April 17, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 3

Gift of public funds?

Letters to the Editor

As a long time resident in Grand Coulee I loved our Community Hospital and Clinic. Some great staff members made it a desirable place to get excellent attention. The Blood Draw as an annual event was a real positive for a small hospital and helped keep a lot of us on the right track. If I had one complaint about services there, it was the inaccessibility of my preferred doctor. For a long time I thought this was because he was popular, but after having recently moved from the area, I’ve come to the conclusion that the duties are not shared equally by the staff. However, this is not the purpose of my letter.

I was dismayed by the report by its CEO Scott Graham that giving low-cost testing was somehow a gift of public funds. I see his comments as more of an excuse than the truth. A gift of public funds is one for which there is no apparent public purpose. In any governmental activity there are some items that fall short of the cost, but benefit both parties. Not only has it benefited the subscribers, the hospital has benefited much more than it invested by bringing patients into the clinics.

If the administration and board didn’t want to do it anymore, they could have at least been honest. It would have been easier to take if they had said this was a cost saving measure, didn’t have the staff or (the most likely) just thought it was too much of a bother. I consider the reason given as a questionable attempt to mislead us by blaming a higher authority.

Michael Palanuk

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