Balanced article was needed
February 17, 2004
Several days ago I was fortunate to be called by a top notch reporter in Aspen to verify a story he was about to run last Friday concerning the Aspen Valley Hospital.
The story was based upon information that had come into the reporter’s hands concerning the supposed “medical staff gouging of the hospital.”
First of all, it is important that the medical staff and the residents of Aspen understand that, we as a board, are supportive of the care that is provided, and we have a strong desire to maintain a quality medical facility.
For certain practices we have to achieve the right balance of terms in revising current contracts that were negotiated by a prior board, while dealing with leaks of information and misinformation about these agreements, and leaks of information concerning current negotiations.
The medical staff we have is outstanding. The current state of the hospital is not. I strived to portray a board position to clarify that we are trying to negotiate with physicians and medical practitioners in good faith, provide a level of care consistent with the desires of our visitors and residents, and deal with the rising competition from Valley View Hospital.
Unfortunately, being a responsible board, our decisions cannot make everybody happy. Interpretations of our heartfelt desire for quality medical care is sometimes left on the word processor. It would have been better for all parties for a balanced article to be published outlining the final outcome of these negotiations.
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John I. Jellinek
Aspen Valley Hospital