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Supports hospital’s needs to affiliate

Letter to the Editor

First of all, Craig Spencer is a friend of mine and despite the current political climate I believe you can disagree with someone but remain friends. Therefore, I respectfully disagree with Craig regarding his opposition to Syringa Hospital’s merger with Kootenai Hospital in Coeur d’Alene. This hospital has been greatly improved in the last 15 years due to the work of Don Soltman, son of the late Dr. Jack Soltman.

I had, for at least five years, asked the board to merge with a larger hospital. The savings can be significant with electronic medical records and billing. Plus, the possibility of sending specialists to Grangeville rather than patients traveling is another benefit for both the people of the district, the hospital, and the local merchants. Also, I sometimes spent a great deal of time on the phone asking and sometimes begging a specialist to accept a patient in transfer. The public doesn’t always realize that you can’t just put someone on a plane or in an ambulance without having an accepting doctor on the other end.

Having a built-in referral hospital would eliminate this.

I read an article about three years ago in the Wall Street Journal about stand-alone small community hospitals stating they were “going the way of the dinosaurs.” We don’t want Syringa to become extinct.

Wayne Hollopeter



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