Fox still trying to gobble Lake Placid’s hospital

To the editor:

Remember the story of the Gingerbread Man? He runs away from the little old woman and the little old man and the cow until he comes to a river, and he can’t cross it. Then he meets a charming and cunning fox who offers to save him and take him across the river. The Gingerbread Man accepts. But on the way, the fox gobbles him up bit by bit. Soon, there is no more Gingerbread Man.

Our wonderful Lake Placid hospital is like that Gingerbread Man. When the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake hospitals merged, there was supposed to be cooperation between the two facilities. Many people, however, expected that the Saranac Lake hospital would eventually put an end to Placid Memorial. I was one of those people. That now seems about to become reality. Adirondack Health has all but gobbled up the Lake Placid hospital.

What is Chandler Ralph’s mandate? Is it to increase the bottom line of whatever company it is that employs her? Or is it to provide quality patient care to the people in the communities served by Adirondack Health? I suspect it is the former, even though the mission statement of Adirondack Health is “Excellent Health Care … Close to Home.”

At the community meeting at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts on May 1, Stan Urban said, “At this point, we’ve been discussing this and having meetings for the last three months. I’m not sure more time will do anybody any favors in terms of delaying which way we’re going. I think the community needs to know.” It seems the decision has been made. Maybe it’s time to change the mission statement, because the excellent health care won’t be close to home for a lot of people.

The continued condescension by Adirondack Health is off-putting. Ralph says, “It’s our responsibility to listen to those opinions but also to educate on how drastically health care is changing.” We know health care is changing. The people of Lake Placid are not stupid. Don’t talk down to them.

While health care is changing, Adirondack Health needs to remember that people get the same kind of sick. Lake Placid needs a 24/7 emergency room. Keep it open.

Run, run, run. Catch me if you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the … Gulp! Nasty fox.

Marilyn Hart MacIvor

(Lake Placid native and former resident)

Ottawa, Ontario