Opinion

Tri-City Herald: We’re thankful for those who are learning to listen

Talk show host Larry King once said, “I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.”

We’re thankful today for people in our community who are listening, collaborating and teaching.

Chaplains care

We don’t think often about the role of a chaplain — a professional listener, if you will.

Everybody wants to be heard — and during a time of crisis, that need is all the more important.

Ondria Hitt is the Trios chaplain. She and 15 other chaplains are employed by The Chaplaincy. Some of them work in hospice or in jails. Some make in-home visits. Every person grieves in a personal way, so conversation always is different.

Even in a hospital setting, Hitt’s work varies as she offers support to patients, family members and caregivers.

Learning to listen is a skill. We’re grateful for people who take the time to develop that art.

Trios, UW collaboration

We’re also thankful for some collaborations going on between Trios and the University of Washington School of Medicine.

The UW and Trios have entered into an agreement they are calling a strategic collaboration. There’s no transfer of ownership and it’s not a financial arrangement, but the connection will smooth the way for when patients are transferred to UW Medicine facilities and provide Trios patients with better access to UW specialists.

A joint statement said this agreement will “provide Trios Health patients prompt access to the highest level of care for advanced services.” It will also improve quality, safety and cost effectiveness of care.

Health care delivery systems are changing. These types of cooperation are beneficial to the agencies, but, more importantly, good for patients.

Money for learning

We’re glad to see some extra money being allocated to schools in our area that need extra help.

The 20 schools in the Mid-Columbia receiving the money are either among the lowest performing in the state or they have specific groups of students that are not meeting benchmarks.

That’s not to say that they are bad schools or that there aren’t good things going on there. But it does show that some kids need extra help.

The state and federal money is distributed based on the students’ standardized test scores and the state’s achievement index.

The money — $20,000-

$30,000 — isn’t a cure, but it certainly is a help.

The money can be used to hire outside resources, like tutors, and it can be put toward developing a plan to improve student performance.

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