Caring about caring

The Moffat County Care Clinic is going to continue serving indigent patients for the remainder of this year thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Caring for Colorado Foundation.

That's a welcome to relief to everyone who worried about what it would take to keep the clinic open without adequate funding.

A few months ago, the clinic fell victim to the County Commission's budget axe. But The Memorial Hospital's Board of Trustees vowed to keep it open. The hospital had to do some maneuvering to acquire the grant, which will pay salaries for the medical staff this year, and possibly next.

The hospital's foundation board successfully used its nonprofit status to meet eligibility requirements for funds normally unavailable to taxpayer-funded entities. The foundation board implored Caring for Colorado to expedite the process of providing funds.

TMH's Board of Trustees and the The Memorial Hospital Foundation board should both be commended for going the extra mile to ensure the clinic's funding -- the hospital board for insisting the clinic would remain open in the face of financial hardship and the foundation board for averting that scenario.

It's good news, not only for the patients who rely on the clinic to stay healthy, but for taxpayers as well.

Had the clinic closed, it wouldn't have alleviated the hospital's obligation to provide medical care to indigent patients. They simply would have turned up in the emergency room once their conditions became bad enough to require prompt medical attention.

That's an expensive way to treat people. The Care Clinic helps people gain access to early-stage treatment, so that a cough doesn't become pneumonia and a high blood pressure doesn't turn into a stroke.

When the chips were down, board members didn't throw up their hands and assign blame. They came up with a solution that benefits everyone in the county.

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