News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 28, 2013

EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news


The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE —

A leader on public health

It is worth pausing a moment to pay tribute to Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general whose pioneering leadership on many fronts — most notably on public education related to HIV-AIDS and secondhand smoke — changed the world for the better.

Koop died Monday at age 96.

The position of surgeon general was perhaps never so high-profile as when Koop was at the helm under two presidents (Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush) from 1082 to 1989. That’s because he was willing to set aside his conservative ideology and use science to help explain to Americans the facts about major public health issues. His work led to significant changes in the way our society dealt with HIV-AIDS and the adverse health effects of tobacco.

Indiana University public health educator William Yarber, who had met Koop, summed up his contributions succinctly.

“He put the needs of the country ahead of politics and was very, very courageous,” Yarber told the Herald Times of Bloomington. “He was the kind of person who only comes along once in a generation.”

Strong choice for county parks

We offer our congratulations to Kara Kish on her appointment this week as the new superintendent of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department.

Kish had been serving as assistant superintendent and will succeed longtime superintendent Keith Ruble, who is scheduled to retire June 1. She will become only the fourth person to hold that position since it was created in 1967.

Since joining the department, Kish has won the respect of many in the community for her hard work and leadership in the park system. The park board made an excellent choice.

You can say that again

“This bill is not about patient safety. It’s about patient harassment.”

— State Sen. Vaneta Becker, Republican of Evansville, commenting on the Indiana Senate’s passage of a bill that places new restrictions on medical clinics that offer the abortion pill, requiring them to perform ultrasounds on women seeking the drugs