Do your homework before deciding value of joint venture

Posted: Friday, September 03, 2010

To Mr. Dave Carey, Kenai Borough Mayor:

The letter you addressed to Thomas Boedeker, CPGH, Inc., President, dated 27 Aug 2010, is a complex dialogue of legalese lease agreements flavored with effusive adjectives and adverbs that confuse the reader and distract from the purported intent of such a letter.

Statements such as "I believe it is time for the borough to assume control and "it is my hope that CPGHI will cooperate with the borough and "CPGHI is not authorized to proceed any further in this matter unless and until it is authorized to do so and "I have significant concerns regarding the process followed by CPGHI," seem to take the reader on a circuitous, judgmental interpretation of the Central Peninsula Hospital's administration and Board of Directors leadership and financial acumen.

As we know from Mr. Carey's campaign slogans when he ran for Kenai Borough Mayor, he said, "I have a deep passion and commitment to veterans and senior citizens, while also seeing children in the future ," and it is with this same commitment that CPGHI has sought to explore the expansion and enhancement of medical technology to this Peninsula. The admixture of family, friends and neighbors with state of the art medicine is what Central Peninsula Hospital and its Board of Directors aspire to make available to its citizens and taxpayers.

It is difficult enough when one suffers a chronic or acute illness or trauma, but recovery is further complicated when individuals and their families have to be separated or need to travel for their care. Surrounding patients with their families and friends, coupled with top notch medicine, has always been the goal of Central Peninsula Hospital and its staff. Living in a rural state, city or village does not mandate less than first class care. Positioning a community's healthcare facility into a strategic financial environment will bolster that community's resources to withstand future governmental reductions. It will also ensure better hometown care in a technologically sound and safe environment.

With cardiac disease, cancer and diabetes continuing to accelerate across this aging nation, demands will only increase for better and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Where better to repair and heal than in an individual's own surroundings? And that is exactly what the Joint Venture is all about. It takes capital, people, expertise and space to widen the breadth of health services in this community. Adding a business partner to this equation reduces the increasing financial burden on the taxpayer, rather than putting it at risk. This partnership will enable CPGHI to maintain its autonomy, even in the wake of very rocky financial waters.

Timing is everything, whether one is talking about heart muscle, oxygen or financial environments and opportunities. Usually, in long, protracted waiting times, no one wins and everyone loses something. The clock is ticking on the privileged rural designation that Central Peninsula Hospital and other Alaskan facilities have with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. Each year of delay shortens the time that CPGHI will have before the government reimbursement checks are significantly reduced. This will, in all probability, cut the choices that this and other rural hospital will have in the future. It will no longer be a question of borough assembly, taxpayer's or hospital decision making and authority, it will be a financial reality of low reimbursement for rural facilities with small populations.

Before judgment is passed, do your homework and find out what the entire process is about. Ask questions, visit your representatives and visit your local hospital. Find out what is available, what is needed, and where we will or could be in the future.

Terry K. Petersen, Soldotna

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