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Time to give thanks for hospital

Breeze Cross, Sandra Carter, Rob Eskridge

Is Thanksgiving close enough that we can start counting our blessings? Some of our blessings are obvious: four seasons, the natural beauty of our area, outdoor sports, a genuine sense of community…

Let’s remember to put the health of our community on our list, too. We the people own Tahoe Forest Hospital. It offers access to a range of services from maternity and pediatrics at birth through every phase of life until Hospice assists at the time of death. Knowing that the hospital and its medical staff, nurses and health care teams stand ready 24/7 offers a benefit that many communities our size just don’t have. It’s a blessing, to be sure.

But there is one problem. The hospital facility, which serves us, has lived beyond its useful life. It was built to deliver 1950s health care. There are no private rooms and the small patient rooms don’t accommodate the newest technology or today’s family-centered approach to care. Diagnostics and the lab are state-of-the-art but don’t have enough space. Many services are scattered around the campus, fragmenting care and diagnosis. So we’ve started construction of a major addition and remodel which will remedy these and other issues, and serve our community for decades to come.

Our hospital has positive cash flow and makes a small operating profit, but not nearly enough to build a new facility of this scope. So we’ve borrowed what we can and we’ve pledged five years of profits to the project. This will cover most of the costs of construction. But rather than attempting to raise taxes or putting the district’s financial security at risk, we’re asking every full-time and part-time family to consider a gift, as each of us has done, in support of this critically important project.

Very shortly, every local resident will receive a mailer from the Tahoe Forest Hospital Foundation, which has committed to raise $4 million to assist with this project’s financing. Please, open the mailer and read the details about what is being built. The three of us and a group of 15 community leaders have spent several years asking local families and businesses for philanthropic support. We’ve already raised $3.3 million thanks to the generosity of doctors, employees, hospital volunteers, community members and many others who know just how important our hospital is to our community.

This is an unprecedented request,but every local family benefits from having a vital hospital nearby. We own the hospital. Let’s work together to grow and revitalize the hospital’s campus. Thank you so much in advance for whatever you can do.

Breeze Cross, Sandra Carter, Rob Eskridge are co-chairs of The Campaign for The Next Generation of Care for Tahoe Forest Hospital.


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