Five reasons to vote yes for Montezuma County Hospital District
You’ll soon be seeing — if you haven’t already — Referendum 5D MCHD on your November mail-in ballot. This important referendum is put forth by Friends of Our Hospital, an all-volunteer committee composed of area residents who are on a mission to ensure that we continue to have a high-quality hospital in our community. As a committee, we’d like to offer voters five solid reasons to vote yes on Referendum 5D MCHD. But first, some background.
The Montezuma County Hospital District is a nonprofit with an elected board. The district owns the building and land surrounding Southwest Memorial Hospital as well as the Mancos Valley Clinic building. The district serves as the landlord to the hospital which, in turn, provides quality medical services to residents.
When expensive upgrades, maintenance or repairs to hospital facilities are required and when new, high-tech medical equipment is needed, the district steps in to pay for or help pay for these items. In recent years, the district has supported the purchase of a state-of-the-art CT scanner, made major parking lot improvements, installed a boiler for heating the building, purchased equipment to provide digital mammography, and upgraded the infusion center.
MCHD receives funding from taxpayers, but unfortunately the amounts collected are not nearly enough to meet the needs of the hospital. The district can apply for federal and state grants to meet the shortfall but because of current restrictions the amount of grant funding that can be applied for is severely limited.
Now for the reasons to vote yes on 5D MCHD, a referendum that has no impact on taxes or mill levy rates.
1) Your vote for 5D MCHD will lift restrictions so that the district can apply for up to $1 million per year in grant funding. Currently, that figure is only $27,000 which doesn’t go very far when you consider the cost of maintaining a large and complex facility like Southwest Memorial Hospital.
2) Your vote for 5D MCHD will help bring money into Montezuma County. Every dollar that the district is able to secure through additional grant funding will stay right here in our community.
3) Your vote for 5D MCHD will help ensure that Southwest Memorial Hospital and its affiliated clinics continue to be one of the largest employers in the area and be able to attract even more highly qualified health care providers to the community. When physicians, nurses, technologists and other skilled professionals consider where they want to work, having access to the latest technology and up-to-date facilities is near the top of the list.
4) Your vote for 5D MCHD will allow Southwest Memorial Hospital to continue to provide the convenient, high-quality medical care that you have become accustomed to. With each passing year, there are fewer and fewer reasons for area residents to travel outside the county for health services. And while it may seem that you read frequently in the papers about someone being transferred to a larger facility after an accident or other misfortune, the reality is that only about 3% of patients who come to Southwest Memorial Hospital for care need to be moved elsewhere. When transport is necessary, the hospital provides important diagnostic services and stabilization before moving patients, which increases the likelihood of an ultimate positive outcome. Your local hospital can serve the vast majority of your medical needs, and we need to make sure that continues.
5. Your vote for 5D MCHD will cost you nothing. That’s right — not one thin dime. The district is not asking for a tax increase or mill levy adjustment. Any request for tax revenue would have to go to the voters. This referendum does not call for new taxes.
Friends of Our Hospital committee representative Karen Sheek can be reached at 759-4533 or contact MCHD board chair Bill Thompson at 565-4306.