Letters to the Editor Dec. 19, 2013

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers December 19, 2013 05:08 pm

Positive experience with Critical Access

I came to work at Sutter Coast Hospital in 2009 and fell in love with this community. I was fortunate to be offered a full-time job in 2010, and have worked here ever since.

Prior to working at Sutter Coast I worked at another small rural hospital that was designated a Critical Access hospital by the federal government.

I know change is hard and understand everyone has fears of the unknown. But I can tell you from first-hand experience that my former hospital was perfectly capable of meeting the community’s health-care needs and the quality of care remained strong.

There is a reason the vast majority of small rural hospitals are already designated Critical Access: They need the higher reimbursement rates to survive.

Large urban hospitals make ends meet through volume. Hospitals like Sutter Coast just don’t have that option.

Yes, in exchange for higher reimbursement rates on Medicare, the federal government requires Critical Access hospitals to limit the number of patients they admit (to validate they are in fact small, rural hospitals). But Sutter Coast’s current patient population is well within those limits now.

Most importantly, Critical Access is not forever. If circumstances change in the future, the hospital could always voluntarily withdrawal from the program.

A Critical Access designation has been helpful for dozens of hospitals just like ours. We ought to have an open mind about the fact that it just might work well here, too.

Trista Mentink, Crescent City 

Ad blasting Sutter deserves no response

I offer two thoughts in response to the paid advertisement by Bill Gray in the Dec. 14 Triplicate. I am overwhelmingly compelled to say that as a citizen of the United States of America, I am deeply offended by his remark comparing the date of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, to that of a thoughtful decision made by the Sutter Coast Hospital Board.

Sir, there is no comparison. First and foremost, I find the remark demeaning to all who have served this country in any capacity, but in this instance to those who fought for us during World War II and the 2,402 people who lost their lives on that infamous day.

I am not a veteran of World War II. However, my beloved father-in-law is and at this moment he is fighting for his life. This time, he is in the very competent hands of the doctors and nurses of the Intensive Care Unit of Sutter Coast Hospital. Were he awake, he would be incredulous at such a flippant remark.

Secondly, my pop would also be without the excellent care he is receiving were it not for Sutter Health. The Sutter Coast Board’s decision to pursue the Critical Access Hospital designation was made through in-depth due diligence in an effort to ensure that all citizens of Del Norte and Curry counties have a solvent hospital that can provide the same, albeit enhanced, services available today, with a continued dedication to recruitment of more physicians, and still be able to pay its own way into the future.

I hope there is no response to the “challenge” from Mr. Gray, but rather continued energy toward productive efforts. We have a viable hospital with excellent leadership and it’s going to take a lot of work to get this hospital ready for the future.

I am the executive assistant to the CEO of Sutter Coast Hospital. Because of this, you may choose to dismiss my opinion. I ask readers of this letter to do a little research, look for your own answers, seek the truth and form your own opinions.

The truth is folks, the future is here, and we need Sutter Health now more than ever. It’s time to stop the childish challenges and allow our hospital leadership to tackle the important issues of dealing with real challenges today so that local health care is available in the future.

Carol Neece-Snoots, Crescent City

Greater issue with dogs is irresponsible owners

I feel like the bigger issue about whether or not to put a dog park in at Beachfront is that the leash law is not currently enforced. I should be able to walk and play with my kids without having a dog run up to me.

The owners may know that their dog is harmless, but I do not know this, and I will not wait until the dog is close enough to harm my kids to find out.

I no longer walk my dog on a leash in my own neighborhood because I am chased by or barked at by dogs that are loose.

A dog park would allow owners that want to let their dog run free to be able to do so without harassing other people. It would also keep their waste out of the soccer fields. But none of this means anything unless people start being responsible with their pets.

Danyelle Ramsey, Crescent City