Letters (Aug. 7, 2013)

Support local health care in Marion Co.

Health care has changed significantly over the years. Doctors can easily find themselves practicing ?cookbook medicine? governed by insurance companies. Care is divided between many different providers due to health-care cost and reform.

From what I can tell, these changes are what can give our patients the impression they are on a health-care assembly line.

I left a large hospital full of protocols and divided care to come to practice in Hillsboro. In my short time here, I have had the opportunity of a lifetime. I have been able to see the compassion and support of this community.

A million examples of this come to mind, I will name a few.

I?ve seen our clinic staff donate supplies that make a more comfortable environment for patients.

The hospital cafeteria has been making link sausage for my patient with a terminal diagnosis for every meal, just because it sounds good to her.

I watched the community gather a complete set of diabetic supplies for a patient who couldn?t afford them.

I witnessed the CEO of our hospital take time to listen to my patient with multiple mental and emotional hardships.

The time, work and educational hours that Marion County EMS puts in on a volunteer basis is amazing.

I?ve been able to visit my patients in their own homes when they are unable to get to the clinic. I?ve had a sincere opportunity to get to know my patients.

My vision of the community does mostly involve the health-care sector, but I can?t help but believe that the staff at the local hardware store may share some of the same experiences I do. As we outsource the health care in our community, we outsource other business that is vital as well.

The recent announcement of a new clinic coming to town gives me a heavy heart. Marion County is not the service area of Newton Medical Center, but the service area of Hillsboro Com?munity Hospital and St. Luke Hospital in Marion.

This primary-care clinic would indeed be negative to our community. The goal is to gain inpatient admissions at Newton Medical Center to offset Medi?care cuts, not to come to Hills?boro and form meaningful relationships and support local business. The loss of our local hospitals could be very detrimental.

The lack of hospital services in our town would soon prove to be a hardship. A kid with a fever in the evening will into a very uncomfortable ride and an all-night affair. One of us may not make it through a heart attack due to the lack of hospital care within 30 miles.

We will also lose the sense of familiarity and become part of the assembly line. As health care changes nationwide, the root of health care still exists here in Marion County, which is care, compassion and dignity. These things are represented in every example above.

I pray that ?shiny and new? does not cause us to take these things for granted and to lose them.

Shauna Kern, D.O.

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