Friday, June 12, 2009
On August 4th, please vote to approve the Hurley Hospital mileage request, and take a stand to protect your access to emergency healthcare and expert medical services. With rising unemployment, high rates of foreclosure, and decreasing healthcare benefits, Hurley has been financially crippled. As a result, Hurley has engaged in budget cuts from their executives all the way down to their staff. However, these cuts are not enough, and Hurley’s continued viability is questionable. All Hurley is asking from the community is that we pay on average an additional $1-$2 per week to protect one of our local hospitals. Why should we support Hurley?
1) Hurley is one of the largest employers in Flint. Genesee County has already lost enough jobs. We cannot afford to lose another key employer.
2) Hurley specializes in pediatric medicine and neo-natal care. These two specialties are sorely lacking at Genesys and McLaren.
3) Hurley fulfills a vital role in reducing strain on the other Genesee County hospitals. Without Hurley, the other hospitals would be badly cramped, thus, reducing their services as well. Therefore, this is not just a Flint issue, but a mid-Michigan issue as well.
4) Hurley provides medical care to two-thirds of Genesee County’s uninsured. Where will these people go without Hurley? As the proportion of Michiganders with health care coverage declines, institutes like Hurley become more important in creating a much-needed option. This good will should be rewarded to prevent illness in the region, restore efficiency of Michigan workers who fall ill, and lower mortality amongst at-risk citizens like infants and seniors.
5) Hurley is part of the effort to revitalize Flint and Genesee County. Hurley is part of Flint’s core downtown redevelopment effort. Facilities at Hurley provide important training opportunities for students specializing in nursing who attend one of Flint’s fine secondary education institutions. Also, a plan is currently underway to bring a medical school to Flint, which would require a strong Hurley to meet the needs of students attending the program. This plan brings additional tax revenue into the city, which may eventually fund this mileage by itself.
While it may be easy for some in Genesee County to dismiss Flint, this is a short-sighted and narcissistic view. This view dismisses Flint’s standing as the central city of Genesee County. Those who subscribe to this ignorance risk watching their own medical care decline because the decline of Hurley will send shock waves throughout the mid-Michigan medical infrastructure. In addition, those who believe that their property values are safe from a declining Flint fail to realize the converse – their property values could rise with a revitalized Flint. All citizens of Genesee County will prosper together from a new, stronger Flint. Therefore, on August 4th, please remember to vote for the future of Flint – please remember to vote for your own economic and medical stability.