The Saratoga Sun -

NP Bids Farewell

 

January 22, 2020



Dear Editor,

I write this letter with a heavy heart, while I prepare to leave Saratoga for a new job. I came to Saratoga last March to join the healthcare staff at Platte Valley Clinic. I came here under the pretense the town was moving towards establishing a critical access hospital.

In that time, I have seen and participated in the passionate debate of moving forward with the CAH. I have listened as misinformation has been spread, and what appears on the surface, to be conflicts of interest for whatever the underlying reasons. There has been a paucity of evidence which would validate how the CAH is not beneficial to the community.

Due to several factors, including the constant conflict and uncertainty involving healthcare in the valley, I can no longer see a clear future for me or my family in Saratoga.

According to an AARP report on aging in 2018, Wyoming leads the country in the growing aging population.This will only further strain the healthcare access in the Valley. A critical access hospital will provide much needed access to healthcare in the Valley, including 24 hour access to emergent services. Providers in the Valley, regardless of the credentialing letters behind their name, will need to weigh decisions to send patients to other facilities for urgent and emergent follow up, understanding risks to patient safety just in transporting to the next level of care.

Members of the community who need emergency medical transport have to wait precious time as dispatch scrambles to find appropriate transport. Every time this occurs, there is a risk of sentinel outcomes. Stroke and heart attack protocols are time critical. This equates to time is brain cells and heart muscle. Every minute that passes increases the risk of negative patient outcomes and first responders are fundamentally essential in increasing successful patient outcomes. This is greatly lacking in Saratoga, as there are significant gaps in access to emergent medical transport and the appropriately trained personnel to treat critical patients.

If the residents of this town do not overwhelmingly support your local healthcare providers and staff, the town may face lack of access to quality healthcare. As for the promised MHCC clinic, start asking questions what care they will provide. Are their providers and staff going to make home visits to the home bound? Is there access to mental health options? Are they attempting to enhance virtual health? Will they be working on being a point of access for specialized care?

These are all the services the Platte Valley Clinic already has or is working diligently to bring to the Valley. This does not include the incredible staff already currently providing exceptional care in the clinic. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

Ruby Ayres FNP-C

 

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