfare Corp., United Education, General Defense Corp., National Interiors, Foreign Affairs Ltd. and Amalgamated Treasury. Critics say there is no way to make a profit out of what economists call transfer payments, such as social security, unemployment, veterans and welfare checks. But there are plenty of peo To the editor: The members of our Board have asked me to write you concerning the article, “Thanks of a Grateful Nation” [TO 2/27/811 We are extremely unhappy that you gave widespread distribution to and implicit concurrence in this fantastic account of a very important mental health matter in our area. Let me assure you at the outset that the article is filled with half-truths, untruths, and implications of a very incorrect nature. From the beginning when the anonymous letter and anonymous phone calls described the possibility of patient abuse at the VA Medical Center, this Association has monitored the matter very closely, in accordance with our role as patient advocate. . . . The article states, “. .. virtually everything in Slaton’s letter was found to be true.” As a matter of fact, nothing which Slaton charged was established as true. Two investigations, one of which ran over a ten-week period, did not substantiate any of the charges. Where allegations were made that abuse had occurred, the Inspector General could not even develop a time and place for any of these. We also regret that the article attacks some very fine friends of mental health in this area. Former Medical Center Director Jerry Brannan retired after long years of service and his retirement was in no way connected with abuse charges or any other charges of wrongdoing. . . . The article also maligns other friends of mental health in this area. The chief nurse, Ms. Haynie, and other personnel are portrayed as being indifferent to patient abuse charges when the exact opposite is true. It is also interesting that the writer of the article did not even check his facts on hospital size, but instead cited figures ple who have made a fortune caring for the elderly in the nursing home industry. They could doubtless turn a pretty penny if put in charge of Social Security. And, after all, the point is to get the factors of the marketplace back into play in all areas of American life. If poverty could not make itself attractive as a potential haven for investment dollars, it would simply have to go out of business. MARY LENZ which were grossly incorrect. This hospital has 500 psychiatric patients and 400 medical patients, considerably fewer than the 1,900 patients cited in the article. Patient abuse is always a possibility at a psychiatric hospital, and the VA Medical Center at Waco is no exception. Reports of patient abuse, physical or verbal, are very carefully investigated, and people responsible for abuse are discharged. . . . While this association recognizes that freelance writers may say what they wish and seek publication, subject only to slander and libel laws, we feel that your publication of the article was very unfortunate when it was not accompanied with a rebuttal of any sort. We agree with the statement of Medical Center director Irvin D. Noll that “. . . the conditions described have never existed at Waco.” We believe that the VA Medical Center at Waco has exemplified the kind of compassionate and concerned care which our Association advocates for the mentally ill. Dorothy Wienicke, President. for the Board, the Mental Health Assn. of McLennan County, 579 Westview Village #14, Waco 76710. The author of the article, Montgomery Cottier, replies: When Ms. Wienicke states that “nothing which Slaton charged was found to be true,” I refer her back to the report written by Special Investigator Russell Kelly, following the conclusion of his in vestigation, in which he determined that the acts of violence cited in my article did indeed occur, and in the manner related. This is hardly coincidental, since I used Kelly’s report as my primary source. In addition, the report substantiated Slaton’s charges that the patients were routinely denied access to water fountains and restrooms. In the matter of the resignation of former hospital administrator Jerry Brannan, I wish to point out that my article clearly states that Brannan left “citing reasons of health..” Further, all dialogue between Brannan and the investigators also comes from the report. If Ms. Wienicke can furnish me proof that patients Frank Priestly, Luther Rollins, Richard Ford and Oscar Hartley did not suffer physical abuse, that the conditions which 1 have described as existing during the period of time covered by my article did not in fact exist, that Al Slaton’s efforts at reporting such instances of patient abuse were not met with apathy and inaction, then I would be pleased and happy to confess my error. I do not expect such proof. I have been following this story for two, almost three years. In that time, I have written by-lined articles on the matter for the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Dallas Morning News, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. This is the first time I have heard any expression of interest in any form from the Mental Health Association of McLennan County. I am disappointed that they have chosen to side with the hospital administrators, even to the point of repeating current administrator Irvin D. Noll’s contention that “. . . the conditions described have never existed at Waco.” To me. this statement flies directly in the face of never-controverted investigative conclusions. . . . Montgomery Cottier, 2904-B Pecan Springs Rd., Austin 78723. On the patient load, Collier states he obtained his figures in January from a woman in the public information office at the Waco Veterans’ Hospital. He did not note her name, however. As Rod Davis did at the time, the present editor has also examined documents on which Cottier’s story was partly based, including the Kelly report on alleged patient abuse at the Waco Hospital conducted under authority of the Inspector General of the VA. Ed. vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvy I Challenge and Retort AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21