Speaking Out

A Heart for Cardiac Rehab

We write to make faculty and staff aware of the impending closure of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Presbyterian Hospital. We recognize that the University of Pennsylvania Health System needs to achieve financial savings to eliminate its serious deficit. However, the estimated potential savings of $30,000 per year from closing this program contributes little to that goal, while eliminating a program that is valuable to faculty, staff and more generally to the West Philadelphia community.

With the closure of this program there will be no cardiac rehabilitation program in Pennsylvania available in the PennCare system. The value of cardiac rehabilitation programs has been stressed repeatedly by the American Heart Association and such a program is vital to the objectives of the University's health benefits. As participants in this program we can attest to the quality of the program and its importance in our own health care.

We urge that those responsible for the decision to close this program reconsider that decision.

--James F. Ross, Professor of Philosophy

--Gerald J. Porter, Professor of Mathematics


The University of Pennsylvania Health System and Presbyterian Medical Center recognize the value of cardiac rehabilitation and the importance of this service to its patients. We are currently exploring new opportunities, with the hope of being able to, again, provide cardiac rehabilitation within the Penn System.

The cardiac rehabilitation program at Presbyterian was closed due to lack of patient volume. Many patients who choose Presbyterian for cardiac care and surgery often decide on a site closer to home for rehabilitation.

In recent weeks, we have had to make many difficult decisions in support of an overall financial recovery plan; this certainly was one of them.

--Michele Volpe, Executive Director, Presbyterian Medical Center

Pedestrian Safety Suggestions

I have two suggestions which would help pedestrian safety. First, abolishing (at least in Philadelphia) the law allowing turns on red lights. (New York City does not allow this). Second, in Europe I have noticed that the traffic signals are located only on the near side of the intersection, in front of the crosswalks. In other words, a car cannot stop in a crosswalk and still be able to see the traffic light. If a driver accidentally pulls too far forward, they must back up and get out of the crosswalk. (But this does not happen too often since most drivers are used to the system and anticipate where they must stop).

My experience with both of these methods is that they truly make things safer and more convenient for pedestrians. They eliminate unpleasant confrontations which occur when cars and pedestrians are in crosswalks at the same time, by making a clear time when pedestrians have the right to be in the crosswalks but cars do not.

--Thomas Schnepp, Acquisitions Dept.,Van Pelt Library

Speaking Out welcomes reader contributions. Short, timely letters on University issues can be accepted by Thursday at noon for the following Tuesday's issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. Advance notice of intention to submit is appreciated.--Eds.

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 13, November 23/30, 1999