Letter to the editor: The ripple effects of closing a hospital

accesories-text-editor-hiI would like to begin this letter by telling you that I was born in the Hico Hospital and have lived in Hico all of my life. For those of you who do not know, Hico does not have a hospital and hasn’t had one for many years.During the last year or so that the hospital was still open, it was leased out to a management group. The group closed hospital services a very short time after taking over and only kept a drug rehab center that subsequently closed a while later. The aging population, which includes many of my family members who have been there all of their life, now has to travel 20-plus miles if they have an emergency, or need hospital services of any kind.

There are so many factors to consider if the hospital closes or can’t stay at its current level of services. Patients will have to travel to have surgery, outpatient blood transfusions, labs, X-rays, emergency and inpatient care, just to name a few.

The closing of the hospital had many negative effects on our community as a whole. A major employer was eliminated, businesses closed, the population has remained stagnant because retirees and young families are reluctant to move to a community without a hospital. Families are also reluctant to place their loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities where there is not a hospital.

I am very proud to say that I am currently the Chief Nursing Officer for Glen Rose Medical Center and I hope you realize how valuable your hospital is for this community. I worked at Hico Hospital just out of high school and I must say the GRMC is very similar to Hico Hospital in the time before leasing it to an outside management group. The family-like atmosphere and the quality, dedicated employees who provide excellent patient care at GRMC are second to none.

I say all of this to let you know that having been a part of a hospital closing and seeing the devastating effects it has on a small community, I hope you will support your hospital by voting to keep the hospital as a hospital district that is run by local, elected community members.

Thank you for your time.

Lisa McClammy

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