Critical access, critical vote.

Letters to the editor

With the upcoming election, I was reminded of an old quote about good leaders being the “visionaries who serve as custodians of the future.” This is why I am writing to encourage a vote FOR the critical access hospital. I have been involved in this emotional and political roller-coaster called the CAH since 2013 (BTW – I hate roller-coasters) and despite the screams of terror or joy, I wanted to bring another voice to the public forum saying that we’re close. From the perspective of some, it may seem that this vomit-inducing ride will never end, but it will, and jumping out now could be one of the most dangerous things we could do.

There has been significant disagreement as to where the CAH will be and how it will be designed. And this process, although very frustrating, has allowed for multiple people to think out loud and offer their views. I am not alone in the view that the current plan for the CAH is still not the right one, but I remain convinced that we need a CAH for the future growth and care of our communities. At this point, we all are “custodians of the future” and together we must prudently consider the future of Sublette County – both our future needs and our future capacity. That is why this election is “critically” important.

There has been a high level of coordination and unity throughout the county during these past couple of years, between the towns as well as between the towns and the county, which has been very encouraging. Sadly, one elected board has not been part of that process. Hence, I am hoping for change – a change toward greater unity, cooperation and respect. Sublette County no longer has time for north or south, left or right, pro or con. There will always be disagreement as different groups pose their “thesis” and “antithesis” but we must all commit to progressing toward “synthesis.”

The news of the USDA’s rejection of the current proposed CAH at BloomField discouraged many people, and some advocate quitting and/or resigning themselves to a lower level of service. However, there is hope and frankly, we are close. An email to me from Ms. Werner (USDA) highlighted that hope only three weeks ago, “If everyone worked together we could break ground by spring [2019].” (10/10/18) Indeed, it may be surprising to some that we are not all that far from a consensus, the consensus that will provide the health care we need and want in this county.

Clearly, thought and reflection after Nov. 6 will be required since the current plan does not have the needed support. But a sober revisit of expectations, business models and building designs as a community will provide the basis for a successful application to the USDA and the foundation of the medical care we need today and that we will need more of tomorrow. So, as we go to the polls, let’s elect visionary custodians who will work altogether for the future of our community.


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