Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Our Missed Health Care Opportunity

Austin American-Statesman, December 1, 2011

For the past 17 months I’ve watched through my fingers as Congress has slowly eviscerated a gentle, brilliant, apolitical pediatrician and Harvard professor — Don Berwick. It’s been painful, gut-wrenching and depressing. Congress will finish him off today, when his resignation as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services takes effect. The words […]


Regulatory boards need to keep their independence

Austin American-Statesman, March 2, 2011

Facing a $27 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Rick Perry has revived a failed and tired idea from past legislative sessions. To save a paltry $7 million, he proposes to combine under one umbrella some of the most essential agencies in state government — the boards regulating doctors, nurses, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, pharmacists, psychologists and […]


Midterm election campaigns all about health care bill

Austin American-Statesman, October 29, 2010

The midterm elections seem to be all about health care. Republicans spew venom toward Democrats for passing the reform bill. Democrats distance themselves from the legislation. If Lyndon Johnson had been alive on March 24 when President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, he would have remarked from experience […]


Controlling health care costs needs to happen from within

Austin American-Statesman, July 2, 2010

The White House nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services seems to be imploding. If it does, it would be a missed opportunity for our country. Conspicuously absent from the health care overhaul were meaningful measures to control costs. There’s a reason for that: Government cannot legislate that […]


This is What Leadership Looks Like

Austin American-Statesman, March 30, 2010

‘This is what change looks like.” Reflecting on 13 months of rancor and preparing us for the months ahead making sense of it all, that’s what President Barack Obama told the nation from the White House East Room after the cliffhanger vote by the U.S. House passing the health care overhaul. Undoubtedly overlooked by most, […]


5 Minutes with Nancy McDonald: On serving in the Texas legislature

NurseWeek, March 18, 2002

How did you become involved in politics?

Part of our professional code of ethics tells us that we’ll strive to “improve standards of nursing practice and promote … efforts to meet health needs of the public.” I’ve always taken that aspect of the code very seriously.

During the 12 years that I was a hospital staff and head nurse, I was also involved in local politics. During that time, an influx of foreign nurses pointed to the need for a clearer definition of nursing responsibilities in the Nursing Practice Act. After joining the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Texas Nurses Association, we set to work to rewrite parts of the act and then to lobby the Legislature for its passage.


Nancy McDonald: Icon of Texas Nursing

Texas Nursing [Vol. 84, No. 10, pp. 3-7], December 1, 2001

[This article was also published in the March 18, 2002 NurseWeek, p. 10-11.] About a year ago, I worked in the same NICU bay at Seton Medical Center in Austin with a nurse new to our staff, Elizabeth McDonald. She’s quite distinctive — tall with very long hair, poised, cool, funny and ardently self-assured. She […]


Seton-Brackenridge solution can work

Austin American-Statesman, August 31, 2001

It’s infuriating that a group of aging, celibate men in Rome could threaten women’s reproductive services at a public hospital in Austin. But public debate on this issue should focus on a community solution, not on whether the Catholic-sponsored Seton Healthcare Network should continue to manage our public Brackenridge Hospital. In June, Seton advised the […]


Legacies: Venola Schmidt, 1919-2001

The Good Life [p. 16], August 1, 2001

A eulogy delivered by Toni Inglis at Venola Schmidt’s memorial service on June 23, 2001, at First Unitarian Church. The Tuesday after Venola died, former Gov. Ann Richards read the article in the Austin-American Statesman written by reporter Leah Quin. She called me from Washington, DC, and thankfully I had the presence of mind to […]


Impeachment? Nation could use Barbara Jordan’s wisdom

The Dallas Morning News, October 4, 1998

[This commentary was also published in the Austin American-Statesman, the Atlanta Journal & Constitution and the Houston Chronicle.] Barbara Jordan’s candle burned out in January of 1996. It was too early; she was not finished. Her ghost haunts me constantly these days. In the spring of 1992, I took a graduate seminar from the former […]