Every day that I cross the Mile Long Bridge over Hubbard Creek Lake, I get depressed.
I see places in the lake that I never knew existed because, when the lake was full, it was covered by water.
It's depressing to see the lake boat-less while going across the bridge. That was always my personal sign of vitality.
To see that part of our local resource fall by the wayside takes the wind out of your sails.
Something else that is like taking a punch to the stomach is the thought of Breckenridge and Stephens County no longer having a hospital.
Stephens Memorial Hospital is in a rough spot and it's up to the citizens of Breckenridge and Stephens County to pull us out.
I am personally realizing that America's rural health care is being tested by ObamaCare, the unofficial name for The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law on March 23, 2010.
City hospitals are functioning at a high rate of speed while the rural hospitals are taking a hit and blowing out tires. SMH along with Graham Regional Medical Center are just a handful of rural health care facilities that are fighting for their collective lives right now. Young County is also embroiled in the battle of creating a hospital district.
The thought of losing 105 local jobs, the local Meals on Wheels organization, coupled with the trickle down effect of not having a health care facility kills me.
I can only speak for myself on health care experiences for my family.
For the most part, I have had very positive interaction. The nurses were very caring when it came to my children's well-being.
The physicians were very thorough and have provided awesome care.
I guess I can say that I have been blessed with not having to use SMH as much as some.
I am very aware there are people in town who have had negative experiences with the facility, claiming to never use the facility again.
I think the hospital might take a more aggressive stance to reach out to those who feel they have been wronged in an attempt to right those illegitimacies.
If something was done wrong, then it needs to be reviewed and corrected. It's just the right thing to do.
If the patient can't be satisfied, then at least hospital administration can say they gave it the old college try.
Create a policy to "leave no stone unturned" when it comes to patient advocacy and it makes sure that everything was covered when it came to pros or cons.
If the vote passes to create a hospital district, the hospital's Board of Managers and administration will be more under fire than normal because it's taxpayer dollars that will be the primary source of income.
In the years that I have been involved with the SMH Board of Managers, people in touch with the future of Breckenridge and Stephens County have been on the committee, so I don't see that being a problem. Currently, we have good people in place.
The SMH administration team will be called on to make sure that the monies are spent wisely and county citizens' health care will be a No. 1 priority.
We all know the microscope will get smaller and tighter, and the nay-sayers will be out in full force.
SMH will need to have its ducks in a row because the future of our city will be hanging in the balance.
For me, it's a no-brainer when it comes to needing a medical facility in our town.
For some, it will take a little more convincing. Citizens need to make sure they are educated instead of making a rash decision.
Health care in our city will be drastically reduced without SMH. And, right now, that's not a chance I think we want to take.