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What? No hospital services?

by Elisa Ingoldby
HUERFANO — I’m sure by now plenty of Huerfano residents have heard of Ballot Issue A, a support vote to keep our hospital operational with current services. There have been other publications, but another point of view and more support can’t hurt.
Did you know that Huerfano County is top on the list when it comes to the population of elderly in the state?  Can you imagine a county without hospital services?  Growing older is hard enough.  Growing older without medical care is another story.  I have already seen clients leave our area because they want to move closer to medical facilities and doctors.
I bet they didn’t know that “the hospital,” as it’s referred to here by locals, is rated #3 out of Colorado’s rural hospitals.  Holy Moly!  Who would have known that an increase operating cost of $326,000 was added to the hospital budget when they acquired the ambulance service from the county.  If this mill levy is not passed, EMT’s, paramedics, and first responders may be on part time status.  For some people, especially the elderly, that is the difference between life and death.  The longer wait times for an ambulance to arrive for an emergency is a distressing thought, much less having to think of a family member driving to Pueblo or Trinidad to get care.
Other services would also be affected besides the ambulance service.  Cuts would need to be made in the clinics, staff, emergency room, X-ray, acute inpatient care and the veterans home.
When it all comes down to it, the extra money we as voters will spend is pennies compared to the quality care and necessity of our hospital services.  The answer is simple and the vote is a resounding YES! Please spread the word to your friends and family who may not read the paper or haven’t heard about this special vote on Tuesday, May 8.  We all received information in the mail.  Please get out and do your part to save services so desperately needed in this county!  Our lives depend on it!
Finally, as a patient of this hospital myself, a staff member and the daughter of the HMH Board President who initiated building Huerfano Memorial Hospital, (because there wasn’t any medical services here in the 1960’s for his large family), I’m asking every resident in this community to support “the hospital.” It’s our legacy!