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Dr. Victoria Sweet on God’s Hotel and RN Tracy Pelletier on Staffing and Acuity

ow! Do we have a great show this week! A couple of months ago Casey read a book called God’s Hotel, A Doctor, A Hospital, and A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine. The book was written by San Francisco physician Dr. Victoria Sweet about San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital, the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the Hôtel-Dieu (God’s Hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves — “anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times” and needed extended medical care — ended up there. Dr. Sweet ended up there herself, as a physician. And though she came for only a two-month stay, she remained for twenty years. Casey couldn’t put the book down and then couldn’t stop talking about it. So we decided to invite Dr. Sweet to talk with us about her amazing book. For more information about Dr. Sweet and God’s Hotel, visit

Need a nurse? Let’s hope you can find one when you are in the hospital. Every week we talk about hospitals around the country and the nurses who work in them. Most people don’t realize that nurses take an oath to advocate for their patients. For some this doesn’t mean advocacy just when patients are in the hospital and in need of hands-on care. It can mean—and especially now—that nurses advocate for better conditions in which to care for patients at healthcare facilities all across the country. On this show we visit with RN Tracy Pelletier, a med surg nurse from the Aroostook County Medical Center in Presque Isle, Maine. As Maine goes so goes the nation. Tracy talks about the staffing and acuity issues in her hospital.

And we have an email question from a concerned daughter. She writes: “My father is 89 and I am concerned about him and his new girlfriend. Yes, I know he is lonely—I can deal with that. The thing that concerns me is the prescription for Viagra I found in his medicine cabinet. It’s hard to even go there—-but isn’t this dangerous? His girlfriend is 84 and very frail.”

Listen Saturday at 11am on KNEW 960AM in the San Francisco Bay Area or streaming on to find out if she is more concerned about her father or her father’s girlfriend.

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