Readers Write |

Readers Write

As an employee of the hospital for four years, a non-homeowner and someone relocating to the other side of the continent come May, I feel compelled to comment on the feverish conversation regarding Measure C. It won’t affect me whether this measure passes. I’ve no incentive to back it, and I’ve no reason to oppose it. I do have the advantage of comparison though. I’ve lived/worked in four U.S. cities and two countries over the last five years, and would like to share some thoughts.

I’ve worked in a few hospitals, none of which can compare to Tahoe Forest Hospital. I cannot express my appreciation for having the privilege to be a part of something rare in health care today: A community hospital that still sees the faces of its employees, its patients, its past and its future. At times the vision may be blurry, it may seem unfair and it may be heavy on the business end. But hospitals are businesses, as much as we don’t want to admit it.

For those of us who are direct caregivers, we loathe the thought of insurance reimbursements and budgets. We’re outraged when crackers are discontinued to save a buck! We want to help and heal our community. Truckee has a great community! It’s very unique and has the chance to keep it this way. I’d encourage everyone to get involved. Get to know the hospital board members, go to the public-forum meetings, stop by the hospital to see what’s going on, write letters to administration.

The community has a very loud voice here, and if you’re unhappy with how things are being run, speak to the right people. Know your leaders, they’re your neighbors. Please don’t let the mistrust of authority and administration cloud your community’s needs. Please do your homework and research regarding this bond. Please be smart, cautious and forward-thinking. (If that isn’t enough, go work for Kaiser, Sharp, Scripps, Fairview, Renown, Allina or any major health-care organization. Live in a city where you’re anonymous and you never see a friendly face at the coffee shop.

There’s a reason you live here; what is it?

I have been a resident of Truckee and have practiced medicine as an anesthesiologist at the hospital for 27 years. My children were raised in Truckee and my youngest son was born at Tahoe Forest Hospital in 1982. I have seen both the community and hospital grow and develop over this time. My family and I have been active participants in many activities of both the community and the hospital. I and other members of my family and friends have received medical care at the hospital.

I am very much in support of Measure C, which will allow the hospital to not only maintain some services that may be lost but also to expand and improve upon services that exist and to develop new services we will need for our community hospital in the future.

I am intimately involved with the medical staff at the hospital and interact regularly with the hospital administration. I have full confidence that the leadership of the hospital and medical staff are current and in tune with the community’s needs and are doing a very competent job of utilizing the health care dollars from the community and our patients.

I have no need to provide a rebuttal to some of the letters not in support of Measure C. I would just ask that you place the same trust in the decision-makers of the hospital administration, hospital board of directors and medical staff that you do when you receive care at the hospital. I am confident that the funds raised through Measure C will be well spent with good community input and will allow us to continue to provide high quality, current and very competent care to the community in the future.

Why should I subsidize a medical facility that I can’t use? The doctors at Lake Tahoe determined long ago that they would not let any HMOs into this area. This is sad because most locals are lower-middle class citizens who desperately need HMO services. Tahoe Forest Hospital District seems to support this practice by not providing an IPO/medical group for HMO insurance policies. If TFHD were to institute a Blue Cross HMO CaliforniaCare group at the hospital I would be one of their biggest supporters.

Wouldn’t you think that anyone who wants $98 million from local taxpayers would at least come up with a plan for how they will spend that money? It seems that borrowers think that “citizens oversight committee” makes up for not having a plan.

The ballot text is so vague that I don’t see how the committee could argue with almost any type of expenditure.

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