To the Editor,

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”

-Groucho Marx

A quote that strikes rather on the nose in Morrow County today in regards to the years-long targeting of Morrow County Hospital by our commissioners.

At a time when our hospital has no debt, is doing the best financially that it’s ever done, and is expanding services all the time, they just can’t seem to shake the feeling that we need their “help” somehow- and by “help” they mean that they think we need them to sell us out to a company that’s drowning in debt and desperately needs to pocket that sale cash. Why are they so committed to this outcome? What is it about this offer from Avita that the commissioners would spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to pursue this goal?

Our hospital has had a management agreement with OhioHealth to one degree or another for decades. Throughout my time working there, I’ve read new stories every year of small-town county hospitals going broke and closing up shop. From my point of view, it seems we have struck a sweet spot with this OhioHealth arrangement that allows 150 of us to remain county employees, allows the hospital to remain a county asset (in a time when there are only a handful of county hospitals left in the state), and allows us to operate with no debt and nothing but opportunity to expand services and invest in our facility.

I’ve worked and lived in Morrow County my entire life, and worked for MCH in the Urgent Care and the Emergency Department since I graduated from college in 2013. In fact, I was specifically hired to open the Urgent Care with one provider and myself. I am incredibly proud of my work there. I especially enjoy being out at Kroger or the fair and having a kid come up to me waving their arm — newly liberated from its cast and telling me how much better they are, or telling me about how their ear doesn’t hurt anymore. These are the experiences you get to

enjoy when you live among the community you serve. I fear that if our commissioners have their way, that won’t be an option for me much longer.

Sure, I thoroughly believe that if they push their RFP through and Avita gets to acquire us, they will make huge promises and spend a little money out the gate, but it won’t last. They are not committed to us, they are not committed to longevity in this community. OhioHealth, however, has proven a commitment by letting us lead the way for 30 years while county assets remain county assets. Now, I have to question our commissioner’s commitment to us.

At every turn, public voices have been shut out, employees have been talked over, and promises have been ignored. Why are there no healthcare professionals among the RFP committee, as was agreed upon back in October? Why are they choosing new board members without even interviewing all of the applicants? You only do that when your mind is made up out the gate. Why is no one with a medical background on the board?

Our commissioners invented a problem, misdiagnosed it (probably because no one with a medical background is allowed at the table anymore), and now they are trying with everything they’ve got to fill the wrong prescription.

Sarah Robson CMA(AAMA)

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