Letters to the Editor

Response to 'Don’t give up your voice on health care'

Response to “Don’t give up your voice on health care,” page 6A, Feb. 25 Journal:

At first, I was really upset with your editorial in regards to the new Integrated Medical Center and contract with PeaceHealth. I do thank you for stating that you realize how great a need there is for a new facility.

The upsetting part of the editorial is about being rushed into this. You also set the tone with encouraging the public to vote out the current commissioners if they don’t listen to the public.

I can personally say that every issue that was brought to our attention was given a response. Nothing is taken lightly. Every community member has been given an opportunity to voice their opinion.

I have served on the board for almost two years. No one has rushed me. In fact, for you to infer that PeaceHealth is rushing into this is absurd. A fact not made obvious is how much time has been spent on this project. All the meetings, time taken off, daily if not multiple-times-a-day phone calls, and conferences have been held between PeaceHealth and members from our own community and the Hospital Committee.

I am a mother of four, work full time, volunteer in my off-time, and to make meetings I have to take vacation time or use my lunch hour. I am more than happy to do this. It’s what we do. We care. I personally have seen you at three meetings in my two years. One of them was a public hearing. Mailings have been going out to the public for two years, every one of them encouraging the public to come forward with questions.

PeaceHealth has been involved for the past year. They wouldn’t rush into this process either. They are encouraged by our community and how caring it is. I love this community and the people here. I wouldn’t put my children’s, friends’ and neighbors’ welfare at risk for something I didn’t believe in.

Keri Talbott
Friday Harbor

(Editor’s note: The editorial argues that a member of the board of commissioners should serve on the local PeaceHealth board, and that local PeaceHealth board meetings should be open to the public.

(The editor has attended three public meetings related to the hospital proposal, but has met with and interviewed proponents several times. And other editorial staff members have participated in other interviews and attended other meetings.)

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