Letter: More businesses need to support hospital cause

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, September 7, 2017

Addressing our business owners in Albert Lea:

I am so grateful to Morris Furniture, Collins Auto Body, Mrs. Gerry’s, Taco King and any other business that has placed a Save Our Hospital sign on its property. A sign is available for $5 at Granicrete Minnesota, and that is located at the old North Park. They are also available at the Mary Go Round Shoppe, along with T-shirts, caps and pins. I wanted to do something to help.

As I drive into town each day from my house between Austin and Albert Lea, I am saddened to see not much business participation. Certainly you must be aware that not having a full-service hospital with a baby place, intensive care and inpatient acute care will devastate our community — our restaurants, car dealerships, vacuum places, veterinarians, gas stations, grocery stores, funeral homes, hair stylists, post office, malls, novelty shops, newspaper, library, bars, law firms, Realtors, insurance companies, historical museum, hotels, massage shops and wellness facilities, YMCA, Hispanic and Asian grocery, floral shops, lumber stores, airport, our fast food places, motorcycle shops and banks.

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Mayo says they only take 5 percent of our hospital away; it is the 5 percent that creates the most revenue.

Sunday night the meetings at 6 p.m. at the American Legion are extremely informative. Every chairperson from each of our committees speaks about the progress occurring in the past week. We have public relations, fundraising, legal, research, other providers and the co-chairs who are very involved. To me, it has been eye-opening to attend three commissioners meetings, and they are all on board. As our Minnesota attorney general arrived on Monday, I felt badly that there were not more signs from business folks who shared that they were invested. Remember as the special section, Impact, comes out in our Tribune in September and your number of years are honored. Perhaps next year, your business will be eliminated because of what Mayo is doing to this community. We have made national news. We are putting up two billboards in Rochester, one on the cross between I-35 and I-90. At one of the recent meetings our councilman Rich Murray listened to Vice President Dr. Bobbi Goustout say Mayo is just getting their wings and we are just taking flight, and thank goodness Rich Murray had the presence to respond, “But there are no passengers on your plane.”

I implore you to get with this program, become awake and aware, ask questions, be just a little involved and it will help all of us. We do not deserve to be treated this way. You have a right to advocate for yourself and every client that comes into your business. Where will you be when Mayo detours I-35 and I-90 toward Austin — and they probably will, after all it’s only 23 miles from here. And ice cream will be their specialty.

Thank you for climbing aboard and not allowing this to occur.

Mary Packer Umstead

Albert Lea