March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors' Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.
For 130 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians' voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. Medical Society physicians worked to establish the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners to ensure the professionalism and education of Tennessee Physicians. Society efforts also played key roles in formation of Children's Hospital, Erlanger Hospital Authority and Blood Assurance.
Through the years the Medical Society has fought polio, promoted immunizations and promoted increased funding for Health Departments. The Society has led health initiatives to promote community health by reducing infant mortality and promoting healthy behaviors.
In 2003, we formed Project Access to provide health care to low-income uninsured residents. Today more than 700 physicians participate, and Project Access has coordinated nearly $102 million in health care. Medical Society physicians also provide additional uncompensated care each year.
Your physicians appreciate being recognized on National Doctors' Day. But we also thank the people of Southeast Tennessee for entrusting us with their health care.
MARK ANDERSON, MD, President, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society
Since my husband and I arrived in Chattanooga last August, I've been a regular user of the city's pottery studio at the Patten Recreational Center. The facility delivers on both of its promised goals: I have received excellent instruction, and it's my primary workspace for producing ceramic art.
I take particular issue with the implication within the editorial on March 17 that the space does not welcome users or treat them well. I spend three to six hours each week in this studio precisely because of how well it is run and the warm community that immediately embraced this newcomer.
I realize that this city has many important priorities, but this studio provides a valuable service and an affordable place for residents to create and connect with others within the community. I'm always amazed at how few Chattanoogans know about this amazing resource. When I brag to friends and family across the country about what I love about our new home, the city's pottery studio is at the top of my list.