Letter: Hospital is building for the future

Hospital is building for the future

Dear Editor:

Seemingly lost in the discussion is the reality that the proposed hospital expansion is for a facility serving the community for the next 40 years. That is, the proposed configuration will serve not only us but our children and our children’s children. While the Aspen City Council ponders remaining issues, all of which the hospital board has provided complete answers to, the question of scale remains pesky (landscaping will soften and mitigate the appearance).

Based on the discussion to date, one must wonder, however, if the City Council has looked beyond the outside walls and fully appreciates the infrastructure and equipment necessary to support the array of diagnostic and monitoring equipment needed to provide patient care. Just as medicine is no longer practiced in a barber chair, the evolution to current standards and those foreseeable in the future takes a lot of equipment, technical support, power and space. Stated differently, a surgical recovery room is not simply a row of beds. And with the pace of technological development, those demands only will increase. There can be no debate that the hospital, now and in the future, is the cornerstone of the delivery of medical services to our community.

Consequently, the issue before the council is not the scale of a hospital building that by outside appearance maintains small-town values and the character of Aspen but more properly a forward-thinking question — what do we want the level of medical care for our community to be 20 to 40 years out? Viewed in that light, it would be stunningly irresponsible for council to deny the hospital the expansion it needs now and the community will require in years to come.

Neil B. Siegel