Our View: Practicality trumps nostalgia

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

— 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.

Comments

CindyLou 5 years, 2 months ago

While I appreciate this editorial I can't help but wonder about its motive in the face of little or no information being available about why the hospital backed out of their deal with Dr. Told. The editorial board headline says that Practicality Trumps Nostalgia, but after reading the article I don't even know what that means! The editorial board mentions that the hospital is doing what is in the best interest of the community, but it would appear, as some have noted, that the hospital has been doing what is in the best interest of the hospital for quite some time. But aside from who's interest is being served, it has been shown in numerous decisions over the last few years that our hospital is often self serving as they have made numerous decisions that have negatively impacted this community, it's citizens, hospital employees, and the people who go to the hospital for care. Even when a local resident received substandard care in the ER, the hospital administration apologized and then sacrificed the employees on an alter by focusing the blame on someone besides those who are running the hospital and creating a culture of mistrust and substandard quality. This event culminated in banners being placed throughout the hospital that suggest that employees are doing less than their best.

The editorial board says that they are standing in front of the hospital to act as a lightning rod. While I think that this is an admirable quality, I question their motives as to why they would do this? I do notice that the hospital places a large number of ads with the news paper each day. They may be the papers single largest advertiser. A good working relationship with the hospital will ultimately impact their bottom line. While I am sure this has not influenced the paper I bring it up because it is information that the public should be aware of. The fact that a current hospital manager also use to be an employee of the paper may be noteworthy as well.

The editorial board believes that the criticism the hospital received for leaving Dr. Told hanging after they confirmed and reconfirmed (right here on the Daily Press) numerous times over the last year they were taking over the clinic, is unwarranted, but they are making this stand with limited (or NO) knowledge of what the hospital and Dr. Told had agreed upon over the last year. Even the fact that they state that for what ever the reason the hospital backed out of their deal that those reasons have no bearing or in their own words are "..meaningless" reeks of poor judgment, or at the very least poor choice of words.

I believe this editorial is poorly timed and errs on the side of having conflict of interest at its core and atttempts to put a positive spin on a patern of very bad practices by the hospital.

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Cole White 5 years, 2 months ago

Cindy,

I don't always agree with the paper either, but I think you don't have all the fact either and neither do I. Most of the time none of us have enough information to accurately post comments on this blog. It seems like our town spends half of our time listening to rumors and the other half recirculating those rumors.

On this particular story, I would like to see the paper do a follow up story, but even then I don't think we can get the full story because neither parties are going to give any information that doesn't portray themself in the right, so it is going to be a he said she said kind of thing.

On the topic of the paper not doing more with regard to the hospital because the hospital spends so much money with them I think that comment is unmerrited and if you know more than the rest of us you should do more than just throw out acusations. I don't agree with everything that the hospital does and would like them to be more open with the public but I don't believe your approach will bring about that change.

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greeneyedgurl 5 years, 2 months ago

Cindy, It's called "biting the hand that feeds them". I think the paper is only going to write or report on what they deem "OK" with all their paying advertisers. It's a small town political/money thing, they can't afford to show the dirt. Maybe i'm wrong...that's just what i think.

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greeneyedgurl 5 years, 2 months ago

As you flip through these webpages, there are more Memorial Hopsital advertisements than anything. I'm pretty sure those cost money, money the paper doesn't want to lose.

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