LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What were board members thinking?

How many of you know a business that would be willing to meet the growing needs of a community, continuing to offer goods and services that individuals must have in their time of need, but instantly lose $2 million worth of funding? That would be zero – no business would do this.

I feel compelled to respond to Jeff Russell’s Letter to the Editor in Sunday, November 21, 2021, wherein, he was critical of the four Board Members who voted to require employees be vaccinated. This is a requirement/mandate from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid for hospitals, not only locally, but nationwide, to adhere to the requirement/mandate or lose funding to the facility, which, as I understand, is somewhat north of $2 Million. Everyone should understand CMS not only has a sledge hammer, they have wrecking ball as well, which in this case, they have used! If MCH doesn’t’ comply, they must give back the funding. Plus, those who choose not to be vaccinated may file an exemption which protects them.

Several questions should be asked of Mr. Russell, as well as Bryn Dodd, Wallace Dunn and Kathy Rhodes, who opposed the motion. I think one of the most important questions to ask them is where will the loss of the millions of dollars come from to make up the difference? The taxpayers? The ad-valorem tax rate is already capped at 15 cents per valuation. Perhaps through donations from individuals or businesses? I don’t think so!!

Without MCH, where will you go in your time of a healthcare need or crisis? Maybe Odessa Regional Hospital, if they are not at capacity: Midland Memorial Hospital, if they are not on deferral; Scenic Mountain Hospital in Big Spring or various hospitals in the area? In addition, individuals would have limited or no access to private providers for referrals and the Texas Tech School of Medicine, UT Permian Basin Nursing Program, Odessa College Nursing Program and Allied Health programs would be largely reduced or could end up having to close.

It appears that Mr. Russell, Ms. Dodd, Mr. W. Dunn and Mrs. Rhodes do not understand or consider the fall out of the loss that Odessa and the Permian Basin would suffer whose citizens depend on MCH for healthcare and the stability it brings to meet the vital needs of the healthcare of everyone. Nor did they consider the 2,000 plus jobs that MCH currently provides in our community.

Thank You, Mrs. Anderson, Mr. D. Dunn, Mr. Hallmark and Mr. Herrera for standing up to continue the services provided by Medical Center Health System.

Judy Hayes