Craig Editorial Board, January 2009 to April 2009
- Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
- Jennifer L. Grubbs, newspaper representative
- Collin Smith, newspaper representative
- Marianna Raftopoulos, community representative
- Luke Schafer, community representative
- John Smith, community representative
- Lois Wymore, community representative
Craig Today, about a week removed from the end of negotiations between The Memorial Hospital and Craig Medical Center, there are undoubtedly people angry with TMH for its decision not to acquire the clinic.
They shouldn't be, the Editorial Board contends.
The future of Craig Medical Center, the base of operation for decades for one of our community's finest physicians, Dr. Thomas Told, was in doubt after Told announced he would be leaving at the end of 2008 to train a new generation of family doctors as the Dean of Clinical Medicine at Rocky Vista Medical School in Parker.
After weeks of negotiations, Medical Center officials announced Feb. 6 that negotiations between the two sides had ended without a resolution. TMH, they added, would not be taking over the clinic or its office space at 580 Pershing Street.
TMH and the Medical Center do not agree on the exact cause of the breakdown, and whatever reason behind it is relatively meaningless.
A discussion item at Monday's meeting, the Editorial Board came away from its talk with a clear-cut consensus on the TMH-Craig Medical Center situation.
TMH, a county-funded operation, should be in the business of providing quality health care first and doing what's best for its finances second.
It's job, board members said, is looking out for the community's best interests, and if hospital officials determined acquisition of the Told clinic to be counter to those primary responsibilities, so be it.
The hospital started its own clinic - Dr. Andy Hughes begins seeing patients Monday at TMH Medical Clinic at 651 Yampa Ave. - and filled the void created by the Told clinic's closing, and therefore met its continuing health care obligation to the community.
So, what would have been the upside of taking on the Told clinic, especially if TMH considered the move bad business? Nostalgia of continuing to have a clinic in the same location, the board believes, and not much more.
True, there will be some patients who lose continuity with the Told clinic's closure, but those people will have the health care they need with the Hughes' clinic waiting in the wing.
Bottom line: Practicality and good business trumps nostalgia any day, and we'll trust that TMH made the best decision it could for its community, organization and finances by not acquiring Craig Medical.
The Editorial Board says these things knowing two primary facts.
One: Dr. Told served this community faithfully and professionally for decades, and that achievement and level of service shouldn't be forgotten. It should be cherished and honored.
Two: Standing in front of TMH, at times a lightning rod for controversy, isn't exactly the most comfortable place to be, but in this particular case, it's the right place to be.
Board members believe the criticisms the hospital receives are sometimes unwarranted, and this, the Told clinic situation, is one of those times.
The board believes TMH makes its decisions with the best interests of the community in mind, and though it made an unpopular and perhaps unfortunate call on Craig Medical, it falls within that same criteria.