Board has community’s interests in mind

Record Editorial

Another battle regarding the hospital is flaming up and this time it’s

between an agency that wants to use the hospital and the current hospital

board. American College Medical Center or ACMC looked as though they were in

as the new tenants of the hospital. So who is this group from outside the

Valley that wants to re-open a twice-closed facility? Has ACMC been completely

up-front and honest in its bid to re-open the hospital? Can a signature

campaign, initiated by ACMC, really sway the vote of the board? Lots of questions,

so few answers.

One of the major concerns is over the apparent listing of Overlake as

the supporting or “joint venture” institute. In a letter to hospital staff,

Overlake CEO Kenneth D. Graham refuted any arrangement with ACMC. So why

would ACMC even bring up Overlake as a supporting organization? Is there any

arrangement between ACMC and a major hospital in the Seattle-Metro area

that would assume some level of support at Snoqualmie Valley Hospital?

Several other items of interest were requested by the board of the

hospital, only half of which were received. And ACMC, consistently noting the

pending expiration of the hospital’s operating certificate, wanted to move

forward quickly.

Let’s compare the whole process of gathering the information for the

sale to working with a bank when buying a home. The bank requires specific

information from you to make an informed decision regarding your ability to

pay, debt load, income levels, condition of the home to be purchased, etc. So

it would seem to me that the board requesting items like, a list of ACMC

board members, their by-laws, financial records, formal list of partners or

clients, and any operating agreements is a perfectly legitimate request. And the

obvious failure by ACMC to produce all of the requested documentation by a

given deadline is more than enough reason to table their proposal. In fact, if it

were me, I would be a bit nervous entering into any arrangement with an

organization that didn’t jump to provide everything I required to make an

informed decision.

And what about this whole signature campaign, putting anonymous

petitions at various business locations in hopes of stirring up public

sentiment. Why not put out a petition that states that ACMC was turned down by

the board of commissioners for Hospital District No. 4 due to a lack of

confidence. Or at least have the guts to put a name on the petitions.

Hey, another great ploy, bring in all the big gun politicians to put

pressure on the board. Well, I hate to say it, but none of those politicians live here or

has likely ever used the facilities of Hospital District No. 4. I’m sure they

have good intentions, but our own hospital board, made up of members of this

community is likely far more informed about the issues.

Everyone I talk to wants to see the hospital play some role in

our community’s future, but after two operating failures, let’s make sure that

the right path is selected and that any agreements for operation are with all

the information necessary to make an informed decision.

Jim McKiernan