As president emeritus of the Texas Hospital Association, I was interested in "No Secret Handshakes--Exclusive societies provide forum for healthcare elite" and "Lying Down with L.A.M.B.S." (Oct. 16, pages 84 and 88).
I am a "gelded" L.A.M.B. (1958-present) and one of the organizers of Caribou. (I still have my pin with horns intact.) I am not aware of anyone previously writing about either of these two organizations.
Regarding your piece on Caribou, my impression of the recollections you received from such noted "liars" as John Russell (past president of Pennsylvania's hospital association), Don Newkirk (former head of the Ohio Hospital Association) and William Robinson (former president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Hospital Association) reminded me of a statement that Admiral William Crowe Jr., former head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, once made: "As we get older, we have increasingly vivid memories of things that never happened."
Russell was still teething when Caribou was born, and Newkirk was a lowly assistant at that time. Robinson was the only bona fide CEO of a state hospital association, and he was a young turk. Also, the reference to (American Hospital Association President and former Caribou member Richard) Davidson is stretching reality, as the original members were senior executives with the larger, more active/progressive state associations, and Dick was neither senior nor larger nor progressive.
Other than that, as the fellow said to Mrs. Abe Lincoln, "How did you enjoy the play?"
Also, the notion that Caribou did not influence the healthcare delivery system could be held only by someone who smokes the same stuff that Willie Nelson does.
O. Ray Hurst