Cheers to the handful of hospitals in Maine recently ranked among the best in the nation in effectiveness and safety.
Central Maine Medical Center which, along with Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport, were the only two urban hospitals in Maine among the 67 recognized nationally.
Among rural hospitals, only 13 in the nation were recognized, and five of those were in Maine, including Rumford Hospital.
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey "is the gold standard for comparing hospitals' performance on the national standards of safety, quality and efficiency," according to the group's website.
The organization, which was established in 1999 by employers concerned about the quality of health care, says 1,206 hospitals have completed the survey, including all of the hospitals in Maine.
Congratulations to the hospital employees and administrators who have achieved the outstanding rankings.
Legislators start off right
Cheers to the newly sworn members of the Maine State Legislature.
With the campaigns and elections over, it is worth cheering a group of our fellow citizens willing to spend the next several months thrashing out our state's problems in Augusta.
While the word "politician" conjures images of fat cats making deals that benefit themselves and their friends, Maine truly has a citizen Legislature full of honest people trying to do the right thing.
While Democrats and Republicans will differ, often bitterly, we are blessed with a functional Legislature that wrestles with difficult issues and, in the end, gets the job done.
Newly elected Rep. Wayne Werts, D-Auburn, who won his seat by a scant four votes, expressed a common sentiment.
Werts told the Sun Journal last week that the true importance of the work dawned on him while he was taking the required oath.
"Like our leadership has told us, the campaigning is over and now it's time to govern, and when they say that to you, it's like, 'Ooh, they're right.' "
That's the attitude voters expect from their elected representatives.
U.S. Senate? What can we say?
That leads us to a contrasting jeer for the U.S. Senate which last week failed to approve a United Nations treaty modeled after our own Americans with Disabilities Act.
This is a treaty urging the rest of the world to follow our example, and it already has been signed by more than 125 nations.
That should be a short putt for even the worst golfer. Perhaps even a gimme. A formality.
Disabled Americans, including former Republican Senate stalwart Bob Dole, lobbied hard for ratification arguing the treaty could ultimately make it easier for them to travel.
But no, the inoffensive treaty was torpedoed by an undercurrent of far-right opposition to the U.S. entering into any collective efforts with other nations via the U.N.
It was another in a series of sad failures for this Senate, which has failed to move on issues large, small or even, in this case, symbolic for the U.S.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.