Published in the Iola Register on Feb. 22, 2013.

Letter to the Editor 2-22-13

Dear Editor,
Quite a bit has been said and written both in favor of, and against, the proposal for a new hospital.
As my wife and I have discussed, probably more than either us would like to admit, there are very valid points to both sides of this argument.
Yes, if approved, there will be a very small increase to our current sales tax, and yes, there is the very slight, but real possibility the cost could fall back to the county.
However, it is also true that our current hospital facilities are sorely lacking for our medical needs and renovation and/or addition to the structure of our current hospital has, because it was built so well in its time, significant obstacles.
I am not a native Concordian; I moved to this community five years ago with my wife to work as a therapist here and in neighboring communities. We moved here because we saw the opportunities that Cloud County has to offer a young couple wanting to raise a family. We hope this is a community in which we can grow old with our family; a community that will continue to draw new and old families and businesses.
Mitchell and Marshall counties recently updated their medical facilities. Republic County has a modern medical facility and Washington County is currently pursuing an effort to update their medical facility.
We have an opportunity next week to allow Concordia and Cloud County as a whole to regain our competitive edge as a notable medical community. I know many people who travel to some of these nearby communities for their medical care, not because they necessarily want to, but because they feel more comfortable taking their medical care elsewhere.
We have doctors, nurses and physician assistants that are working hard to change that, but in order to continue attracting the additional quality physicians, surgeons, specialists, and others who would provide the care we can rely on, we need to provide the facilities they can rely on. In an emergency, people don't want to have to do the math on the perceived risks of going to the local ER versus the time it would take to get somewhere else.
Yes, there are risk associated with taking on the responsibility of building a new medical center, but I believe the risks of not building one are far greater. Please vote "Yes" for the new hospital. A "Yes" for our community. Vote "Yes" for our families.

Sincerely,
Chuck Lambertz