Letter: Be the solution

Published 9:59 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

Some years ago, when my son was 3, he fell from a backyard slide and broke his leg. He was in pain and spent nearly a month in the hospital in traction, but mostly he was scared and missed his home, his dad and his twin brother. Luckily, because the hospital was here in town, I was able to go back and forth between home and hospital, reading and feeding my injured son and still able to care for his brother at home. To a Mayo administrator, this may seem like a small thing, perhaps the equivalent of getting ice cream, but to my family this was crucial.

When we first moved to Albert Lea, Wilson was the largest employer in town. Over the years, Wilson’s changed hands, ultimately became Farmland, and then burned down. Then it was gone. Farmland never looked back, took the insurance money and did not rebuild here. Like most corporations, it looked to the bottom line and decided what was best for them financially. They did not believe they had any obligation to the community.

It seems to me that Mayo has a similar corporate view. Mayo is making decisions without input from the community or consideration for what is in the best interest of the community. It is not content to make a profit, but wants to make the most profit without consideration for the health or financial well-being of our community.

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But, there is a difference in the two scenarios. Our community has turned to the government and the public servants who work within it for help. Sen. Dan Sparks has expressed his concern and is looking for help in the Minnesota Senate. Congressman Tim Walz has voiced his frustration with Mayo and asked it to work with our community to build trust. Our County Commissioners and City Council are doing what they can, conducting research and contacting state officials to work with the community to save our hospital. 

I don’t know if our Save Our Hospital will win the fight, but I know that we can’t win if we don’t fight. Please join us by contributing to the effort, participating in writing letters to the paper and Mayo, and joining us at rallies and other functions. Also, I believe that it is our government officials, those people who represent us and work for us who may be our best hope. Contact them, thank them for what they have done so far, and ask them to do more. Don’t believe people who say government is the problem. Often it is our best hope for a solution.

Mary Hinnenkamp

Albert Lea