Letters to the Editor

Miller serves the public well

In reference to the letter of Ms. Pierzchala, Oct. 29, I’ve not heard such ranting and raving since my little sister failed to make the junior high cheerleading team. It’s one thing to favor one candidate over another, but to fire off such a long string of unsubstantiated accusations is nothing more than what it appeared to be, a futile attempt at character assassination.

I too have attended hospital board meetings, have heard both candidates give presentations sponsored by the League of Women Voters, and I have observed Ms. Miller’s active participation on the Community Health Advisory Board (CHAB). She presents herself with a professional, friendly demeanor and good background of fact-based knowledge about the issues.

I am a former member of CHAB. I have a 33-year background in the Navy Hospital Corps with an intimate knowledge of staffing and budget restraints. I’ve worked with numerous civilian medical facilities to coordinate care and resources. I care very much about the leadership and welfare of Whidbey General Hospital and the patients it serves, as does Ms. Miller.

I think we’ll not find a more dedicated and valuable individual than Ms. Miller to continue to serve as hospital commissioner. I have always known Ms. Miller to confront the issues at hand with a positive attitude and a focus on what’s in the best interest of the hospital and its patients.

During her tenure she has been instrumental in implementing the “patients first” philosophy, where patients are treated as individuals with different needs making for a better hospital experience. She was involved and contributed to the budget process for the new Whidbey General North Health Services building and Sleep Disorders Center. She also worked on a joint project building with Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue and Whidbey General Hospital.

Physician recruitment and retention is not a problem unique to Whidbey General Hospital. It is a statewide problem.

Ms. Miller worked side-by-side with the hospital board and administration on the Critical Access Program which is designed for rural hospital facilities. It will allow Whidbey General Hospital to be reimbursed 101-percent of the cost for Medicare patients starting in February 2006, an increase over the present 47 cents on the dollar being allowed now. This will enable the hospital to replace old equipment, buy new state-of-the-art equipment, and should also help recruit and retain physicians.

Jesse Lowder

Master Chief Hospital Corpsman, USN (Ret.)

Oak Harbor

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