The Owensboro Medical Health System (OMHS) Board of Directors is expected to determine the location for its new $500 million facility during a meeting today. However, in coffee shops, civic club meetings and letters to the editor, a growing number of people are asking questions about the OMHS plans.
The hospital’s governing board is characterized by solid citizens (all volunteers) with sound discretion, and while we recognize that they have access to more information on the project than has been made public, several questions are not unreasonable to ask:
The public may have other questions or concerns. Open dialogue need not be acrimonious or adversarial. OMHS may be a private, nonprofit corporation that is not obligated to hold public forums prior to making decisions, but it is also our community hospital and local governments (taxpayers) have a reversionary interest. It takes a little extra time to engage in dialogue with the public, but it would increase confidence that the board and senior management is taking us in the right direction.
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The focus of OMHS should be to recruit high quality physicians to come and serve our area, not to build more bricks and mortar facilities so that they, the structures, can look good in their TV, radio, and billboard marketing campaigns, but that is indeed what is happening. They are planning to build a structure with which to generate a giant photo op.
The fact that they don't want inference from the public, in the form of town hall meetings and discussions, is not surprising, just distressing.
One of the items that I find interesting with the hospital relocation efforts is the site that they have “chosen”. If they have chosen the land on Pleasant Valley Road, then this raises several concerns from citizens. I don’t really care where the hospital is built as long as the location is a secure, easily accessible location for everyone. I have one child with allergies so severe that we carry on “EPI-PEN” around with us and his school has an emergency plan if he ingest certain foods. What if I am trying to get my son to the hospital and can’t because of a huge tankard spill or train accident? These are some items that must be brought forth if you are to build the hospital on an industrial site near containers and train tracks. I know that many other mothers would voice their opinion if they thought that a new location of a hospital may endanger their child’s life.
First of all, you mentioned that the OMHS board is voluntary. Are they not paid? Do the not so austere trips they make count as a form of pay? I've never understood why people feel that trips to exotic places are necessary to decide what is needed in one's own backyard. I'd hate to think I had to make a trip out of town every time there was a major decision to be made in running my household.
One would think the only way to go, would be to purchase surrounding property and expand where they are, that is, unless there is something dreadfully wrong with the current facility.
The questions surrounding roadways and railroads are extremely important, and if a mistake has been made in going to the Pleasant Valley Rd. area, God help us if egos are too big to admit a mistake has been made.
Good Luck in getting the OMHS BOARD on tract for the betterment of the community.
The Home Builders Association recently offered input toward the hospital site selection citing principles reviewed in the November issue of New Urban News. This publication is involved in community development and is a journal for urban planners.
The core of the issue is not only a site that will provide sufficient land and infrastructure-- but will the result maximize the benefits for the community as well as the needs of the hospital.
We remain opposed to placement of the hospital in an industrial area due to the limited residual benefit for mixed-use neighborhoods. Sidewalks that go to adjacent neighborhoods-- shops, offices, and residences. Pedestrian friendly, with opportunities for visitors and employees to have access to conveniences such as shopping and lodging. These were premises identified by the hospital leaders in the original Messenger- Inquirer article announcing this exciting new development.
Please contact me if you would like to discuss our thoughts on this important issue.
Thank you for the letter concerning the hospital location. It is great to have a group of citizens that is concerned and cares about the future of Owensboro and Daviess County.
I agree the location of the hospital should be carefully considered and benefit the people of Daviess County.
PUBLIC LIFE ADVOCATE.
I received your letter today, Citizens have legitimate questions on hospital direction. I personally
I agree that the public should have a chance to voice their opinion and applaud the Public Life Advocate for their work in the community.