Linda Delaney: Whatever happened to YVMC? | SteamboatToday.com

Linda Delaney: Whatever happened to YVMC?

If you have gotten a message to remind you of an appointment at the local hospital lately, the notification says, "This is UC Health." Since there are five medical facilities in Northwest Colorado, let alone all the others in the state, where exactly are we supposed to show up?

We were assured at the hospital's September Town Hall meeting that ours would stay a community hospital, but the only evidence that remains is the sub header on the signs in front of the hospital. In the small print under UC Health, it says Yampa Valley Medical Center.

If you Google YVMC and want to find the board members or other administrative information, just keep scrolling down. Eventually, you will get to the information you are looking for because it's all about UC Health, no longer our community hospital.

Clearly, we have gone corporate, something Steamboat has long tried to avoid — remember how long it took Walgreens to come in? What's done is done, and UC Health is here to stay, but it is vital that the board of our local version of UC Health fight to retain the community investment in our hospital.

Contributions from the community built this hospital to the point that UC Health wanted it, and community involvement must be valued and respected going forward.

Health care costs to the public must be contained. This seems very doubtful given the research recently released by the New York Times indicating that, when buy-outs like ours happen, costs increase by 20 to 25 percent over a couple of years.

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It would be great if UC Health took its $400-plus million profits (2016) and used them to lower patient costs. It's immoral to make these outrageous profits off the sick and dying.

A needs assessment with public input needs to be done before a new outpatient surgery center is built. Our local doctors, including the surgeons, need to be respected and allowed to make decisions for our individual health care needs without corporate interference. Otherwise, we might as well all head over the pass for lower costs and risk decisions made by strangers.

Linda Delaney

Steamboat Springs

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