Quality health care key part to local economy

Nearly every issue of the Alpena News contains some article related to the economy of Northeast Michigan. Things are either hopeful, improving, expected to get better or disappointing, depending on the issue being written about. There is always a lot of discussion about what is happening or needs to happen to bring economic development and financial security to the region. After reading the recent letter to the editor regarding the possible closure of the inpatient pediatric unit at ARMC, I am wondering if community leaders have any idea what it takes to be a first rate region where companies start new businesses and bring in new money to the local economy.

The region needs great schools and quality medical care to be able to recruit and keep the workers needed for a growing economy. Talented and educated young people will not choose to raise their families where their children’s health care needs cannot be met. If you have ever had a seriously ill child and spent even 15 minutes getting to the hospital emergency department with them. you know how terrifying the experience is for the child and the parents. If the only option is to travel long distances to get quality care for children, families and business will move out. A community that has no pediatric inpatient service will soon be a dying community. Any talk of closing the inpatient services is not only heartless, it’s economically stupid.

This issue demands the attention of all business and government leaders who claim to be working for economic progress in the region and The Alpena News needs to keep readers informed about negotiations and actions being taken on this critical topic.

Patty Thomas