Healthier outlook

? Hope is rekindled for the construction of a new hospital for Hillsboro. This time it feels real.

If your response to HMC/CAH?s announcement that construction could begin this fall on the long-awaited new Hillsboro Community Hospital facility was ?I?ll believe it when I see it,? you?re likely in good company. Seven years have passed since the initial promise was made by the Kansas City-based company after it purchased the assets of the city-owned health institution then known as Hillsboro Com?munity Medical Center.

But the tenor of this recent initiative is believable and energizing. The company seems to have overcome the financial hardships that led it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011. The effort to reorganize its operation and approach appear to be on target. While the city?s $1.5 million involvement?if the development agree?ment is approved by the city council this week?may cause some to flinch, but it also brings new legitimacy and accountability to the project.

At some point in our history it may have made sense to build one hospital to serve all of Marion County. But that time has passed. St. Luke Hospital certainly offers quality care in Marion, but the truth is Hillsboro can?t afford to not have a local hospital that offers quick access emergency health care, especially with a growing college population of 600 students during the school year.

Until we have reason to believe otherwise, we see this development as great news for Hillsboro and Marion County and we look forward to this necessary dream becoming reality…soon. ?DR

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