Hospital should support itself, vote ‘no’ on 5A & 5B |

Hospital should support itself, vote ‘no’ on 5A & 5B

Dear Editor:As a member of the community, I am proud of the care that is available at the Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) and I commend the current board and CEO for improvements in the fiscal management of the hospital. I am not particularly concerned about the scope or physical impacts of a proposed expansion. I am, however, concerned about how any expansion and improvement would be paid for. Valley View Hospital in Glenwood also provides great care and is in the midst of an even more ambitious expansion. The difference is, Valley View’s improvements have been and will be financed by the results of efficient operations, not tax dollars.Aspen Valley Hospital can and should follow the same model for its capital improvements. In 2004, AVH wrote off $12 million in multi-year operating losses. In 2005, the red ink had been eliminated and funds were in place by 2008 to fund the $6.5 million maternity wing expansion. Today, AVH reports a $43 million capital reserve and continues to steadily generate profits. Excess funds from operations (which should grow with a well-planned expansion) and donor contributions should be the funding source for any expansion of AVH, not increased tax dollars. Vote “no” on ballot questions 5A and 5B. Mike MapleAspen

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