Letter: Comments on the hospital

I am one of the candidates seeking membership to the Aspen Valley Hospital board.

However, I am writing as an Aspenite and hope that whoever is elected to the board understands that a strong CEO is of the utmost importance to the long-term health of our hospital.

Although Aspen Valley Hospital is solvent and being run well, the future of health care is uncertain. Consolidation of health care insurance companies, mergers of hospitals and consolidation of hospitals into large health care groups is happening. But Aspen Valley Hospital must work within the narrow lines that are being drawn. We have to, within our ability, control costs for patients. One method is establishing urgent-care centers to reduce costs to patients, and those that exist must be promoted and made accessible. Even a mobile urgent center should be considered. We must give a cheaper option for nonemergency treatment than our emergency room.

Many states face difficult times ahead with Medicare, Medicaid and reimbursements from the federal government. Colorado is one. How we handle what comes our way must be anticipated. We can go on and on about other concerns, but that is why a strong CEO is a must!

We all feel that Aspen is unique, and it is. Aspen has great resources in its residents. We have people willing to contribute their time, money and creativity. I know Aspen Valley Hospital will remain excellent.

Joe Nedlin