Conflicting messages from Southwest Memorial

Dear Editor:

I find it difficult to reconcile the two recent press releases from the Southwest Memorial Hospital CEO and board.

First they announce the closing of a much-needed and well-used service, presumably because funds are not available due to the failure of the last referendum to increase funding. That result can be entirely blamed on TABOR, which places too many restrictions on our elected officials and boards as to how they can budget and raise funding to operate and maintain the facilities and operations under their supervision. This misguided act alone has placed Colorado in the position that we can no longer fund quality education, health care, highways and other infrastructure. As I have stated in a previous letter, all vestiges of TABOR must be fully eliminated so we can let these officials and boards do their jobs.

Secondly, they announce the possibility of funding a study to renovate the current facility and/or building a completely new one. If there are no funds for the first, where are the funds for the feasibility study coming from? While it may be true that the present facility is in need of upgrading, it is more important that the current health needs of the community are met. Reducing the options for home health care services certainly does not accomplish that.

At least this second notice forewarns us of the situation, unlike the first which came out of the blue and took the community by surprise. I feel that the board should have publicized the possibility of such a drastic move and then held open meetings to gather public opinion and input, and they should do likewise for the second issue.

They attempt to justify their action by stating that there are other, private services available to fill the home health care need. However, that was also the situation a few years ago when they built a new nursing home even though there were a number of well run private facilities available. I fail to see the logic in these actions of the Board and CEO; maybe it is time we replaced them.

Bob Becker