Adventist efforts appealing to upcounty residents
The Gazette article on hospital polls in the Sept. 16 newspaper ["Polls add wrinkle to Germantown, Clarksburg hospital battle,"] is very revealing in terms of how Adventist HealthCare and Holy Cross have gone about gaining community support for their proposals.
Adventist HealthCare has been working with the upcounty residents since 2002, when they first bought the site for its proposed Clarksburg hospital and medical campus. Adventist reached out in its poll to residents in Germantown, Clarksburg and other parts of the upcounty — those residents most directly affected by a new health care campus. Holy Cross, which surprised upcounty residents and politicians with its plan last year, polled residents across the county about its hospital.
More importantly, Holy Cross contacted politicians about its poll in hopes that political pressure would move its project along. That is in stark contrast with the numerous community meetings Adventist HealthCare has held throughout the upcounty which helped it gain support and land approvals for its project. Adventist has been very careful to make sure that its plan would not only provide needed medical services to an underserved area, but that it would also fit in with the surrounding community.
The article demonstrates how polls can achieve the desired results of each party, depending on demographics, type of questions, and statistical analysis. However, the type of collaborative spirit exhibited by Adventist's Clarksburg plan is more appealing to upcounty residents, and a primary goal of the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce. It should be appealing and important to all residents and communities in Montgomery County.
Patrick Darby, Clarksburg
The writer is president of the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce.
Needs of community, not poll results should be accepted
Since when have poll results been accepted as an indication to approve the construction of a new hospital? What about the needs of the community, not the popularity of the two competing hospitals as judged by a poll conducted by companies hired by those respective applicants.
If indeed, upper Montgomery County has a need for an additional hospital, then shouldn't the pros and cons be discussed in terms of how that need can best be satisfied? Can the need be met by an expansion at nearby Frederick Hospital? If not, then shouldn't the two competing applicants be judged on their proven ability to provide quality and efficient health care in today's economy?
Your article ["Polls add wrinkle to Germantown, Clarksburg hospital battle," Sept. 16] indicated that in 2008, Holy Cross Hospital had a gross income of $6.3 billion, while Adventist HealthCare had a gross income of $1.19 billion. Holy Cross has 450 beds, while Adventist HealthCare has a total of 614 beds — Washington Adventist has 294 beds and Shady Grove Adventist, 320 beds. What am I missing? Looks like Holy Cross has demonstrated it knows how to provide efficient, quality health care.
Virginia Pisarra, Gaithersburg