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A View From One Side of the Bonita Unified School District Fence : TB Hospitals No Longer Necessary

September 22, 1988

There was a letter in your Aug. 25 edition from Owen Menard stating that Tim Cantwell had the right to build a housing project on land he owns (in Altadena) that was once occupied by La Vina Hospital. Menard wondered whether the sanitarium had to close because of noise, pollution and escalating taxes.

As a former physician at La Vina, I wish to correct some of these misconceptions.

Menard was thinking of old tuberculosis hospitals that were usually located in isolated areas because rest and fresh air were important elements in treatment. La Vina fulfilled its role well. However, in the past 40 years tuberculosis has decreased markedly and new antibiotics are so effective that the disease can be treated in general hospitals or at home. There is no longer any need for sanitariums.

Fresh air and noise is of no more importance (to tuberculosis patients) than it is to the general population. I can assure him that noise and air pollution were a small fraction of that in the city below us.

With regard to taxes, I can assure Menard that they were minimal since La Vina was a nonprofit institution.

Wake up, Mr. Menard. You are 40 years behind the times medically.

DAVID SALKIN

Pasadena

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