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Posted on Mar 4, 2016

Take the time to fill out QVMC survey

By Jill FitzSimmons

Here at the newspaper, there aren’t many down weeks. Some days, I actually wish I was one of those editors who had the time to be bored. Honestly, I think we get the luxury of having slow news weeks about three times a year.
That’s because there’s always something going on in Quincy. Last Monday, we started the week off with a visit from the Richland Bomb Squad. (This brave reporter forgot to take video of the incident because she was hiding behind a city employee.) The week before, I was in a police training simulator yelling at a burglary suspect. (Just what do you say to a man who jumps out of a car with a gun? I had nothin’.) And the recent passage of the school bond last month — and the weeks leading up to the election — was big news for this community and its future.
Most of these stories wouldn’t make the cover of the Seattle Times. But it’s stuff that gets everyone talking around here week in and week out. (You know you’re all talking about Pita Pit right now.)
But of all these stories in our community, I believe the Quincy Valley Medical Center and its future should be the one we are all talking about — together.
A good start to that conversation is a short, four-question survey from the hospital. Leaders there are trying to get a feel for what kind of a medical facility this community would support. Because, let’s be honest, it isn’t getting much support right now.
Patient numbers are declining at the hospital. The hospital district is operating on $3.6 million in loans from the county. And voters failed to support a much-needed tax levy a couple of years back.
Hospital leaders are asking people to be honest and constructive. Focus on what you think would build the hospital back up, not tear it down. It’s my hope that hospital leaders are open to that honesty.
So I’m encouraging you to take the time to complete the survey and trust in the process. The survey is available in a variety of forms. It is printed in the March 3 newspaper. It is online at the hospital’s website. And it will soon be arriving in your mailbox.
Available with the surveys is a separate Q&A that goes into some details about the hospital. Read it before you take the survey, because it may play a role in your answers. Did you know, for example, that the emergency room is losing $240,000 a year?
I don’t usually support surveys. Mostly because people don’t seem to fill them out.
But this one is too important to pass up. I suspect answers are coming soon as to what the hospital will look like in the near future. Don’t you want to play a role in that?
I told the chairman of the hospital’s board this week that I’m excited for Quincy Valley Medical Center. And I truly mean that. I’m excited to see what you, the community, envision for your hospital.

Jill FitzSimmons is the editor of the Quincy Valley Post-Register. She can be reached at