This time not the ER
By TIM HORAN
Senator Jerry Moran learned firsthand the importance of a community hospital about 10 years ago.
He learned that lesson at Abilene Memorial Hospital.
In his remarks at the open house event at Memorial Health Systems. Saturday morning, Moran said he was once a patient at Memorial Hospital.
“I asked Mark (Miller, MHS chief executive officer) when it was, and he said HIPPA doesn’t allow me to tell you,” he laughed.
“I remember staying at the hotel here, the Holiday Inn Express,” Moran said during the reception. He said he visited Memorial’s ER because he suffered from kidney stones
He said that event highlighted for him the value of a community hospital for people who do not live in the community.
“Emergency services are so important, particularly for people on I-70,” he said. “This is also very important for people who live in Dickinson County.
“What I tried to indicate in my remarks, in the absence of quality health care here, Abilene would not be the community that it is,” he said after the event. “It would begin to deteriorate as people would decide they couldn’t move here or move away.
“It’s the symbol that this community understands the value of providing the services necessary to that community,” he added.
Miller said he didn’t know what to expect at the open house but was pleased with the 150 people that attended the event and the additional 50 plus that showed up for tours later.
“Saturday morning, this early in the morning, there probably isn’t as many people as you might get on a weeknight, but this is what worked for Senator Moran,” Miller said. “He is such a supporter of rural hospitals that it was very valuable to get him here to share his support with us.
“We could have made it a bigger event but it was meant for those that had a significant interest,” Miller said of the open house. “We will have a Business After Hours event here in another month so there will be another opportunity.
“We still have a few things to tweak. There are some signs that could be a little bit better. Things like that.” he added.
Mike Dolan, with Alberici the construction contractor, said the biggest obstacle was over “battling budget”.
“I think we have the right solution,” he said. His company has built 25 critical assess hospitals.
Alberici is now into Phase II which calls for the remodeling of the old hospital into doctors’ offices. Dolan said remodeling is always a little more difficult.
“It’s more complicated because you are dealing with existing conditions. You are not sure what’s in the walls and in the ceilings,” he said. “You have to move people around and keep the business open.”