Letter: Don’t encourage community to abandon employees

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

When plans for hospital optimization were announced, I was as upset and frustrated as anyone. I was worried my job might be in jeopardy. I got on board with the Save Our Hospital campaign, hoping they could do something to keep my job here.

I’m having a hard time standing behind the SOH group. It has become evident they are not in support of the employees at the clinic/hospital, rather “sticking it to Mayo.” They seemed so concerned about Mayo employees whose jobs were being transferred but are now willing to jump ship and abandon those left working, so desperately counting on patients to keep coming. I find it shameful that a community group would use their influence to steer patients to seek treatment in a community far from here, essentially taking from this community and giving to another. Their Facebook site has become a place for people complaining about services they have received here and telling people about services they are now getting in other communities.

If this group influences people to take their business elsewhere, we truly will lose our hometown health, and those left working will pay the price along with many people still choosing to seek treatment in their hometown. Imagine not having anywhere to take your ill child in the night or a place to drop in when your cold is lasting too long? I ask why hardworking, dedicated employees of Albert Lea will be made to pay for “the sins of the father”?

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There are still lots of people here in this community employed by Mayo. It’s our life’s work to get up every day and provide great service to the community; we’re hoping and praying daily that we can continue to do so in uncertain times. So where is the support for us? We live in the community too, our kids go to schools and we belong to churches here. I love this community, I also love my job. I want to see Albert Lea thrive and grow but don’t think shunning the services we still have is the way to go or helping the situation. In Albert Lea, we’re still providing most all of the services you’ll need in your life — we love doing it! Some areas are adding new services, providers that weren’t previously available here. I don’t want to see my co-workers being sent home early or getting mandatory cancels due to low patient numbers. Employees are concerned with talk about a new provider group being brought in; will we all have to start over from nothing? If we want to show Mayo something, let’s show them there’s still numbers and demand for services here and will always be. Many, previously upset about driving 23 miles to receive care, are now driving much longer, and for what? We’re not pawns in a game to get back at Mayo, rather real people in your community. It’s your right to choose to go somewhere else for care if you’re not happy with the care you’ve received here, but please don’t encourage others to abandon us over this.

Sarah Stueven

Albert Lea