Letter: Celebrate the commitment to local health care

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Beginning on Oct. 4, 2017, members of Save Our Healthcare have stood by the side of the road at New Denmark Park every Wednesday. Through heat, rain, snow and freezing temperatures, people have shown up every single Wednesday. Why? The reason is simple: We stand committed to health care services in our community.

Our first Turn Out, a little over a year ago, our grassroots group was called Save Our Hospital. It was the Wednesday after we lost our special care unit. At that time, we were focused on urging the powers that be at Mayo to change their minds and keep services in Albert Lea.

So much has happened since that first Turn Out. Mayo did not change its mind. In fact, Albert Lea has lost its inpatient surgery and is still scheduled to lose its award-winning Baby Place and med-surg (basically overnight stays in the hospital). Although, we didn’t achieve the goal in which we set out to achieve, I am proud of what we have accomplished. We have become a stronger community and shared the story of our community and rural healthcare nationally. Most importantly, we have not waivered in our commitment.

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In fact, we have renewed our commitment by changing our name to Save Our Healthcare to better reflect our new focus of obtaining a new provider in Albert Lea. What we really wanted all along was for the members of our community to receive health care services they need and deserve.

Throughout all of this, we kept showing up every Wednesday at New Denmark Park and will continue to do so. I guess you could say we continue to stand strong in our mission both literally and figuratively.

To commemorate the anniversary of our first Turn Out and our continued commitment, Save Our Healthcare is having a picnic at New Denmark park from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Turn Out will start at 4:30 p.m. Food will be served at 5 p.m. Music will be performed by local musicians. Hotdogs and lemonade will be served. Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish to pass and a chair or a picnic blanket. Donations will be accepted.

Please join us as we celebrate our commitment to local health care and our amazing community. As always, the event is open to the public, and everyone is welcome.

Angie Hanson

Albert Lea