To The Editor:
We propose a 16 month moratorium on closing EPHLC.
During this time EPH will:
1. secure an approval of a mill levy increase to cover the revenue required to operate the Living Center—the only response to this suggestion so far has been, without even trying it, to say it would be unlikely to pass;
2. make every effort to bring the census to a maximum capacity (38 residents);
3. EPH Administration will ensure that all costs charged to the Living Center are valid;
4. during this period of time the Bank of Colorado line of credit can be used to fund revenue shortfall.
Our Mission Statement: We exist to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of all we serve.
Our Vision Statement: To achieve a culture of clinical and service excellence through patient-centered care.
Our Values: Safety, Excellence, Respect, Integrity, and Stewardship.
Facts to support our Proposal:
The mill levy has not been raised in the last 18 years or more. It is entirely reasonable to call for one at this time.
1. The Medical Center has never lost an election to provide financial support to our hospital.
a. The initial bond issue in 1973 for $900,000 ($5.4 million in today’s dollars) to build the hospital passed 995 to 266.
b. The bond issue in 2007 for $27 million ($34 million in today’s dollars) to refurbish and built the addition passed 71% to 29%.
c. We pledge every effort to raising funds through the Foundation for support in the meantime.
2. There is no reason to believe that our demographic profile will change or follow the nation as a whole. To focus on national trends, rather than serving individuals (neighbors) in our community, is to fall into a trap of distancing ourselves from our local challenges and obligations.
3. The current capacity of the Living Center is stated to be 38. Now that Covid restrictions have been lifted to allow admissions, there should be no reason for it not to return to the 10 year average of 38.
4. Historically the indirect cost of operating various departments has been somewhat arbitrary.
5. A line of credit has already been secured.
In closing, we have not encountered any member of the community who has supported closure. The Medical Center has always relied upon tax support to operate. Rarely, if ever, has the hospital had an operating surplus.
A community-owned facility should be precisely that—operated to serve the needs of the community. The ability of our community members to come together to prevail over adversity and achieve extraordinary things has been evidenced from the beginning. In 1967 “500 tax paying residents signed a petition to form the Park Hospital District.” It took lots of determination and hard work to finally build and open the hospital to patients in 1975. Can we do less?
Phil and Tara Moenning