Letter to the Editor

Dear James Stewart, Well, you’ve gone and done it again! I thought the issue last year featuring the Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital couldn’t be topped. However, with your color photographs and your outstanding articles, you have done an even better one this year. My congratulations to the hospital board of directors, the capable hospital administrator Windell McCord and his outstanding staff, the medical staff and the volunteers who make all this possible. Oh yes, most important of all. . . the taxpayers that continue to ensure that Brady will not lose one its greatest assets: its local hospital. I have become so saddened in recent years as one small rural hospital after another closes because the federal and the state governments continue to make their cuts in reimbursement, and the local community is not willing or is unable to keep their hospital going. The beginning of an end for many of our smaller towns and communities in Texas starts with the closing of the hospital, losing the medical staff and light industry fading away. So, my congratulations to all of those in McCulloch County and the surrounding areas who support their local hospital. I hope they never take it for granted. Due to the Clinton/Gore Administration and Congressional reimbursement cuts, 70 percent of all Texas hospitals will have negative Medicare margins by 2002, and rural hospitals nationwide will be at -7.1 percent. One can’t run a paper or a hospital if money is lost on 50 to 75 percent of its business. Larry, my congratulations to you and your new team of young people who have truly energized the Brady Standard-Herald, continuing the momentum you, your father and your mother built over the years. At the Texas Hospital Association, because all health care is local and one needs to keep up with what’s happening in the community, we see news clippings and newspapers from all over the state on a frequent basis. The Brady Standard-Herald is second to none among outstanding rural newspapers in this state. The new look and printing, in-depth local coverage and taking editorial stands, put you all on the cutting edge. It’s not always easy, and I know that there are those who criticize the positions you take. I just wish some of these people would have the opportunity to visit Third World countries as my wife has done on her mission visits and see what a controlled press means. You and many others in Brady have done some travelling and know exactly what I’m talking about, but far too many have never experienced a situation without free press. As I dictate this from my office on July 4, thank God we live in America where we can agree or disagree with what our local newspaper or TV says, a right that two-thirds of the rest of the world does not have. Kindest regards, TERRY TOWNSEND President, CEO Texas Hospital Association

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