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  • Writer's picturePaula Calloway

"What is the Future of Health Care in Stokes County? A Recap of Tonight's Public Hearing"

My best attempt at an unbiased report on the Stokes County public hearing tonight regarding the Hospital in Danbury and the current proposals on the table.

The room was packed, with many left standing or sitting on the floor. I would have thought more folks would have signed up to speak based on the crowd, but I believe there were several there to address a bridge issue on Hwy 268.

The first speaker was Julie Farmer, who focused her 4 minutes on the need for the County to be united and to operate in the best interest of all citizens, no matter what that decision would look like. I believe she was sincere in her speech and truly wants to see the division stop. From personal conversations with Julie, I do believe she is focused on long-term care, with the understanding that Danbury does need an emergency facility. She mentioned the amount of tourism and injuries from hiking, the lake, and the river. I believe those are very valid points.

Pam Tillman spoke on behalf of the Stokes Medical Management Group. Pam focused more on her career and accomplishments and the legacy of her mother.

The attorney for Stokes Medical Management spoke about Novant's proposal, and he made a few good points about personal care and attention that you might not receive from a large medical provider.

The Mayor of King spoke in favor of Novant and said he felt that Novant would better serve the whole County and not just one area.

There were a few speakers who spoke solely based on emotion and told stories of how the facility in Danbury saved their lives. I believe that would support the fact that Danbury truly needs to keep an emergency service there. I don’t believe that it constitutes having a fully operating facility. I am told that while they do have operating rooms, they have not been used in years. There were a few people who had received physical therapy there, and I am sure that was a convenient arrangement for them.

A representative from Novant spoke briefly; she said they will serve the entire county. She believes they are eager to provide all residents with available services and build a healthier future for all Stokes County residents. She said revitalizing the Stokes Reynolds hospital was important.

While there was a representative present from Tenor Health, she did not sign up to speak.

Based on what I heard tonight, I think it would be great if Novant teamed up with Mrs. Farmer; then I believe the County would truly be served with the best services possible. Yes, I know that’s a long shot and not on the table, but if you think about it, Julie knows skilled care and has a heart for it, and the backing to put her dreams into action, and Novant has the resources to structure our County with the appropriate amount of care in all areas of the County when it comes to emergency services, specialty services, as well as a hospital. But again, that’s just my wishful thinking and opinion, and well, we know what opinions are like, and everyone has their own.

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