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For months I have followed the progress or failure debates about the status of our Gila Regional Medical Center with much confusion, betrayed, disappointed, and sometime angry feelings. I now feel that it is the time to express some of them.

Yes, I feel that we were very much overboard with the salary on the top level, but that seems to be taken care of. I will never get over the sneaky, under handed, backstabbing manner in which the GRMC Board of Trustees got rid of our Cancer Center and TRIED to replace it with UNM Hospital. Note -- I said TRIED -- it has not been completely staffed and not up to "par" yet, There is no way that we can assess the damage that it did to the many patients depending on it and the millions of dollars it cost GRMC. I understand that there was one member of the Board who voted against this action.

Ok, that's in the past -- let's focus on the future. It bothers me that Juniper Advisory (Real Estate Agency) was contacted and brought into the equation. Why? Then I see where Life Point, a big Wall Street company that owns 69 hospital in 22 states is involved. Again why? From what has been reported – the last few months GRMC has been operating in the BLACK and is predicted to increase in the future. So why not give it a chance?

I will be 91 years old in a couple of weeks and have lived 86 of them right here in Grant County. I have been in several hospitals in that time and I can truthfully say that none of them compares overall with GRMC. Let's talk about some of these "Corporate" Hospitals.

#1

Memorial in Las Cruces. I had an artificial hip that had snapped out of its socket and under the conditions and time frame I was transported to Memorial for treatment. I was admitted about 10:00 p.m. and lay there in horrible pain until 4:00 p.m.the next day before I saw a Doctor and it was not pleasant. He said, What are you doing here? You called all over Las Cruces and El Paso and no one would take you, but we finally agreed. He did finally put it back in place saying that it took 12 minutes to do so. That would not happen at GRMC. Do we want that to happen here?·

#2

I was in another Corporate Hospital – Mountain View, also in Las Cruces. I was in there as a "heart patient". About 8:00 p.m. I asked the nurse to take my blood pressure. Her answer was -- "That is not my job" and walked out and I did not see her again the rest of the night. There was even a blood pressure cuff, etc. right there on my headboard that she could use. That would not happen at GRMC. The day that they were going to release me I asked the nurse if they were going to let me go with the "staff [sic] infection" that I had? Her reply was – what infection and where? I showed her my hand that was infected where they had put the IV in . She looked at it and agreed that they should keep me another day and treat the infection. Again that would not happen at GRMC.

#3

In 2015 I had back surgery in UNM Hospital – yes, the same one that wound up with our Cancer Center. My ordeal with UNM was a nightmare. The surgery went OK although I still have trouble walking - it did what I wanted – it got rid of the awful pain in my legs. After surgery I was put in a 'WARD" not a room. It was a large room with several beds in the form of a circle with the beds about 3 to 4 feet apart. On my right was a man that had a "trac" (where they open your throat so you can breathe) and it would rattle all night when he would breathe. On my left was a man that would not stay in his bed and hollered all night so they finally strapped him in a high straight backed chair and he would then keep rocking it back forth until got it overbalanced and fell flat on his face messing it up – but he never shut up.

Then around from him was a man that shouted all night – I want my coffee. Also the nurses station was a desk at the foot of my bed and they jabbered all night. Now you know what I meant when I said it was a nightmare. To top it off they released me that morning with me telling them that my body is telling me NO. When they released me my wife and I agreed that we should not drive home, but get a hotel room and spend another night, which we did. Sure enough, that night I fell and the wife could not get me up -- so She called 911 and right back to UNM I went. They were going to put me back in that same Ward -- but my wife refused -- I stayed in ER from 4:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Until they found a room for me. Again this would not happen at GRMC.

Maybe you think that I am making up these stories, but they are just a few of the things that I have witnessed. Of all the many hospitals that I have been I have not witnessed the kind, true and loving care that I have at GRMC They treat me as though I was their Father or Grandfather. They care about their patients. They live among us and are our neighbors, and have connections with us through family, schools, churches, shopping centers, etc. -- whereas those employees in the Corporate Facilities have the attitude that so what I'll never see them again.

I feel that many or most of the people in the County feel as I do. Please let's keep our Hospital County owned. It's on it's way up -- don't knock it down. WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF WALL STREET. REMEMBER THAT GRMC HAS A FOUR STAR RATING. ALSO REMEMBER THAT ANY PROFIT/EARNINGS FROM A CORPORATE UNIT WILL LEAVE THE AREA – FOREVER.

Gene Stailey, Mimbres

Live from Silver City

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