With Cameron officials ready to throw the hospital under the 18-wheeler for tax revenue, Steve Tinnen asks why the hospital would keep Cameron's name?
You know you’re growin’ older when... As a child, you are told falling is an important part of life. Adulthood is when you realize it.
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NOTE: In full disclosure, I’m a member of the operating board of Cameron (soon to be changed) Regional Medical Center. The opinions expressed are my own and do not reflect the opinions of any of the board members, doctors, staff or employees of the hospital.)
Name changes, especially when thought to be not politically correct, seem to be in vogue these days. This is certainly true for sports teams like the Cleveland Indians and the Washington Redskins. The Indians will soon be called The Guardians. The Redskins have not picked a new name. The Kansas City Chiefs may also find themselves on the name change hot seat if the climate continues to boil. Although their name of ‘Chiefs’ came from the nickname of H. Roe Bartle, former powerful mayor of Kansas City. He was call the ‘Chief.’
This name change idea came to my mind after considering all of the hullabaloo about Love’s Truck Stop putting in one of its mega stores just across the street from the Cameron Regional Medical Center.
Now, constructing a truck stop within the city limits of Cameron might seem like a really good idea. Let’s face it, the Earley family will get a nice chunk of change when selling the property. Heck, yeah, it’s the American way – capitalism at its finest.
And location in the real estate world is everything. “Location, location, location.” Harold Samuel coined this phrase in 1944 when he founded Land Securities, one of the United Kingdom’s largest property companies. Our former president and real estate mogul Donald Trump says it all the time, so it must be true.
Certainly, this reputable company would bring economic development to Cameron, which has struggled to find its way on economic development in recent years.
However, there is only one huge problem with Love’s location. It’s right next to a hospital. And that’s the wrong place to put a truck stop. A hospital right next to a truck stop is like oil and water – it’s a bad mix.
For years, the land has been used for crops. When the new hospital was being considered, one of Cameron’s finest leaders and best football official around, Ken Rafferty, negotiated to purchase the land because of its prime location and visibility. Ken was right on the mark, and that still holds true today.
So what’s the rub? Why does the rubber of the trucks meeting the pavement cause so much heartburn? If you think about it, there are plenty of bad things that can happen when truck traffic meets hospital traffic/emergency traffic. Lives could be lost because the ambulance can’t get by quickly enough to save a life.
Time is money in trucking, have them in and out. Time could mean one’s life if you arrive too late!
A few weeks ago during a Friday meeting at the hospital, all of the players gathered to learn of the hospital’s concern about a multitude of issues. Traffic congestion was considered one of the main problems by the hospital. But there were plenty of other potential major health issues that a truck stop could bring with such a close location, truck stop emissions exacerbating health concerns is just one of many issues.
What put the icing on my cake, was the recent special Cameron Planning and Zoning meeting on Thursday, August 12. On the agenda was the site plan/preliminary plat approval.
Like so many important meetings, everybody knew their roles – zoning members, city officials, attorneys from Love’s and the hospital, Earley family members, interested parties, interested bystanders, etc. Delvin Jackson, operating board member for the hospital, recused himself. City employees on the board did not (perhaps a violation of state statues?).
Karma seemed to catch Love’s, as their PowerPoint presentation did not work. No worries, the attorney claimed, most already knew the information and he would answer any questions. Only one was asked about the traffic study. It was conducted by Love’s, but was approved by MoDOT.
Ironically, Cameron’s city attorney was caught in traffic on I-35 and he could not make the meeting. Thank God it wasn’t a medical emergency. But he wasn’t needed anyway. The dye was already cast.
The commissioners and city council members have had a multitude of letters and emails, citing wrong actions, calling for city officials to consider the hospital’s position. Scorn for the hospital has been their answer.
The vote was 4-1 for approval on both issues. But what about all that information the Love’s provided to the commission? There wasn’t a peep about any concerns raised that Love’s would bring to that location.
Let’s face it, folks, Cameron doesn’t give two hoots about the Cameron Regional Medical Center. Nope, the stigma created decades ago, long before the arrival of CRMC CEO Joe Abrutz, continues to be a plague on the name Cameron and hospital. It can’t be a place where people’s lives are saved on a daily basis. Well, Cameronites, it happens there every damn day!
The idea that the name Cameron is a perceived benefit to those who don’t live there is totally wrong. Mention Cameron before saying Regional Medical Center or Hospital, and immediately one can feel the vibe from the other end of the phone or facial expression from those you meet. “You mean the town of Cameron has a good hospital? Can’t be. Heck, they can’t even pave the road named after Bob Griffin. He’s the guy who’s made the most economic impact ever in that community.”
Mentioning Cameron and Hospital in the same sentence is like mentioning Love’s Truck Stop and Cameron Regional Medical Center. It doesn’t make any sense.
Change the name to Northwest Missouri Regional Medical Center.
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