Archived Story

Please help fight cuts at Russellville Hospital

Published 7:57am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

As a citizen of Russellville, I am pleading with all citizens of our city and surrounding towns to come to our aid in whatever capacity you can to stop the closing of the obstetrical department at Russellville Hospital.

I especially appeal to our local government  — Mayor Troy Oliver, Sen. Roger Bedford and Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow.

I feel the closing of this department will have a severe negative impact, not only economically, but our citizens will be done a great injustice by not being able to deliver their babies at Russellville Hospital under the care of excellent services provided by local nurses and physicians that have provided these services for many, many years.

Hospital administrators were made aware of cutbacks in Medicaid reimbursement prior to those cutbacks. OB services were not the only department targeted for decrease reimbursement.

Since all avenues of healthcare are affected by decreased insurance reimbursement, then why were measures not put in place early on to prevent such and action being taken?

I suggest to you, if this closing is allowed to take place, what next? What department? Maybe our own hospital will close down entirely. Yes, this can happen. We have seen other hospitals close their doors.

The CEO of Russellville Hospital said it was not a direct result of the economy. I say what will this do the economy of Russellville and Franklin County?

There will be layoffs. Some doctors and nurses will choose to leave our area in order to pursue their career in order to take care of their families. This will also cause expectant mothers to deliver in distant areas instead of convenient and familiar surroundings. With high-risk births, this could become crucial.

This will also create a loss of revenue for our city. I feel it will be devastating. We are told by Life Point, the owner of Russellville Hospital, the closing is justifiable. Yes, it comes down to money.

If the OB department is sick due to money issues, let’s help it get well, not kill it.

I encourage all concerned citizens to get involved now. This decision to close Russellville’s OB department will definitely hurt us all.

Wanda Colburn, Russellville

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