My Turn: Tahoe Forest Hospital needs your support
Your hospital district needs your tax support to improve facilities, meet state and federal law, improve technology and bring new services to our community. Why? Our community has grown, health-care needs have changed, the government has written laws that hospitals need to obey, and technology keeps changing.
Tahoe Forest Hospital is a for-profit hospital, where the bottom line is all that is important. We are your community hospital. You elect the district board. Our meetings are open and public. We encourage you to contact us with questions or concerns about health care in our community. You are our shareholders. Our entire focus is on meeting your health-care needs.
Why can’t the hospital get by on the money it makes? Margins are shrinking, construction costs are skyrocketing, and just about everything we buy is very expensive. We spend millions each year replacing and updating equipment like microscopes, beds, heart monitors, and surgical instruments. The new MRI alone cost over $1.6 million.
It just isn’t possible anymore to build hospital buildings from revenue. Hospital construction averages $1,000/square foot (in large part due to governmental bureaucracy and regulations). We’d love to find a donor who would give us tens of millions of dollars to build a new maternity center, but realistically that isn’t going to happen. Your hospital needs your support and your “Yes” vote on Measure C.
A portion of the funds from Measure C will be used for our cancer center. Unfortunately the need for these services is great. Chemotherapy requires advanced facilities for preparation and administration. Special exam and treatment rooms are needed. This all costs millions. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to have these services close to home? It is to me and my family. Vote “Yes” on Measure C so that we can better provide these life saving services here in our community.
Obstetrical services are currently located in the “back” of the hospital, in a building built in 1966. We’ve long known of our need to retrofit or replace this building, but we couldn’t do it during the last construction project without interrupting services. We had hoped that by now the state would have made funds available to help small hospitals meet seismic requirements. They haven’t and it’s up to us. Our family knows how important it is to keep Obstetrical services close to home ” our child was born at Tahoe Forest Hospital during a snowstorm. Our family is voting “Yes” on Measure C.
Where else will the money be used? We don’t need a much bigger emergency department, but we do need a better designed one. Improvements are needed to improve efficiency, privacy, and our ability to handle the crowds on holidays. In our long term care center our staff provides excellent care, but the facilities desperately need work so that family members can continue to receive the extended care they need, close to their loved ones.
Your hospital district board works hard to balance the needs of the community with the realities of being a small town health system. We know that no one wants more taxes, so we are only trying to fund the most essential projects. Measure C funds will be used for facilities ” not salaries or administration. A citizens’ oversight committee will watch over how the money is used.
In 1951 the citizens of this community voted to tax themselves to form the Tahoe Forest Hospital District. Now, over 50 years later, we need to build upon their legacy. The health of our community is worth it. Join me in voting “Yes” on Measure C.
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