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Salisbury selectmen oppose hospital cuts

SALISBURY — The Board of Selectmen met Monday, Aug. 1, and agreed to sign a statement opposing proposed changes at Sharon Hospital.

The statement reads, in part:  “We cannot support the termination of the Labor and Delivery unit and are concerned about changes to the ICU. We believe that the decision to terminate the Labor and Delivery unit, and associated surgical capability, may put expecting mothers at serious risk due to lengthy alternative travel times and this is inconsistent with regional efforts to promote and expand women’s (and men’s) reproductive health.”

However, the selectmen also make it clear that they understand it is a complex  matter and that they appreciate the hard work that hospital board and staff put in. “While we acknowledge all of that great work, we’d like a seat at the table to find solutions,” First Selectman Curtis Rand said.

“This is a much bigger problem that a lot of people don’t fully understand. We don’t want to add to the problem, we want to add to the solution,” Selectman Don Mayland added.

The selectmen in Sharon, Cornwall and Kent are also on record as opposing the hospital cutbacks. The full text of the statement can be found at tricornernews.com.

(See article on an upcoming Sharon Hospital information webinar, Sharon Hospital schedules community update on Aug. 8.)

The selectmen approved $5000 for the Salisbury Affordable Housing Commission to be spent on the employment of Hannah Pouler as a communications consultant. Lee Ann Sullivan, a member of the SAHC, briefly reported  on Pouler’s qualifications to the selectmen and assured them she would be an asset to the commission.

 

Statement from the Salisbury Board of Selectmen on Sharon Hospital

SALISBURY — This is the full text of a statement signed by the Salisbury Board of Selectmen Monday, Aug. 1.

The Salisbury Board of Selectmen believes that:

1) Our regional community includes many towns and residents in 3 states. It is generally a rural environment with lengthy travel times and often limited communication ability. Due to its excellent living standards and quality educational opportunities, our regional population includes retirees, senior citizens, young families and professionals, each in need of specialized health care

2) The Board is grateful for The Sharon Hospital, Nuvance Health Care, and the large number of health care professionals, volunteers and non-profit organizations that have allowed the Sharon Hospital to remain in our area and to provide such quality and diverse care.

3) We believe that Labor and Delivery and Intensive Care are critical resources for our rural community, particularly due to the lengthy travel times to alternative hospitals.

4) The Board of Selectmen understands the financial decisions that have been made and we  acknowledge that these decisions have also been supported by the Sharon Hospital Board; we appreciate their leadership, dedication, and the financial challenges before them. We cannot support the termination of the Labor and Delivery unit and are concerned about changes to the ICU. We believe that the decision to terminate the Labor and Delivery unit, and associated surgical capability, may put expecting mothers at serious risk due to lengthy alternative travel times and this is inconsistent with regional efforts to promote and expand women’s (and men’s) reproductive health.

Our Board strongly believes that Sharon Hospital should remain a full-service hospital in any way possible and we are prepared to assist Nuvance and the Sharon Hospital Board in ways that inight be helpful to that end. We would join our representatives and government officials to seek solutions that place Connecticut hospitals on- par financially with our neighboring states; this is particularly relevant in the case of Sharon Hospital which is situated on or nearby two other states. These efforts might include improvements to formulae for out-of-pocket deductibles, fund raising, and commitments of proportionally higher matching dollars from local, state and federal funding, all of which we are willing to support if that is helpful.

Sincerely,

The Salisbury Board of Selectmen

August 2, 2022

 

Curtis Rand (First Selectman)

Christian Williams

Donald Mayland

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