Letters to the Editor

From hospital staff members

Dear Editor,

We could spend time writing about how many great things the current board and administration have done for this town. However, it seems the only thing some people want to hear about is why their doctor can’t treat them in their hospital.  Let’s clear that up real quick. They quit! They (and I quote) “moved on” and so have we.  They decided to leave you. But guess what, you can still see your doctor and go to your hospital.  We take care of all patients and have been ensuring a proper physician hand off at discharge for a year and a half (even if your doctor has told you we haven’t).

That day in 2014 was a scary day for the staff at LRHC.  We were scared for our jobs, our patients, the future of our hospital and our community.  Then our LEADER, Leslie Marsh, brought us together and calmed our fears.  She told us everything would be okay.  She was confident and positive, pushing forward toward PATIENT centered care using a TEAM approach.  She was right again!  Our leadership team and current board members recruited providers who are fabulous to work with, started an urgent care, a new clinic, built a new outpatient surgical center, private rooms with new bathrooms, new curtains, a nurses station that doesn’t look like it belongs in the 70’s, and heaven forbid new paint and carpet.  These are updates that any quality business would need to do to remain competitive.  The board prepared for growth because they are forward thinking individuals who are professionals with experience and good business sense.

In the last year and a half the nurses at LRHC have never had to beg for an order to help our patients, never been yelled at, never been ignored, never had to watch our patients not get the help they need in a timely manner, never had doors slammed in our faces, never been called incompetent, never had to watch our patients faces when the provider was out right horrible to them and then try to make it all better using our nursing care, never had to explain where the doctor was, never had to apologize for what the provider said, never had to repeatedly call the provider to come assess a patient and still wait another 45 minutes for the doctor to get to the emergency room, never been blamed for things that were the providers fault, never been called a liar, and never been screamed at in front of a patient. Are you getting the picture?  We don’t want Urgent Care or Family Medicine to close just so they can be busy again.  We DON’T want them back.  We refuse to go back to that hostile and abusive environment.

Some of you might be shaking your heads right now in disbelief or be downright mad.  We understand that, but the providers that you love and the providers we know are two different people.  To put it in perspective, have any of you ever had a boss that you just couldn’t stand the sight of because they were absolutely horrible to work with and then at the office parties they are the most liked person in the room? … ya that’s what we are dealing with.

This brings us to the matter at hand, the election for the LRHC board. These are some of our concerns:  The 4 candidates that were asked to be involved in the NOT advertised “town hall” meetings which were located in Sumner and Elwood have one agenda.  They were asked many questions as to why they wanted to run for the hospital board.  They as a group, not individually agreed on two things; they have absolutely no plan to better our hospital or move our community forward. However the main agenda is to “sit down and have an honest talk to mend this rift”.  I wonder if these 4 candidates remember that the hospital spent thousands of dollars toward mediation and PCMG finally agreed, then quit participating (imagine that).

This community should want board members who can control their anger and still show passion toward the greater good. Again, we will refer to the “town hall” meetings.  During these meetings 2 of the 4 invited candidates lost their tempers in an almost extreme way.  One candidate screamed at the crowd telling them to “shut up”, shouted “that is a stupid question”, and pounded his fists on the table like a child throwing a tantrum. He chuckled at every question or comment from the public.  During a community member’s statement another candidate got up from his seat and stormed up to this persons face, screaming and pointing in anger.  We were happy to have the sheriff and other peace officers there for safety.  One candidate, who happens to be a physician, publicly agreed that having Dr. Jones on the board “is a conflict of interest”.  Another statement, “yes Mark has told me things that were said in executive session” (the happenings during the boards executive session are CONFIDENTIAL)!  These individuals have NO business being on a board where they are expected to remain professional and unbiased.

We are begging this voting district to be educated voters.  Talk to the employees and see the truth in our eyes.  We challenge you to forget about all the coffee shop talk and one sided stories that you have heard. This election will affect your community more than you think.  The community has to look at the growth of this town, growth of schools, growth of their personal business, the growth of their children or grandchildren, and yes the growth of their HOSPITAL! The board has a duty to uphold, to keep this hospital moving forward not backward.  The current board of directors; Kerry Teetor, Rob Anderson, Tara Naprstek, Amber Ackerson, former board member Kathy Neil and administration have gone above and beyond to ensure this community has providers and a FACILITY to serve this area.  This is the people’s hospital after all.  People of this community have said they are tired of all this drama and that they don’t even know what we are fighting for.  Well we would say this; WE are fighting for you, our patients, just like we always have and always will.

Sincerely, LRHC Nursing staff

Leah Dutro, RN, Tina Kennedy, RN, Kathy Redding, LPN, Vanji Vosler,RN, Rachel Peterson, RN, Audrey Riebschlager, Julie Mcfadden, LPNC, Alex Scharf, Pamela Kratzer, RN, Barb Foss, APRN, Jessica Wooden, Heather Sentelle, Deanne Guthard, RN, Elizabeth Atwood, RN, Stephanie Reutlinger, APRN, Ronda Wittaker, Deb Richter, LPNC, Tess Gall, RN, Kris Wendland, LPNC, Kimberly Stieben, Tracy Harbison, RN, Peg Block, Jennifer Vigil, RN, Krystal Hernandez, LPNC, Elizabeth Cote, RN, Brittany Hueftle, RN, Hannah Hild, RN, Lacey Anderson, RN, Kristina Bergmark, Skylar Lindenkugel, Dusty Ell, Michael Dominguez, Emily Tvrdy, RN, Ann Young, APRN Deb Schmidt, Loni Knudsen, RN, Sam Sleicher, RN, Jamie Slonecker, Abby Hunt, RN, Renetta Hatfield, RN, Emily Brandt, Jamie Gugelman, RN

P.S. This is the text of the letter the doctors sent to the hospital:

Dear Ms. Marsh

As you know we have tried, over the past several months, to resolve our differences with LexingtonRegionalCenter (“Hospital”) and rebuild and create a meaningful working relationship with Hospital’s management team and Board of Directors. Unfortunately, we have not accomplished this goal and feel it is time to move on. Accordingly, we are voluntarily resigning our Hospital medical staff membership and privileges effective as of 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014. We will ensure that the care of any of our patients remaining-in the Hospital as of such effective date is appropriately transitioned to those providers with medical staff membership and appropriate privileges at the Hospital.

Sincerely,

Edward Ford, M.D.

John Ford, M.D.

Gregory Kloch, M.D.

Mark Jones, M.D.

Joseph Miller, M.D.

Pat Unterseher, M.D.

Jennifer Hunke, PA-C

Melissa Hall, PA-C

Received 11/21/2014 12:55 p.m.

Not Jean Ford’s candidate

Let me introduce myself, I am Theresa Stuart and I am running for the LRHC Hospital Board.  I am not and never have been Jean Ford’s candidate!  I am my own person and I made my decision to run for the LRHC Board after discerning whether or not I thought I had skills and qualities that I could contribute to the board and the communities that are served by LRHC district. 

Please allow me to tell each of you who I am:  I was born in 1959 in Peoria, Illinois.  I attended Catholic grade school and high school.  I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from IllinoisStateUniversity.  I also have Certification in Parish Administration Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University New Orleans.   After college I was a volunteer for 2 years at an all-girls high school in Chicago.  I moved to Nebraska in 1983 where I worked for the Catholic Church in Cozad and Gothenburg.  In 1985 I married my husband Bruce and I moved to Lexington and became his business partner and a member of the Lexington community.  I taught at St. Ann’s High School the last two years it was in operation. I have spent over 40 years of my life volunteering.  I have served on many boards: my parish council, for three years I served as the  president of the Grand Island Diocesan Pastoral Council and I am a past member of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Legislative Policy Committee.  I understand how boards are to act and the responsibility to the entity they serve.

Besides my biographical information there are many things about who I am that you may or may not find on Google.  I am a strong independent woman.  (Ask my husband).  Justice is the core principle of who I am.  One Oxford dictionary definition of justice: “as just behavior or treatment: ‘a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people’.”

I was raised to respect all people, especially the poor and vulnerable.  I believe in equal pay for equal work.  I believe in standing up for my core principles: the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  There is no place in my world for bullies. I try to treat others as I want to be treated.  I listen to all sides of a story, gather as much information as possible and then I formulate my decision. 

My three children were born at Tri-CountyHospital.  Sadly one of my sons died at Tri-CountyHospital.  Other than specialized procedures I have always used Tri-County/LRHC for surgery/rehab.  My experience of health care in Lexington is positive:  from primary physicians and their staff, the hospital staff, dental care, and eye care.  As a community I feel we are truly blessed to have women and men who excel in their fields of medicine and are proud to call the Lexington area their home.    

Theresa Stuart

Lexington

Stamp out hunger drive

Dear Editor:

Saturday, May 4 marks the 24th anniversary of one of America’s great days of giving – the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food drive. Letter carriers walk through the community every day, often coming face to face with a sad reality for too many, hunger.

So, each year on the second Saturday in May, letter carriers across the country collect non-perishable food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to local food donations from our customers. These donations go directly to food to people in Lexington who need our help.

Last year, we collected over 71 million pounds of food nationally, feeding an estimated 30 million people. Over the course of its 23-year history, the drive has collected well over one billion pounds of food, thanks to a postal service universal delivery network that spans the entire nation, including Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands.

The need for food donations is great. Currently, 49 million Americans – 1 in 6 – are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Sixteen million are children who feel hunger’s impact on their overall health and ability to perform in school. And over 5 million seniors over age 60 are food insecure, with many who live on fixed incomes often too embarrassed to ask for help.

Our food drive’s timing is crucial. Food banks and pantries often receive the majority of their donations during the Thanksgiving and winter holiday seasons. By springtime, many pantries are depleted, entering the summer low on supplies at a time when many school breakfast and lunch programs are not available to children in need.

Participating in this year’s Carrier Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive is simple. Just leave a non-perishable food donation in a bag by your mailbox on Saturday, May 14 and your letter carrier will do the rest. I invite you to join in America’s great day of giving and help us in our fight to end hunger.

Sincerely,

Lexington

City and Rural Carriers

Thanks for a great Ag Fest

To the Editor:

It was great to see the enthusiastic reception given to "Ag Fest 2016" held in Dawson and Custer counties.  This activity drew more than 939 fourth and fifth graders, their teachers and sponsors.  The "Agricultural Community" should appreciate the strong interest school administrators, teachers, and students have in learning more about their industry.  Thanks to them for taking time out of school schedules to attend.

Another pat on the back goes to those ag producers, commodity groups, media, agribusinesses, and FFA groups that contributed to and were on hand to tell the amazing story of American agriculture.  It is a story of a lifestyle and business that has an ag producer working for 17.4 cents of every food dollar to produce food for 155 people.  These stewards of the environment strive year after trying year to provide each of us with the most abundant, wholesome and safest food supply possible ... and they succeed.

As Extension workers, we appreciate everyone's cooperation on "Ag Fest 2016"; and believe, that with all the help we received, our goal of educating young people on the impact of Nebraska Agriculture was met.

We applaud others taking on similar challenges and look forward to the next Ag Fest.

Sincerely,

DawsonCounty Extension- Bruce Treffer, Andrea Nisley, Mike Wolff, Sarah Schlund

CusterCounty Extension - Troy Walz, Jessye Goertz, Colleen Peterson

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