Members of the steering committee of the concerned citizens group, Save Clearfield Hospital, attended the public meeting of the Penn Highlands Clearfield Board of Directors on Monday, June 27.
While The Progress ran an article stating facts and figures reported by the CEO – mainly good safety statistics and the fact that they lost only 2 million this past fiscal year – the concerns and questions posed by the public were not covered.
As per our promise to keep the public informed, made to the hundreds in attendance at the town meeting in June of 2015, the following is a summary of discussion that was NOT reported:
- Since the creation of Penn Highlands Healthcare, Clearfield has suffered the loss of its ICU, Maternity, Radiation Oncology and Clear-Care Corp., which moved to St. Marys. Sadly, it was confirmed that St. Mary’s will soon be the new base for Home Health, Clearfield Hospital’s crown jewel that once boasted eight offices and covered the largest geographical area in the state.
- When asked specifically what has been brought to Clearfield, there was no answer. However, PHC’s Board Chairman, David Lezzer, told those in attendance that “Good things are coming,” but that he wouldn’t tell us what those good things are just yet.
- When asked specifically if Penn Highlands had petitioned the Pennsylvania Department of Health for permission to discontinue after-hours surgical services, there was much beating around the bush before admitting that this has occurred. Twice.
- Questions were raised about the PHH doctors all being “Penn Highlands DuBois,” including those reported to have been recruited by Penn Highlands Clearfield. Does this not funnel revenue generated by Clearfield’s doctors into Dubois’ coffers?
- Attorney John Sughrue commented on behalf of the group, stating ”We don’t dislike Dubois, we just want the cooperative venture that we were promised,” and he pointed out that the shifting of jobs and services away from Clearfield has been detrimental to the economy of the entire area on this side of the mountain. It has also been proven to be detrimental to the health and well-being of individuals who need immediate care – sadly, a matter of life or death for at least one person.
- In light of the proliferation of prescription drug abuse in our area and Gov. Tom Wolf’s desire to address this crisis, it was suggested that the empty first floor of hospital could be utilized for the treatment and education.
The Progress reported on June 30 that our County Commissioners are hoping for more communication opportunities with the hospital’s board, saying “We want the hospital to keep us informed”.
We agree, and would like to see the directors of Penn Highlands Clearfield hold public meetings at least quarterly, in a large public venue during the evening, so that local businesspersons and a greater number of employed individuals are able to attend.
Residents of Clearfield and surrounding areas, what do YOU think? The committee welcomes your comments and your support of our efforts! Please “like” our Facebook page “Save Clearfield Hospital” and share your thoughts.
Concerned Citizens/Steering Committee
“Save Clearfield Hospital”