“Follow the yellow brick road,” may lead to the mythical land of Oz to see the wizard but the wizard proves to be just a man behind a curtain. It seems as though the members of Hazel Hawkins Hospital Board see those yellow bricks in the road as gold bricks because they seem determined to sell our hospital to a private corporation.

Studies show that when hospitals merge with “For-Profits,” the costs to hospitals may decrease but costs to services increase. Patients will pay more yet receive less in quality care. Therein lies the profit margin. Jobs are lost. CEOs and shareholders receive the diverted dollars. Dollars flow upward: care flows downward. 

The mystery remains that the hospital board members seem lost in the land of Oz. They need a special godmother to send them back home to Hollister. That godmother is our County Board of Supervisors who have waved a half million dollar wand revealing a solid researched plan to create a JPA (Joint Powers Authority) to specifically manage and grow the hospital. 

But the hospital board chooses to remain on the yellow brick road to mythology.

Oz fame “Scarecrow” thinks that spending taxpayer dollars on bankruptcy repeal, bankruptcy lawyers, lawyer consultants, accountants and ballots is for the birds. 

The “Tin Man” injured too many times knows that our bodies need constant healthcare and maintenance. The lion thinks that the wizard who is only a man behind a curtain definitely shows the need to grab courage and think for oneself.

This hospital board is determined to remain in fantasy land, ignoring the pleas of hospital staff, employees and community. Approval of a sale must go directly to the voters because voters own the hospital. 

Somehow the board thinks that a voter approval will be forthcoming. November will arrive sooner than we think. Benefits of a sale will be widely promoted; hopefully voters will resist. The community must join together in order to vote in three new hospital board members and reject the sale of our hospital.

Mary Zanger


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