The Block Island Times

Publisher's note: Keeping things in perspective

Aug 11, 2012

As controversy over events at the medical center engulfed the island, I found myself at the facility last week in urgent need of care. An allergic reaction to a medication sent me into the capable hands of Nurse Linda Closter and Dr. Jan Miller. Eventually I was to take advantage of the Volunteer Rescue Squad and a trip by charter flight (thank you Bill and Lois Bendokas) to Westerly Hospital. All turned out well and I was fully restored to good health.

I am grateful for the competent care I received and appreciate the able services of the volunteer squad and especially Gary Ryan, who took hours out of his day to accompany me on the plane.

So, like hundreds of other people on the island in these past few weeks, I have a very up-close-and-personal perspective on current events and where we go from here.

It is important not to lose sight of what is at stake. The issue under discussion is whether or not the volunteer board has acted appropriately.

The medical center itself is not under assault. Neither the quality of its care nor its service mission are in question.

Boards of directors may come and go, but the staff at the Block Island Health Services has been stable for decades, and collectively represents decades of service to the community.

Our membership dues, patient fees and charitable contributions keep the doors of the medical center open. Its long-term viability depends on community support. Now is the time to rally to its side and not the time to turn away.

This has been an unusually busy summer for the rescue squad and a very trying time for the medical center staff. Morale is low in both organizations.

Let’s take this opportunity to reaffirm our support for both organizations and express our thanks for their service. From my personal viewpoint I extend my heartfelt gratitude.

Fraser Lang

Comments (1)
Posted by: Rev. Stephen Hollaway | Aug 12, 2012 22:45

Thanks for expressing your support of the medical center in this time of crisis. This was a lot more positive than the first editorial the Times published on the medical center. When you said "board of directors may come and go" you could equally have said "staff members of the medical center may come and go"--including directors--but the need and vision for the medical center remains. It was not correct to imply that the board turns over but the staff does not--surely you didn't intend to--or to suggest that the staff collectively represents decades of service to the community while the board of directors does not. You know better than that.

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