Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

July 9, 2014

MAILBAG: ENH refusing help is a disservice to residents

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

Somehow the Newfane Hospital is caught up in what seems to be a personality issue rather than one of dollars and cents. It appears that there are other health care systems willing to step up and help solve the problem of operating the Newfane facility.

Is the board of directors of Eastern Niagara Hospital composed of people who are honestly attempting to keep the Newfane facility open or are they simply robots for the hospital’s chief executive officer, Clare Haar? Haar and the ENH board appear unable to reach out and accept offers of help.

Refusing to accept help is not doing what is best for northern Niagara County residents. It is not in the public interest for our area to have a very accessible, high quality inpatient health care facility closed down on the whim of one or more self-seeking personalities. Independent and community oriented people are necessary in order to solve these self-inflicted predicaments.

There are nearby areas such as Buffalo, Cheektowaga and the Tonawandas that have several hospitals functioning within blocks of each other. That alone seems to indicate that they must have more competent administrators than Eastern Niagara. If Eastern Niagara Hospital cannot effectively operate two facilities then it is time to un-merge and give the community back its hospital.

We have just celebrated Independence Day, isn’t it about time the ENH board of directors demonstrated some independence and accepted offers of help? As an original donor to help build the Inter-Community Memorial Hospital of Newfane, I cannot accept the current position being presented. The Newfane community has worked hard for the hospital’s success over the years and we find it difficult to see it all just disappear.

I urge all involved in this situation to forgo their personal motivations to close the Newfane facility and seriously reconsider accepting offers from other hospitals or health care providers willing to share services.

George W. Soemann, Appleton

 

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