I have been a member of this community for over 38 years and have been an employee of Scotland County Hospital for 30 of those years. Over the years, I have seen many changes, some I whole-heartedly supported and some I did not agree with at all. However, the one constant is that I like my job and appreciate the opportunity to be employed close to home and to serve the community.

It is unfortunate that some discord has arisen among members of the community over recent events surrounding the changes in operation of the hospital, but maybe it serves a purpose. When we want to build muscle, we have to stress the existing muscles, cause a little pain, but in the end, our body is stronger and healthier. In the same way, a public service body needs a bit of stress to become better and stronger and to evaluate its purpose for existence. Public input is necessary for growth, but we can damage our body by overworking it or working in the wrong way. We must scrutinize our taxpayer-supported services with the intention of finding ways to build up, not tear down.

Having served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Scotland County Care Center, I do have some idea of the stresses experienced by the Scotland County Hospital Board members. When leveling criticism at their actions, we should bear in mind that they are all community members serving in a volunteer capacity because they care about their neighbors. We elected them to represent us and to watch out for our best interests. Most members of the community do not have the time or training needed to study all of the information available and make the best decision possible, so we trust it to our elected representatives. Each board member brings a unique perspective to the group and uses it in the best way they know how. Also, sometimes information is available to the board that is not made public because, as we all know, healthcare information is highly protected by government regulations.

Please give the board credit for protecting your privacy. If you do not understand why something is being decided the way it is, please contact one of the board members and discuss it with them directly. Many people owe their lives and livelihoods to the existence of this hospital. Please do what you can to support the people who serve us and are here 24/7 to keep us all in the best health.

Kathy Miller