Wednesday – May 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m., the administration staff at Gila Regional Medical Center will hold a public meeting at the Grant County Conference Center (3031 Highway 180 East) in Silver City. There are two questions I want to ask you:

1. Is having a quality hospital in Grant County a priority to you?
2. Will you be at the meeting?

Why would I ask such a question?

Amazingly, at the last public meeting hosted by the Grant County Commissioners in the Conference Center regarding OUR hospital… less than a hundred people showed up. Compare that to the four hundred+ people that showed up to moan and complain about the air force flying over the Gila National Forest… and you really have to ask the question - is having a hospital a priority?

I am well aware that there is a local environmental group that has a great network for getting out their message about their perceived environmental issues and tragedies. As was demonstrated back during the Lt. Governor’s fly-over meeting, this group knows how to activate the masses to get involved. Well personally, I believe having a strong, hospital to give quality healthcare to the people of southwest New Mexico should be, and in my mind, is the #1 priority.

Without quality healthcare, without a hospital… individuals and families will stop moving to Grant County. Without quality healthcare, without a hospital… people begin moving out of Grant County to be near other healthcare facilities that can treat their ailments. We will lose health-related jobs. If you believe our economy isn’t performing that well right now… if we lose our hospital the economy will begin to tank even worse due to the out-bound migration of people and wealth.

In this article, I am not advocating that the County Commissioners should sell the hospital. I am not advocating that they should keep the hospital. What I am advocating is for the people of Grant County to get involved in the process. Come to these meetings and speak your mind. Contact the Grant County Commissioners and share your thoughts.

Look… there are things I absolutely hate about the current Gila Regional Medical Center. I hate that I am given a new account number every time I go to the hospital. I hate that the hospital sends me a bill that says pay this amount… but doesn’t explain what I am being charged for. I am in disbelief that after spending $10 million dollars for a software system, I can’t access my own personal records (like I can at many other hospitals). About a year ago I was ready to physically beat someone at the hospital for turning me over to a collection agency though the hospital never sent me a bill. YET… I am thankful that this past Christmas the doctors at GRMC alerted me to the fact I had pneumonia in my right lung when I thought I had cracked my left ribs. I am pleased that I can go to the hospital every 90 days or so to have the port in my chest flushed(cleaned). I was pleased with the treatment I received a couple of years ago when I woke up one Sunday morning with Bell’s Palsy. I can only wonder about what would have happened if there had been no GRMC when I needed it.

Please make the Gila Regional Medical Center a priority for you. You should attend the meetings. You should visit with the county commissioners. You really need to let them know what you want to do with OUR Gila Regional Medical Center!

Live from Silver City

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