Chilton County’s hospital game plan?

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dear editor,

When do the doors of the new hospital open? If the answer is, “we don’t know,” then we have a problem.

In this football crazy state, we know to be successful you must have a game plan.

I read The Clanton Advertiser daily and I can’t tell you too much about what game plan we have for the hospital.

I read we need a tax increase to fund a hospital.

OK, I understand funding is just one of many steps in a game plan.

How about telling the Chilton County residents what kind of hospital we intend to fund?

Will the hospital have a 24-hour emergency room, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year?

How many overnight rooms will be available for patients?

Who will operate the hospital, St. Vincent’s?

How long of a contract will St. Vincent’s commit to in running a hospital?

Sure would be a mess if a hospital is built and after a year the operator decided that they are getting out of Dodge…I mean Clanton.

We then have a building we are paying for and no operator.

Who gets approval for funding and doesn’t know how many dollars you need to build a house, a commercial building or a hospital?

The answer should be no one.

Who gives someone money for such a building project without knowing when the building will be completed and available for occupancy? Again, the answer should be no one. Where is the part of the plan on educating the public on the plans for the new hospital in order to get their support for a tax increase? I could go on and on with steps that are needed but that is what a game plan (project plan) does for you. A step-by-step plan should have the task, the name of the person or persons who are assigned that task and the due date for that task. If the Legislature is going to grant permission for Chilton County residents to vote on a tax to fund the hospital then put the name of our state representative and state senator as the person assigned and their due date. Let the person assigned be measured on succeeding or failing in their assignment. We hold our football coaches accountable for their results every Saturday and we should do the same with our public servants. We need a step-by-step game plan for getting approval for a new hospital. The Clanton Advertiser should print the game plan once a month on the front page of the paper with a story measuring our progress now that we have names and due dates for each task. This allows the citizens of Chilton County to see their state and local officials in action and how they get the job done on time and on budget. This project is a matter of life and death to a person with a life threatening condition and only minutes to live unless you reach a doctor with the equipment and facilities that an emergency room provides.

Steve Olis