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Become engaged in hospital plans

— Syringa Hospital’s board has a huge job: to ensure quality medical care is provided to its patrons. With 10 healthcare providers on staff, it’s well on its way to fulfilling that mission.

However, there’s all those federal regulations and economic trends to consider, and neither have been in favor of the small, rural, independently owned hospital.

So, the board, in trying to plan for the future, is not only undergoing the painful process of updating its strategic plan, but is also in talks with Kootenai Health out of Coeur d’Alene regarding an affiliation.

Stop right there, you say.

We don’t want our hospital run by a bunch of muckety-mucks up north.

As it stands, right now, by legislative law and by the hospital’s own bylaws, Syringa will not be merged or bought out. Kootenai will not eat us up because it cannot.

An affiliation with Kootenai could be helpful on many levels for Syringa. Just ask chief of the medical staff, Dr. Griffis. He and the team of healthcare providers are on board for an association with Kootenai. Medical consultations, training, purchasing and employee recruitment are just some of the areas in which a relationship with a larger hospital would be helpful.

But wait, don’t take our word for it. We may not have thought of all the questions you have. This is where an engaged community presence becomes essential. Attend the board meetings and upcoming community meetings that will be set as the trustees continue through their strategic planning process.

In the meantime, we challenge you to educate yourselves on the developments in rural hospitals. A good place to start is the National Rural Health Association website: Http://


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