Letters to the Editor

Everyone benefits from hospital bond

Even if you don’t use Whidbey General Hospital, you should still vote for the bond.

Your husband breaks his ankle while playing baseball one Sunday afternoon. He is seen at the emergency department and his fracture is splinted and he is referred to an orthopedist of his choice for the following day.

Your wife, tired of driving to Seattle for her chemotherapy, requests treatment closer to home. Her oncologist orders the chemotherapy at the Medical Ambulatory Clinic at Whidbey General. She receives the therapy administered by certified oncology nurses as she would in Seattle, but does not have to drive long distances, particularly when she is not feeling well.

Your daughter has a heart murmur and needs an echocardiogram (heart ultrasound). Rather than spend half a day driving off island and missing school, she has her test performed after school at the hospital. The data is digitally transmitted to Everett and interpreted by a board certified cardiologist. The final results are faxed to her physician.

Your son has expressed an interest in a medical career and would like to explore all opportunities possible. He applies for and is accepted into a summer internship at the hospital where he can earn and learn at the same time.

Your brother is admitted for a medical condition. As part of his interview, the hospital physician asks him about his personal and family medical history. In a double room his neighbor will hear all about his medical situation, as well as yours, but no such concerns arise when the interview is carried out in a private room.

Your best friend has recently been discharged from the hospital. You feel more comfortable visiting her knowing her risk of catching some strange infection at the hospital, and perhaps passing it on to you, is significantly reduced because of the better infection control measures offered by private rooms.

Your sister, a nurse at the hospital, complains about the need to lift heavy patients and how it has hurt her back. She is looking forward to the ability to lift patients with built-in lifting devices all the while saving her back and the backs of many of her coworkers.

These little stories demonstrate how important the hospital is to your family and friends, even if you elect not to use it. By voting for the bond you can ensure that the hospital will continue to grow, offer advanced services and remain the central focus of health care on the Island. Your family, friends and perhaps even you, someday, will be glad you did.

Lee Roof, M.D.



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