My Turn: Measure C A simple choice to sustain quality local healthcare
The question of support for Measure C is really quite simple. By supporting Measure C, local residents will decide the scope of health care services that are important to them and can continue to be offered by Tahoe Forest Hospital. Ten years ago I worked in a different California community that was threatened with the possibility of losing its local hospital. A bond measure was proposed with a generally positive level of local support. Most residents considered the hospital a vital asset and important basic service they depended on, much the same as police, fire and utility services. They enjoyed a good reputation, and saved a lot of lives over the years. I remember one very outspoken opponent of the bond measure who unfortunately had a heart attack just prior to the election. He was rushed to the emergency room, stabilized and transferred before receiving life-saving surgery. Paramedics told him later that if he had not received care as quickly as he did, he might not have survived. He realized he was lucky to be alive, and needless to say, became an ardent supporter, voting in favor of the bond measure to support the small hospital that saved his life. Tahoe Forest Hospital is a public, not-for-profit, independent hospital that invests earnings back into the facility based on the needs of the community. So the question of support is really quite simple. A yes vote on your mail-in ballot for Measure C is a vote for continuation of quality local healthcare. Over 54 years ago, Richard Joseph, a respected local pioneer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, lost his young wife during childbirth as he frantically tried in vain to get her to the nearest hospital in Reno. There were no hospital facilities in Truckee at that time. Mr. Joseph went on to donate land to build what Tahoe Forest Hospital currently sits on. This isn’t a scare tactic, rather a realistic example of the type of service that would be affected if Measure C is unsuccessful. It’s ironic that the same critical health care services were valued in Dick Joseph’s time. The exceptionally high cost of the remaining mandated facility seismic/ privacy improvements required by federal law cannot be done without your help. The recent western addition project resolved some seismic issues by replacing outdated equipment and adding new state-of-the-art diagnostic services and outpatient surgery services. The increased cost of the western addition building program was partially due to adding additional essential services and upgraded technology not included in the original project. Unexpected inflation in construction costs affected the overall cost of the hospital expansion, as it did every person in this community who have built in the last five years. Tahoe Forest Hospital is owned by the community, operates for the benefit of the community and serves the community healthcare needs. Voting yes on Measure C is not a huge sacrifice, and should be viewed as an investment with a very big return. We can’t take for granted what we value, what we expect and what we need. Please send your mail-in ballot today, with a yes vote for Measure C. Bob Schapper is the Tahoe Forest Hospital Districts chief executive officer.
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