Letter: Affliation with CentraCare has huge financial benefits locally

To the editor:
There appear to be a few individuals who feel some significant money was left on the table in the alignment that is being finalized between the New River Hospital and CentraCare.
Let’s put a few facts on that same table which might shed some light on what actually is taking place.
CentraCare is taking responsibility for all bonded indebtedness as well as any past liabilities that may be unknown today.
In addition, they are signing documents that state there will be no future pathway to the taxpayers for any levies.
They are committing to invest capital expenditures that are above the health industry norm.
CentraCare will open the OB-GYN unit within 12 months while also upgrading it to be state-of-the-art.
The emergency room will be upgraded to also be state-of-the-art.
They will invest in adding health care providers in the area in general as well as in specialty areas based on the needs they are currently attempting to identify.
The verified investment that CentraCare has committed to during the next 10 years, including the items mentioned above plus other items, amounts to a total of $68 million.
This information is included in documents signed by both parties.
If New River were operating on its own, we can believe the investment over the next 10 years would be a significantly lower number.
The many changes and unknowns in the health care industry dictated that this alignment needed to take place with some larger entity.
We searched over the past year and believe we found the absolute best.  We have had numerous discussions and meetings with CentraCare’s management and believe them to be a staff that is true to their word.
Where are the taxpayers in all this activity?
They have been levied $28 million since the hospital opened in 1965.
This has helped maintain a hospital here in Monticello and provided a strong base for future growth.
I believe that is what the city leaders intended when they started the effort 48 years ago.
Investing these dollars into the hospital system is the same as the building of infrastructure such as putting up bridges, a water system, school buildings and the community center.
This has always been about working towards what is best for the patient and area citizens.
In spite of the unknowns of Washington, D.C. and St. Paul, we believe this will be the optimum future for our staff and the residents of our district.

Bob Esse
Silver Creek

Editor’s Note: Esse was a member of New River Medical Center affiliation task force.