Letter to the Editor:  RE: PMC and Mandates

 

In response to the Board of Directors of Prowers Medical Center Letter to the Editor, dated Sept. 30, 2021, I would like to address concerns from the citizens of this county that these elected officials overlooked.

First and foremost, during the State of Colorado Board of Health meeting on August 30, 2021, Representative Richard Holtorf, being the ONLY elected official in Colorado to call into this meeting with concern for the citizens within the 9 counties in his jurisdiction, stated the mandate was not a one size fits all solution.  He stated that rural hospitals are already understaffed and that because of this mandate the staffing shortages would inflate and patient care would be at risk. He also stated many of these counties boarder other states such as Kansas and Oklahoma and many health care workers would rather commute to these states than get vaccinated. Kansas has been advertising in Colorado Springs for several months now to entice health care workers to come to their rural areas as they do not have a mandate.

Rep. Holtorf also requested waivers be offered for facilities in rural counties, to overt these staffing shortages, a request that the Colorado Board of Health granted.  That being said, has PMC considered filing for these waivers, to protect their employees and the community from a health care crisis and an economic crisis?  In the PMC Board’s statement, they were worried about our community not having a hospital, but of course by already being understaffed, which is made apparent to anyone who recently has had to go the ER, and or wait for a bed on the floor, or has had to seek an OB doctor from another town, we are already concerned about a health care crisis, which in turn could facilitate an economic crisis. So I ask the Board, your goal is to keep the hospital open, but understaffed? Your hospital is open, but pregnant women have to go to another town to deliver their babies? Employees who have worked diligently and ethically for you for years are now struggle to feed their families?   Also, I wonder, “If a facility loses money due to patients going to other towns for medical care could layoffs ensue for the vaccinated?”

In regards to the medical and religious exemption filed by many employees; PMC Board of Directors also stated in their letter to the public that the “majority of the requests were denied” which is true. However, a more accurate statement might be: of the many religious and medical exemptions received only 1 exemption was accepted and this was an administrative position.  That information came out in the public meeting.  I personally know several nurses in Denver who were granted religious and medical exemptions as were many of their colleagues.

Now please draw your attention to the 6th paragraph of the Boards letter to the Editor, it states:  if the community wants to have a say in future changes to contact your State elected officials, including Governor Polis. While it is imperative to contact your elected officials, county and state, Governor Polis has consistently shown little regard for rural Colorado, and he has earned the title Governor of the Front Range, not of Colorado.  However, the Board of Directors for Prowers Medical Center are also elected officials, some of whose terms will be up May of 2022.

Representative Richard Holtorf cleared his schedule and drove 3 ½ hours to attend this PMC Board of Directors meeting because of the grave concerns facing the people he represents, which are health care crisis by understaffed hospitals, economic crisis by job loss and most importantly, the loss of civil liberties.

Lisa Steed
Lamar, CO

Filed Under: Letters to the Editor

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