Most rural hospitals in New Mexico have been leased or sold to for profit institutions some years previously. The present board of trustees have made some mistakes in the financial and professional management of the hospital which has resulted in the current financial difficulty. This has happened before.
When I was on the hospital board, about twenty years ago, we made some of the same mistakes and had some financial issues, but not as serious as the hospital has had recently. There is a new Chief Executive Officer and a new Chief Financial Officer. I understand the new CFO has a very good background in the management of the financial aspects of hospitals.
The Mimbres Valley Health Action League is a federal 501c3 organization founded over ten ( 10 ) years ago with the purpose of working to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for the people in the Mimbres region. We recognize that a year ago, the situation regarding our hospital was very different from today. To that end, we are writing to express our support for our hospital remaining an independent entity that offers quality healthcare to all of us based on the following facts.
Gila Regional Medical center finally has the administrative team in place that has driven the necessary changes. We know these things to be true:
When something gets sold, generally the seller gets paid. Yet there has been no transparency about what payment will be made to Grant County if they decide to sell the hospital. Nor has there been discussion of how any money would be used. Would the payout be used for improvement of the health of the public? Do the Commissioners plan a physical project?
I am on record as being against the sale of the hospital to a for-profit entity. In my 50 years as a Registered Nurse, I have worked for both for-profit and non-profit hospitals. While GRMC belongs to us, we can assume that decisions will be made for the benefit of Grant and surrounding counties. No such assurance can be made if it is privately owned. LifePoint, the most frequently mentioned suitor, is a holding company, not a medical administrationcompany, so we would be presumably handed off to a subsidiary, about which the public knows nothing. By the way, googling LifePoint brought me to a poorly functioning website, and a financial advisor's assessment that this company has the fastest decline in stock price of it's comparable group. I don't find either reassuring.
There is no reason to sell the hospital now that it is pulling itself out of the financial slump. The citizens of Silver City have made it clear that they do not want the hospital to be put in to the hands of others. We should not be penalized for the huge mistakes made by previous executives who ran the finances and direction of our great, independent institution.
Susan Walsh, RN
Surgical Services Staff Nurse
Gila Regional Medical Center
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Hello GC Beat Editor,
Personally I would like to see our hospital remain community owned, if it can be run profitably and efficiently . When an outside entity, who’s not familiar with our area, takes over we may lose the personal touch that is so important when dealing with the local environment.I have not had to use Gila Regional much, however when I have the service has been excellent and I feel we should be very thankful we have such a great facility so close.
Sincerely LR Williams
Let’s get real about the future of OUR hospital. After many “hospital” meetings, public and private, our community is still uncertain what plans are really being discussed but do strongly agree retaining control of OUR hospital is a vital aspect of maintaining a healthy, successful, and strong community.
To repeat many of the comments from the public speakers at the 6/12/18 County Commissioners’ meeting. . . .operational problems have been identified and plans have been developed and are being implemented to correct the problems. There were no public rebuttals to any of the comments.
Should it become clear the changes are not working, then and only then should we look at the possibility of selling or hiring a management company. We would still have the costly information accumulated during this investigatory process.
It is my desire that the Grant County Commission allow Gila Regional Medical Center to remain a local hospital. Good strides have been made in bringing the hospital to a more stable financial position. I would like the confidence placed in the administration to continue and give them a chance to prove their expertise.
I sincerely appreciate all the hard work and research the Commission has done to determine the best path for GRMC. However, it is hard to measure the personal concerns, fears and opinions of the local population. The cancer patients have had a terrible experience in changing from one cancer treatment to another. This could be an example of what would happen should the Commission decide to change ownership of the hospital. I daresay the political fallout could be devastating to all involved.
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