It’s time, Quincy Valley
Have you toured the 62-year-old hospital building lately? It’s time for a new facility.
Quincy Valley Medical Center (QVMC) provides emergency services, wound care, rehabilitation, and clinic services. It also saves all of our local businesses from additional expenses under Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) because they have a medical facility within 15 minutes of the workplace.
An obvious benefit occurs when someone experiences an emergency like a serious injury or symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, and they need an emergency room. In serious cases, even short delays in treatment can be problematic, and a delay of 30-45 minutes or more could result in death or serious disability.
In Central Washington and southern portions of Washington, the only large hospitals are located in Wenatchee, Spokane, and Richland. Critical care in central Washington is left to these Critical Access Hospitals plus the mid-sized Moses Lake hospital to provide emergency care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, and primary care to the farming communities as well as emergency care for tourists and those traveling along I-90.
Including QVMC, each of these hospitals is 30 minutes or more from the next-closest hospital, which in many cases is another small Critical Access Hospital. Workers, residents, and visitors in areas served by each hospital already have to travel to reach it, and reaching an alternative hospital could take an hour.
Data on rural hospital closures report that more than 130 rural hospitals closed from 2010-2021. Nineteen closed in 2020, more than in any year in the previous decade, and there were almost as many closures (18) in 2019. Most of these closures involved small hospitals. More than 40% of the closed hospitals had 25 beds or less, like QVMC.
The majority of small rural hospitals in Eastern Washington loses money on patient services. Conversely, most larger hospitals make profits on them. Oftentimes, the small hospitals can continue operating because they are structured as Public Hospital Districts and residents and businesses tax themselves to keep them open.
QVMC is important for our community’s needs and for those traveling through our valley. If we allow our 62-year-old building to become older, our conversation will be about how we need to close it. After our community commits to build a new facility, our conversation will be about how we are setting future generations up for success. It’s time for a new hospital.
Support for Cindy Carter
We are longtime residents of Grant County and would like to share some reasons we are supporting Cindy Carter for Commissioner for District 3.
Her interest in representing our area in the county is not focused on a few pet issues. She has shown that it is important to work within a balanced budget along with protecting us from new taxes. She and her family have a farm that is affected by any new expenses, just like the rest of us.
When we have asked questions, she is quick to get back to us with answers and even voiced our concerns to the agencies involved.
She has been a strong voice with her involvement in suicide prevention programs, which unfortunately there seems to be a greater need for.
Her past experience as commissioner is a valuable asset for the future of Grant County.
Please join us in casting your vote for Cindy Carter for Commissioner, District 3.
Dwain and Marilyn Forester,