Six Grinches sit on the Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital Board; one leads as HHMH CEO. These grinches have sad faces because they are worried, upset and frankly grouchy. 

A hospital board member does not have an easy job. That person must read and think a lot. The member learns that the hospital must provide healthcare to someone who is sick from not eating healthy unaffordable food, or to someone sick and exhausted from two jobs, or sick from living with several families crowded into one space as in the pandemic. These grinches plan to fix the hospital.

Paying profit-making insurance companies already receiving high member premiums stresses hospital dollars. Profit-making insurance companies disrupt the system.

So grinches focus on nurse payroll. These cranks decide to put on a fake Santa suit, grab an empty bag and call the emptiness “bankruptcy.” They slip into their sneaky sneakers, and steal gifts from under the tree. They spy bunches of gifts tagged “Sick Days.” They grab handfuls of these and more handfuls of gifts labeled “Vacation Days.”  

They spy a big gift and take the whole thing. The tag reads “Pension.” This scary Grinch behavior frightens some nurses to run away from their jobs and work in other hospitals. 

The biggest gift of all under the tree is the gift of health or the hospital itself. The grinches want to sell the hospital to another that wants to make a profit. Grinches think that if people want health badly enough they should pay more for it. The townspeople know that profit-making is not the Christmas Spirit.

The people have a better idea—before Christmas they sing to the County Board of Supervisors so sweetly that the county helps bring back this big gift. These elected supervisors offer a plan to keep the hospital for the people.      

The townspeople will not know the outcome of the bankruptcy until after the court hearing; the people hope their hospital will stay under the Christmas tree and not be stolen by the grinches.

Mary Zanger


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