View Full Version : CITIZEN KING

James DeVito
10-23-2003, 05:37 PM
Excellent piece of investigative journalism by Bill King about the present state of the Eureka Springs Hospital. Thanks to Mr. King for providing the facts, so we can make informed decisions.

10-23-2003, 08:09 PM
Can't agree more. Seems like there is a story within a story there.

10-23-2003, 08:21 PM
Kudo's to all at the Citizen for trying for a very long time to find out the TRUE story about the hospital. I hope they can find out why the original proposal went from 5 million to 11 million dollars and no one blinked an eye.

10-23-2003, 10:55 PM
Bill had an off the record meeting with the hospital administrator on Wednesday. This wasn't that investigational. His story was mostly OK but his bias against having a hospital in Eureka shows through. He didn't report some of the whole story..just left parts most questionalble hanging open. He knows why the commission isn't talking publicly but he didn't report that. This is a 4.4 million dollar operation that Washington Regional doesn't want us to have, Sisters of Mercy/St. John's either. Evertime open reporting was made to the commission sensitve business data was telegraphed to shark like competitors who then twisted it or used it to modifiy their own marketing to gain an unfair advantage. Mercy Hospital in Rogers is sweating under the pressure from Washington Regional and the new Women's Hospital. They are using the same fear tactics on the people of Berryville that Washington Regional used on Eureka. They threaten to pull out if they don't get their way. In the meantime they provide corporate healthcare and take money out of the area. Remember the lies that Eureka Springs couldn't be profitable? Well 3 years later the smallest hospital in the state without specialties or even the benefit of a decent building is making a compassionate profit and has regularly. What are the greedy corporations so scared about?

10-24-2003, 03:12 PM
The Hospital is a a Public owned facility and as such its operations are open to the public. No hidden secrets should be here.

What is the Hospital so scared about that the will not comply with the Freedom of Information Act?

Was the paper correct in reporting that Hospital Administrator created a company, and was the only board member of this company, that was to be the recipient of the federal loan which it would then use to purchase the hospital?

[This message has been edited by checker (edited 10-24-2003).]

[This message has been edited by checker (edited 10-24-2003).]

10-24-2003, 04:13 PM
I can tell you from the inside that this is the *Little Hospital that Could*. It just won't quit. Regardless of what the politics of this county are, I hope/pray/believe that Eureka Springs Hospital WILL survive.

David Cox is a fine man. He cast his lot WITH the hospital. He believes in it and has dedicated himself to making a new hospital for this community a reality.

He should be Citizen of the Week.


10-24-2003, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by MickeyMick:
I can tell you from the inside that this is the *Little Hospital that Could*. It just won't quit. Regardless of what the politics of this county are, I hope/pray/believe that Eureka Springs Hospital WILL survive.

David Cox is a fine man. He cast his lot WITH the hospital. He believes in it and has dedicated himself to making a new hospital for this community a reality.

He should be Citizen of the Week.


Heck yes, he is a great guy.

Since your from "the inside" how about some answers to previous asked questions? Or do you want anybody to know??

10-24-2003, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by checker:
Since your from "the inside" how about some answers to previous asked questions? Or do you want anybody to know??[/B]

I would love to be able to answer these questions, but I don't know anything more than anyone else. What I do know is that in the years I've been there, I've seen the hospital go thru several management companies, Washington Regional being the last. WRMC was abysmal. The hospital has survived it all.

We've got fine doctors and we've got a fine staff. This is what this community has to be grateful for. And this is what this community needs to support. Many lives have been saved at ESH that, had they had to go *somewhere else* initially, would have been lost. I am proud to say I work there.

I don't understand why the opposition to ESH having a new facility. This old bldg. is falling down around our ears. It can't last forever. Yet the spirit of the hospital continues to sustain it.

We call ourselves the *Hospital with the Heart*. That's the Truth.

http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif MickeyMick

10-25-2003, 06:09 AM
The most obvious point in this discussion is WE DON'T NEED A HOSPITAL IN EUREKA SPRINGS!!

There is a fine hospital 15 miles down the road in Berryville.

Hospitals, like any other business, compete for limited resources. Carroll County does not have the population base to support 2 hospitals. Many people don't bother using ES Hospital, because THEY DON'T EVEN KEEP A DOCTOR ON STAFF around the clock. I've experienced taking my children to ESH emergency room late at night, only for them to have to call Dr at home and get him up out of bed. I told them don't bother, I'll go to a hospital that has Doctors on staff.

Health care is in a serious crisis in America. We don't need to add to the crisis by piling on equipment and resources that are not needed. It's a huge waste of resources to duplicate health care services offered 20 minutes down the road.

We probably wouldn't be having this discussion if ES doctors weren't acting like 2nd graders, by threatening to take their marbles and leave the playground if they don't get a fine new hospital to practice in. I suspect they're bluffing. 62 and 23 both lead out of town. I'm sure there are fine Doctors who would love to practice in ES, and would not mind driving to St John's in Berryville to see hospital patients.

Apparently people are thinking logically about a new ES Hospital, because there is a definite lack of community support for it.

[This message has been edited by C-mo (edited 10-25-2003).]

10-25-2003, 06:54 AM
Bentonville has a nice, shiny new hospital. Think this community hospital was purchased by a private corporation few years back. Anyway, this spanking-new structure is a fact and the town is proud.

Couple of months ago a young uninsured fellow I know woke up in middle of night feeling sick and by daylight was feeling worse. At 6 a.m., he went to emergency room where diagnosis was gallstone attack. ER physician said no problem and that a surgeon would be available at 2 p.m., that afternoon. Patient said fine, was admitted, and laser surgery performed on schedule. No complications. At 10 p.m., on that same day the hospital dismissed him. Total time in hospital about 16 hours. Initial bill for services rendered totals $13,000 plus they have found a few additional hundred to tack on since first billing. He faces bankruptcy.

just wondering
10-25-2003, 09:06 AM
I find it rather interesting that the AMA is against national health insurance yet members want to use taxpayers money to increase their business!!!

just wondering
10-25-2003, 09:15 AM
Did all of you see ABC news last night about Taiwan's national health insurance where you pay $25.00 per month for COMPLETE coverage? I am ready to move. How about you C-mo?

Becky Davis
10-25-2003, 09:25 AM
I know this is changing the subject a tad bit, but if someone knows the answer, maybe we could get right back to it.
I am not informed, so I do not know. A person in discussion told me that we can no longer file bankruptcy because of medical bills or credit cards. True?

10-26-2003, 07:30 AM
I'm not ready to move to Taiwan. I did see the report though, and was impressed. I'm all for national health insurance, or socialized medicine. The problem is that for users of health care to benefit, doctors, insurance companies, and drug companies will take a hit to the wallet, and they'll be kicking and screaming the whole way.

Drug companies argue that drug prices have to be outrageous in America because of the cost of research and development, in reality the bulk of those cost are paid by our tax dollars in the form of government grants.

Charles Goodwin
10-26-2003, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by just wondering:
I find it rather interesting that the AMA is against national health insurance yet members want to use taxpayers money to increase their business!!!

Darn fine point, Just Wondering.

Jim Fain
10-26-2003, 10:38 AM
New on this. Figuring how it works.

10-26-2003, 10:57 AM
Welcome, Jim.

AND a large portion of the pharmaceutical costs that are passed on are for advertising to docs.. and on tv, to get you to hound your doc about every new drug that comes out.

You would not believe the "medical journals" that arrive every day, unsolicited, that contain about 1/10 articles and the rest thick, full color, glossy ads.
And the big, printed, glossy boxes that come in the mail, with one pill inside.

I agree... I'm all for national health insurance, or socialized medicine. We are fortunate to have insurance that will cover this round that I'm going through... but.... I have to go to Springfield, because our insurance is with Cox. They don't pay for anything I have done locally.. Craig is the only Cox physician in AR.

Jim Fain
10-26-2003, 11:01 AM
Bill King told me about this topic on the board. He did did a good job with the front page article though some points weren't made very clear. There is a space limit in the Citizen, how well I know from writing my column. I do disagree with a good portion of his editorial though. We can all have opinions.
I'm writing as I am a Commissioner for the City and help oversee the activites of the Administrator and the Hospital. If any private person wishes to come ask me questions eyeball to eyeball, I will be glad to answer questions to the best of my knowing (at my business, M-F, 10-5:30). Bill and I have had conversations off the record and he has met with Mr. Cox our hospital administrator for the same kind of conversation. I can't speak for other commissioners but I assume he has done so with them as well. I can assure you there is no conspiracy and no profit making with local banks, just a desire to be sure our service area is taken good care of (I knowingly wouldn't allow otherwise-I'd be talking with Citizen King!). Thanks for the letters of support. Whoever comebacker is, s/he said much of it, I'll be glad to fill in the blanks. As for not having enough people in Carroll County for 2 hospitals... this is a red herring. Misinformation is being used. ESH serves Southern Missouri, Holiday Island, the eastern Beaver Lake area, down to and including Huntsville and over to the infamous bridge. And remember, we have thousands of visitors in this extended area every weekend. Remember War Eagle? The State of Arkansas recognized this need when it made ESH a Critical Access Hospital. There simply is too much distance especially on two-lane roads, on hills, curves and ice not to have fast medical service for heart attack, stroke where minutes count, broken hips, accidents and trauma. This is a replacement building for one that has served us well but cannot keep up. St. John's has been doing well enough even with our census high and our little hospital staying in the black (even though Washington Regional constantly logged red ink). Remember this is ONLY a replacement building. It will not be built with public money.

10-26-2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Jim Fain:
And remember, we have thousands of visitors in this extended area every weekend. Remember War Eagle? The State of Arkansas recognized this need when it made ESH a Critical Access Hospital. There simply is too much distance especially on two-lane roads, on hills, curves and ice not to have fast medical service for heart attack, stroke where minutes count, broken hips, accidents and trauma. This is a replacement building for one that has served us well but cannot keep up. St. John's has been doing well enough even with our census high and our little hospital staying in the black (even though Washington Regional constantly logged red ink). Remember this is ONLY a replacement building. It will not be built with public money.[/B]

MickeyMick here ~~~

Thanks, Jim!!!

I was in on the very first air evac OUT of ESH. I cried when that helicopter lifted off with the VERY MUCH ALIVE patient aboard. That man would NOT have survived had he been transported the eleven miles to Berryville. It was thanks to Eureks Springs' fine EMT/Paramedics and the staff in the ESH emergency room that saved this patient's life.

That was only the first of many lives saved by the addition of the helicopter landing pad back behind the hospital.

Many lives are saved BECAUSE Eureka Springs HAS a hospital. That is what MUST be considered ~ not whether it's going to impact St. John's, Berryville.

This isn't about politics, Folks. And it isn't about lining some corporation's, or individual's pockets. It's about saving lives!!!


just wondering
10-27-2003, 08:19 AM
Mr. Fain, why is YOUR "little hospital", asking for a loan guarantee from the (USDA)?

Cris Dunnam
10-27-2003, 09:30 AM
I find it interesting, and somewhat frightening, that it seems the pharmaceutical companies are working with congress & the FDA to streamline the delivery of their product to the general consumer. The consumer, not the patient. It most concerns me to see marketing campaigns that would suggest to a less-educated public that depression is caused by a distinct lack of zoloft in one's brain - for example.

I have no proof or evidence other than my observation, but it looks like prescription drugs making it to OTC status much faster than before. I seem to recall 10-20 years went by before a drug went OTC. Now, "lite" versions of popular designer prescriptions make it to the shelves in a couple years. Clearing the way for the full-strength version a few year's later.

I find it appalling how some physicians have become defacto reps for drug companies; finding themselves prescribing for EVERYTHING when there may be options un-suggested for any given diagnosis. I'm not suggesting these doctors are bad people, but I can see where, over time, this becomes an easy habit for them to fall into.

Perhaps many doctors have realized this phenomenon also. I know there are many docs out there that HAVE taken to exploring the alternatives with their patients. This could be a good reason for the drug co's wanting the product on a faster track to OTC. This eliminates the doctor from the chain of supply altogether.

All of this is, of course, off-topic. Sorry about the rant.

Do we need a shinny new hospital in Eureka Springs? I'm pretty sure we do. As it has been pointed out on this thread, if nothing else as an immediate staging ground to another health care facility. We have all heard or even sounded complaints about the current hospital over the years. Those issues should be addressed in the development in the new one.

But we also need affordable health care and prescription drug programs. Businesses in Eureka Springs need to have an incentive and opportunity to provide coverage to their employees.

Buying from Canada or Mexico? Many people do.
"Waaaaah, poor drug companies!" Who will protect the poor, defenseless pharmaceutical industry!?!

[This message has been edited by Cris Dunnam (edited 10-27-2003).]

10-27-2003, 11:13 AM
I just found out yesterday that the drug commonly used for nausea during chemo costs $1500 a month!!!
That is disgusting! How could any medication cost that much?? And I know there are others.
This seems like a total rip off from people that are already suffering greatly.. who knows how much the chemo itself costs!

sorry... ranting again... continue...please...

10-27-2003, 11:26 AM
Understandably the latest posts by PMilam and Chris Dunnam warrant concern, but what have they got to do with the topic of Eureka Springs Hospital???

If you want to talk pharmaceuticals, please start a new thread.


Cris Dunnam
10-27-2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by MickeyMick:
Understandably the latest posts by PMilam and Chris Dunnam warrant concern, but what have they got to do with the topic of Eureka Springs Hospital???

If you want to talk pharmaceuticals, please start a new thread.

Although I could ramble on and on regarding how interrelated the two subjects could be - I won't. I will point out to you that I did include opinions regarding the actual topic of this thread. Likewise, I apologized for ranting off of topic. I suppose it was the order in which the two subjects were presented that caused your post.

I needn't start a new thread on the prescription drugs topic as I have said all I care to on that particular subject.

In any event, thanks for being a good little topic watchdog! http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif

10-27-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Cris Dunnam:
In any event, thanks for being a good little topic watchdog! http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif[/B]

Yer welcome, Chris.

Laffing all the way ~~~

(By the way, one of my own soapbox topics is insurance companies that fight to keep their money and don't want to pay for the health care costs of people who have paid into them for years!) Grrrrrrrr http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/mad.gif

MickeyMick http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/smile.gif

10-27-2003, 05:25 PM
Take it to the drug thread, Mick! http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/tongue.gif

10-29-2003, 07:40 PM
I am sure I can drive an injured person to St John's from Holiday Island faster than anyone can drive an injured person to ES hospital, wait for a dr to be called out of bed, drive to the hospital, decide that anything worse than a broken finger requires transport to Washington Regional, call for a chopper that must leave NorthWest Arkansas, fly to ES, load the patient, and fly back to NWA.

I live across the street from the HI flight-for-life loading site. Several times I have watched the HIFD ambulance transport a patient to the loading site, wait 10 -15 minutes for a copter to arrive, wait another 3 or 4 minutes to load, and finally leave, to fly to NWA. In many cases they could have drove the patient to St John's before the patient finally arrived in NWA via helicopter.

There is no legitimate need for a hospital in ES; that's why the loan guarantee was DENIED by the USDA.

Kim Yonkee
10-30-2003, 10:15 PM
I actually wrote a response to this post, two days in a row, then deleted it without posting.

My original rant was ...

Every time I read about the ES Hospital, I am reminded of the place we moved here FROM, Grand County, CO.

Grand County is four times the physical size of Carroll County. The population is twice as old (according to the 2000 census). On a given day, there are 12-15,000 county visitors engaging in risky behaviors: skiing, riding lifts to the top of ski hills and cycling down, whitewater rafting, hiking, hunting, etc.

The locals who don't work at the ski area work for logging operations, pressboard mills and underground mines. Still more risky behavior. The "icy, curvy roads" of that area are covered with snow 9-10 months out of the year. (The year we moved to Eureka, the 4th of July fireworks in Grand County were snowed out). It's THE Continental Divide, over 11,000 feet at the summit, 9-10,000 feet at the "base," 20 mph switchbacks for the 2 1/2 hours to Denver.

And yet ...

In this higher risk, more remote environment, the primary medical facility is a 2-bed emergency stabilization unit. Something very much like what St. John's offered (free of charge) to Eureka Springs. The general idea was to have a physician & other professional-staffed facility that could stabilize patients for transfer, if necessary, to major medical facilities elsewhere.

There is a small hospital, smaller than St. John's, at the far-western boundary of Grand County. It's closest to the pressboard factory, but more than an hour away from the epicenter of risky behavior. Most accident and illness victims were handled at the emergency facility, or immediately transferred elsewhere ... and the system worked very well.

I think of this, how much more extreme and difficult the conditions were, and I can't help but think, "Geez! Why do we think we simply must have a local hospital with a larger facility a mere 11 miles away? I wonder why Green Forest isn't demanding a hospital with a manufacturing facility right there?!? Why us?"

I didn't write and delete this post on Day 3, yesterday, because a friend and neighbor had a heart Episode and she specifically asked to be taken to ES Hospital. She didn't want to, as she put it, "abuse Medicare" by asking for an ambulance ride. So we took her.

Forty-five minutes of watching her heart monitor careen between 150 and 210 beats per minute (and when asked, "Is this a matter for concern?" we were told, "Nevermind. We can't do anything until the doctor gets here anyway.") The doctor arrived, an EKG was taken twice (the first time didn't work, but the tech beat on the machine a few times to get it goin'), a heart monitor was Scotch-taped together and applied, meds were prescribed, the IV was started.

The patient got a bit stressed because she really wanted the hospital to get her records from her primary care physician and cardiologist, items that were pronounced "irrelevant." Three hours later, when the meds-monitor hadn't moved an inch and the patient's whines for attention reached a crescendo, some medical personnel person arrived to announce, "Ah! The needle is bent." IV restarted.

I could go on but I won't. It was all scary as hell. At the moment, the friend/patient is still in the cardiac unit of a Fayetteville Hospital -- and it's not that I would charge the ES hospital personnel with being anything other that competent and caring. I don't make ANY such charge. The ES doctor said the situation was not life-threatening, and that's his field of expertise. Can I say this one more time? I do NOT presume to gainsay the ES hospital personnel who are trained and experienced in a field that I am not.

However ...

I assume that a place where you don't have to wait 45 minutes for some authority figure to show up to evaluate the situation costs money. I assume that an EKG machine that doesn't have to be whacked into service like a Coke Vending Unit costs money. I assume that a nursing staff who has the time to realize that an IV isn't delivering prescribed meds before 3 hours passes costs money.

Everybody is always whining about the costs of medical care, but hospitals don't really operate on much of a margin. How much do doctors make, after they have to pay the malpractice insurance that's necessitated by our litigious society? Not much, I suspect.

How can we possibly justify two hospitals within less than 15 minutes of each other in our itty-bitty little county? When we split medical reimbursements between two hospitals, do we take out both of 'em? And, if we do, do we realize that we, ALL of us, are still encumbered by the Carroll County bond to pay for the building, whether it is rented by a hospital or not?

I can't believe I am saying this but ... I AGREE with the Citizen editorial. http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/wink.gif

We really need to think about the future before we do our usual Queen of the Universe Eureka thing and demand to have our Own Special Place. Remember, on Tuesday, we're being asked to vote for a sales tax increase because we can't balance the budget now.

Ronald Phelps
10-30-2003, 11:13 PM
One thing no one has mentioned. With the new hospital being equipped to be a critical care center. Check how much more Medicare pays. I think it is a whole lot more vs. the discount regular hospitals get.
Someone will make a whole lot more $.

It is a loan through the agricultural dept. because we are designated as a rural area.

Kim Yonkee
10-30-2003, 11:34 PM
OK ... well, if it hadn't a been for (then) Carroll Regional going to Little Rock to lobby for critical care designation for the ES hospital, we wouldn't have said designation.

It seems a bit ungrateful to accuse them of being greedy bahstad's now, given their past help and more-recent-past offers of reasonable, affordable assistance.

But this is just a Miss Manners point.

The main thing is, all Eureka chauvanism aside, what is the sustainable solution, in the long term, for Eureka Springs AND Carroll County?

Kaye Miller
10-31-2003, 08:10 AM
Let's not forget that "golden hour". So often this is the make it or lose it time.

I am from a small rural area with the nearest hospital a min. of 20 minutes away. Those 20 minutes were handled by qualified EMT's. They didn't have to wait for 45 minutes to get instructions. This also worked well.

If I am in a car wreck or having a heart attack, please God, send an EMT/paramedic. This is what they are trained for. They will treat any episode as life threatening. And, by golly, that is how I want it to be treated.

The hospital staff will have time to get the "crash cart" or whatever machinery ready because they have been radioed with all my vitals and condition. The doctor has had time to get ready. That golden hour has not been wasted.

I'm with you Kim.

[This message has been edited by Kaye Miller (edited 10-31-2003).]

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 08:16 AM
"There is no legitimate need for a hospital in ES; that's why the loan guarantee was DENIED by the USDA."

Have you ever had a true medical emergency that was life or death? I have and I am very very thankful that our little hospital was there.

10-31-2003, 08:19 AM
hey Steve,

Would the outcome have been the same - better or worse if it were a state of the art emergency room - with doc's on the premises 24/7 ?

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 08:32 AM
The same if not better results than my several ER visits to St Johns, Washington Regional, Springdale, Parkland(Dallas)..etc.

10-31-2003, 09:05 AM
Sounds like you'd benefit from a fully staffed emergency room right in your back yard. It would be more convenient for me to walk across the street to a fully staffed emergency room, should I have a life or death situation.

More convenient, but certainly not practical. Perhaps it's the accountant in me that always does a cost/benefit analysis. I guess when you spend 50 hours a week evaluating the financial impact of decisions, you tend to put things in perspective.

Hospitals, like any other business, compete for limited resources. It's not practical to have one on every street corner.

It is a waste of resources to have a hospital in Eureka Springs, when there is a much better, fully staffed hospital 20 minutes down the road.

[This message has been edited by C-mo (edited 10-31-2003).]

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 09:08 AM
I totally disagree. For one thing there is not a hospital on every street corner. If you live in HI it really shouldnt concern you anyway.

Now please answer my question.

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 09:21 AM
"It is a waste of resources to have a hospital in Eureka Springs, when there is a much better, fully staffed hospital 20 minutes down the road."

Please share your experiences with both hospitals or some kind of 1st hand proof that St. Johns is "better".

Yes accountants think in numbers, not for what is truly best for the people who will be effected if the ES hospital is closed.

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 09:21 AM
"It is a waste of resources to have a hospital in Eureka Springs, when there is a much better, fully staffed hospital 20 minutes down the road."

Please share your experiences with both hospitals or some kind of 1st hand proof that St. Johns is "better".

Yes accountants think in numbers, not for what is truly best for the people who will be effected if the ES hospital is closed.

Ronald Phelps
10-31-2003, 10:10 AM
There is a difference between a well staffed emg. room and a critical care designation. Has anyone checked what other hospitals carry the critical care designation?

10-31-2003, 11:02 AM
I have 3 children, all sons, so I do have experience with emergency rooms. I suggest that a hospital that has ER doctors on staff, is better than a hospital that does not have ER doctors on staff (on staff means actually in the hospital, not at home, asleep).

A few years ago one of my sons had his thumb closed in the tailgate of a pickup truck at about 9pm. It turned black, swelled, and throbbed. I took him to ES ER, around 10pm, and was told they would have to call the dr at home, and have him come to the hospital. I told them never mind, and drove my son to Carroll Regional, where a dr was on staff, and promptly drilled the thumbnail, x-rayed the thumb and sent us on our way.

I have a two year old son. We were told at the beginning of pregnancy that no ES dr's deliver babies, because they don't want to, and the hospital is not set up for deliveries. We found a fine dr in Berryville, and used Carroll Regional for the birth.

I don't have much of experience with ES hospital, because they simply do not offer a full range of medical services.

For the most part, my impression of ES hospital is more of a nursing home facility, for people at the end stage of life, than truly a hospital that offers a full range of medical services.

We don't currently have a full service hospital in ES, and we don't need one.

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 12:12 PM
Maybe you dont need one, but alot of people do.

10-31-2003, 12:20 PM
I don't dispute the fact that people need a hospital. My argument is there is a hospital for people to use in Berryville.

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 12:34 PM
I understand. But Berryville can be a long, long ride if a person is very sick..Not a smashed thumb, but truly ill. I`ve been in the ES hospital at 3:00am with very little waiting. As soon as the nurses talked to the Dr they started working on me.

I was at the Dallas Parkland hospital (one of the best ER`s in the US) with a severe bleeding ulcer and I had to wait 3 hours just to be put in a room.

Noone will ever change my mind about the need for a hospital in ES.

just wondering
10-31-2003, 04:26 PM
S.Jones, you must have very good health insurance?

S. Jones
10-31-2003, 04:50 PM
Not at that time, but I do now.

10-31-2003, 05:02 PM
I don't have a dog in this fight but let me tell you of the three or four experiences I have had in Eureka ER and Carroll Regional.

In 1999 I stuck my right hand into a model airplane propeller turning about 9000 rpm. All four fingers were badly mangled (required 42 stitches). This happened on a Saturday afternoon about 2:00PM. When I arrived at the ES ER a doctor was there and I was out and on my way in less than two hours. I regained full use of all fingers thanks to the doctor from Washington Regional who was on duty here at the time.

In 1994 I underwent out-patient surgery in Carroll Regional. I had this same type of surgery done at WR twice before and four times since without incidence.

The experience at CR was a fiasco, both from a patient standpoint as well as billing errors.

Just last week I was sent to CR for blood work and Ultrasound. I had to make two trips back due to errors by CR staff.

Needles to say I would only use CR as a last choice at this point.

Barb Deschner
10-31-2003, 08:43 PM
Here it is Halloween and I will put in my two cents on Eureka Springs Hospital.

It was a year ago tonight that my son was out Trick or Treating with his friends when he was shot at close range with a paintball gun in the eye.
It was on the loop and everyone around thought it was a joke. His friends had to walk him home bleeding and severly injured to my house. He walked past everyone from St. James, down White St. to our house across the street from the Stone Church.
When he got there his sibling called 911 and I arrived as the ambulance did.
They arrived in less than 3 minutes.

We rode to the hospital with a crew that can only be called the best. They kept Chris calm and reassured him his care was second to none.

We were in the hospital for less than a minute before the staff descended on him like a warm hug. They were efficient reassuring and understanding. In the time it took for me to give them his name and get him stable in the exam room the Dr. was there. He was at home and had to be called but a Dr. on call in Eureka is a Dr. ready to come and help.

If it wasn't for the work of this team my son would not have his eye today. They got him stable, eased his pain and alerted the specialists in Fayettville for the late night trip.

He will never regain his vision, has had surgeries and lost his dream of flying jets in the Airforce. However our hospital helped my little boy keep his eye.

Had we had to go to Berryville first, then on to Fayettville I don't know. Berryville is no better equiped to handle this type of trauma so his remaining there would not have been an option either.
The difference in travel time before he would be seen and helped??? PRICELESS.

Our community needs our little hospital and our Dr's.

Our hospital not only has a heart it has a trained professional staff that saves life and limb.

No its not a glamorous big city hospital. But it is needed and we should all be supporting the creation of a new facility to see our community through the next generation.

10-31-2003, 11:23 PM
My vote is for "HOSPITAL IN EUREKA".
Did NOT have a good experience in Berryville. Will never have another one there either.

11-01-2003, 12:55 AM
Here is the story, make up your own mind. I am a nurse. I had to have surgery in berryville hospital. In surgery, the nurse was trying to start an I.V. on my hand. I told her not to do this. My veins on my hand are bad and my hand is very thin, so the needle hurts like hell there. After three tries, I told her to stop. I said wait until you put me out and then you can stab me all you want. When I woke up I counted the holes....there were seven. I know how to start an I.V.....there is no excuse for what they did to me. It will not happen again if I have anything to say about it. So, I know what I think, you think what you want. We do need a hospital here. I am not saying it has to be the biggest in Arkansas, but, we do need one. If for nothing else, just to have a choice.

11-01-2003, 03:02 AM
About 10 years ago, late one Sunday afternoon I fell off a 20 foot cliff into a rather large pile of sharp rocks and boulders. Having ridden bikes for years I immediately when into a tuck and roll position to avoid a head injury. I landed on the side of my right thigh. The resulting injury sent me to the hospital in excrutiating pain. I happened to be in Madison County at the time and the trip down 23 South was probably the longest and most painful I had ever experienced in my life.

By the time I reach ESH my leg from the top of my hip to my toes had turned black and was swollen to twice it's size. The moment I arrived, the staff was on me like a duck on a June bug. The first thing I recieved was a shot of Demoral (thank you God for inventing Demoral). After that I went to xray (thankfully the femer was not broken). After that I was seen by the doctor who had arrived moments before.

They took such good care of me. I was never so grateful that a hospital existed in my life before that incident. Had I had to go that extra 12 or 13 miles to Berryville I don't know what might have happened to my leg. I don't even want to speculate.

I understand about cost effectiveness, but sometimes money is not everything. Maybe that is what is wrong with health care in general, it's all about money and not about who it's there for in the first place.

Kim Yonkee
11-01-2003, 03:24 AM
This is a spooky kind of thread for me today, because the previously mentioned "non-life threatening issue" diagosed at ES turned out to be an actual heart attack, as diagnosed by blood enzymes (?) at Wash Regional.

We got back from standing by the bedside of the patient, who had an angiogram today...just in time to catch most of the Homecoming festivities tonight. And I wonder ...

What effect does an almost four hour delay have on situations of this nature? Remember, we had the 45 minutes, awaiting the arrival of the MD before anything could be done. Followed by the 3 hours of bent-needle IV before anybody had the time to figure out that the meds weren't actually medicating. The perhaps insignificant, yet undeniably disconcerting, experience of having the patient's requests for the ES doc to confer with her cardiologist and primary care physician refused.

The day I finally surrendered to my darker nature and posted my comments was Hospital Day for me. It started at 6 am, when I took an elderly lady who doesn't drive to Berryville for same day surgery. Swiftly, efficiently and compassionately performed. I was back in the office for about 30 minutes before the phone rang with our friend, the heart patient (above) calling to say she needed to go to the hospital. We had the multi-hour flurry previously described. Then, off to Washington Regional, where her care was once again swiftly, efficiently and compassionately performed.

If all of the Geekfest posters and lurkers had been wedged into the van for this ride, I'm pretty sure that you would have seen the same, stark difference between St. John's and ES that I did. Billing issues may be a problem yet, it's too soon to call. But the difference in medical care and professionalism was the same as that proverbial difference between night and day.

I do realize that a lot of people are very attached to the ES hospital; that they have had nothing but wonderful experiences there. I stepped on a nail and got a really nice tetanus shot at ES once. Other than that, I and everyone I know, has reams and rafts of horror stories. It may be bad luck. It may be coincidence. It may be that I run with the wrong crowd.

It's probably just me, I admit it. Bad ES hospital karma. If I had to be hospitalized for some chronic condition, I admit it would be easier to be local ... but for an emergency? No. It's drive to Berryville or dial 911 for an ambulance (and request delivery to Berryville). I have endless examples that I'll leave alone, for now. My own stories relate to my personal comfort level, based on my own, repetitive, never-failing experiences.

It's like you say, Steve, nobody will ever convince you that ES needs a hospital. Well, I won't say that nobody will ever convince me that ES does need a hospital, but it would be tough.

And isn't that the issue, in a nutshell? We discuss this issue in terms of our personal experiences, but never in the terms that we discuss any other hot topic. Talking about A Hospital for Eureka Springs is like talking about Mom. Baseball. Apple Pie. The Flag. We have this wild-eyed, irrational patriotism that doesn't bear the acknowledgement of sordid little topics like money. Not to mention ...

We've just been through a great community catharsis, precipitated by an FOIA. Frenzy reigns. Peasants arm with pitchforks and torches. And yet ... a city commission refuses to respond to FOIA's and we yawn and say, "Ah, but Eureka needs a hospital! It is the cornerstone of our community!"

We hound the Public Works Director into an early grave over our fears that Tax Money is Being Misspent and Somebody is Going to Benefit in a Scurvy Way. But do we ask who will actually benefit, financially, from a new ES hospital? No. Do we consider the fact that USDA funds ARE tax money? No. We say, "Eureka needs a hospital! It is the cornerstone of our community!"

We blithely nod when we read reports that "Eureka citizens, when surveyed, demanded a hospital." Do we remember that the survey never asked us if we wanted a hospital OR an emergency facility? No matter what your experiences are with ES or Berryville, it's fairly safe to assume that the answer for all humans is, "We want adequate medical care that will prevent us from from being permanently maimed or dying in an untimely fashion." We were never asked exactly HOW we wanted this care to be provided. Even if we were medical experts who know how this goal should be accomplished, we were never asked.

Like it or note, the Critical Access designation is all about money. It's a Medicare thing that dates back to the 1997 bill known as the Balanced Budget Act. Critical Access Hospitals get to make more money than other hospitals do for the same procedures. It's basically a subsidy that allows hospitals who can't float their own economic boat to stay solvent. Some of the rules for this designation are:

Distance from the nearest hospital is >35 miles (15 miles if mountainous or
secondary roads only). [Some states have requested and been granted flexibility in
application of this standard - esp. if in a medically underserved area.]

Deemed by the state as a "necessary provider."

No greater than 15 acute beds

According to the AR Hospital Association web site, the Arkansas Critical Access Hospitals are:

Calico Rock
Eureka Springs
Heber Springs
Mountain View
Walnut Ridge

Somebody who is more familiar with AR geography than I am will need to tell us all which of these hospitals are similar to Eureka Springs, i.e. similar in proximity to other, larger hospitals with a wider variety of services and, dare I mention it? 24/7 physician staff.

Meanwhile, all I would ask ... if I can ask anything ... is that we apply the same standards to this discussion that we seem to apply to our relentless hounding of other City officials and projects. Can we look at the financial, medical, scientific facts ... whatever they may be, and try to make a reasonable judgement?

Yes, maybe there are a lot of people who depend on the ES hospital now. But medical care is a really expensive proposition. Have you noticed that? We may not have the luxury of doing what feels good. Convenience is expensive, and it ain't just medical care... why IS it that a loaf of bread is twice as expensive at a "convenience" store?

We've just sentenced our progeny to the repayment of yet another $187 billion dollar debt, and what is it, historically, that gets cut when we need to find the funds for defense? [ding, ding, ding!] Yes! Why, it's that bane of the baby boomers ... Medicare!!!

Every parent who has ever taken their bruised child to an emergency room has probably also made some version of this speech: "You know, Junior, there is a lot more to being a real grownup than getting to stay out past 9 PM. You also have to learn to think ahead. Be responsible. Consider the effect that your behavior has on other people. You're NOT the center of the universe, you know."

Maybe we need to quit sticking out our lower lip long enough to consider the possible ramifications of what we want Right Now! If we pout until we get our way, and Our Way turns out to be the death knell for both hospitals ... well, where will the people who depend on the ES hospital go then?

just wondering
11-01-2003, 08:10 AM
Kim, "It may be that I run with the wrong crowd", if you know a pig with a foil hat you have an answer to your question. Be sure you and the pig vote Tuesday.

Barbara Dicks
11-01-2003, 10:20 AM
You can hear horror stories about any hospital as well as positive experiences. I can relate as many negative stories about St. John's as you seem to have about Eureka. I have to
wonder why their bed count is so low. (30%) No one has taken note of the fact that when a patient can't be helped at Berryville they are shipped off to St. Louis or Springfield,
Missouri. We support their lottery, we might as well support the health care corporations of Missouri. http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/wink.gif

I must run in circles of folks who have had wonderful health care at Eureka Springs, funny how we draw like kind to ourselves when it comes to health care talk. I am one that
can attest to wonderful care both in emergency room visits, as a patient and taking loved ones to the Eureka Springs hospital. I know many Berryville and Green Forest residents
that choose to come here for medical care and you must know many from here that go to Berryville for their care so what does that prove? Maybe people want a choice?

I had excellent care at Berryville during a major surgery years back, I have had another major surgery there since St. John's took over and while the surgeon is above reproach the
care was not, therefore, I will not choose to go there in the future.

I believe in our hospital and Doctors. I will support them in every effort to keep our hospital. I am thankful they have put their hearts and souls into our community.

While I appreciate everyone's right to their opinion, I do find it amusing that Kim and Bill King want to take my choice of
health care away for the good of humanity. Guess freedom of choice really comes down to what choice is on the table and ones belief system.

Ronald Phelps
11-01-2003, 01:03 PM
I find one thing that doesn't make since. I keep hearing that the hospital is old and worn out. Their are hundreds of and some of the best hospitals that are twice as old as ES. .
Most of the new tech. is not in the walls it is free standing. What would it cost to renovate the building? The tech. is going to cost what it cost anywhere. I know it is not worn out it is not falling down. Maybe it needs upgrades but why is that not a option? A couple of Million could go a long way
Does anyone know who owns the Med center that would be bought as part of the deal?

S. Jones
11-01-2003, 04:17 PM
If its all about money why not also close the ES schools and bus them to Berryville?

11-01-2003, 09:10 PM
S. Jones,
What a delightful idea! So then if the Eureka kids are going to school in Berryville, then we don't have to pay school taxes here, right? I see an answer to budget problems and possibly me nominating you for our next mayor.

You didn't mention a thong in that fashion ensemble, so it might not be me. And if Kim is running with the fast crowd, I'll drive alongside, but I won't be running....perish the thought!

I was going to suggest to Kaye that it's almost past time to bring out the fur trimmed foil hats for the holidays, but it's been so warm I think perhaps pink flamingo feathers maybe more in line with the weather patterns. I embellished one of my foil hats last night with miniature Hershey wrappers from the spoils of my continual trick or treating marathon. Then I glued a marshmallow on the very tip top of the hat. All I need is a couple of graham crackers and I've got yet another instant costume...smores!

James DeVito
11-01-2003, 09:27 PM
Steve, that`s what the governor has been talking about for close to a year. And to add insult to injury, he wants to add another penny tax after the county gets through with us.

Kim Yonkee
11-01-2003, 10:24 PM
Busted. Bummer. Well, Bill, I guess we'll have to come up with something else to do now that our quest to deny Eureka's health care choices has been discovered. http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/wink.gif

Actually Barbara, we're in agreement on at least one topic. (I apparently use enough words to confuse everyone except myself.) I agree that you can hear horror stories and miracle stories about any hospital. Which is why I would advocate consideration of the topic on the basis of dull facts and figures instead of human interest dramas.

I also agree that people want a choice. I want to choose which medical events are "covered," but my insurance company does it for me. I'd like to choose where I'm treated and who treats me. Oops. The insurance company has got that covered too. My medicare friends have to go to places that take medicare assignment. My uninsured friends have to go to places that will treat them. It's not that we can't have all the choice we want. We can. If we could only pay for it. Which most of us can't.

And that's my question, really: what can we pay for? Not just at-this-very-split-second, but what can we continue to support for an indefinite number of years to come? Yes, it would be nice to return healthcare to the people it's meant for, but on whose backs do we ride to that blessed destination? Do we just demand that the people who provide care give it to us because we need it, and it's the Right Thing To Do? Doctors have to eat too, I think. (Don't they?)

You make a good point, Steve, about closing ES schools and busing the kids to Berryville. We did that primal fear thing a few weeks ago on the consolidation issue--yet another budgetary juggling act that seems to be the unfortunate reality of cities, counties, states and all other organized groups.

As I recall, the argument that won the day for Eureka is that we do very well with what we have, there isn't another feasible solution, so we get to be left alone. We didn't get to demand our own school because we deserve it. I didn't see any of the 1966 cheerleaders, back in uniform, leading a rousing, nostalgic chant for all the kids who might never get to call themselves Hustlin' Highlanders. (Though, if that did happen, I'm sorry I missed it.) We had to meet certain criteria, and whether that list of State demands is valid or not is a whole 'nother argument. The point is, there was one. A list. Something to measure and decide upon.

Sure, we deserve a hospital. And our own County Seat. Our own Court District. Our own ambulance. Our own 911 dispatch. Our own special set of CAPC tax laws. Our own in-house advertising department. Oh yes. And a community swimming pool... all free(!) of charge and all subject, at all times, to our every whim.

Agreed, it is hideously ill-bred to discuss filthy lucre. We're certainly above that. We should be left to paint china, practice our harpsichords and discuss genteel and high-minded topics in our authentic Victorian drawing rooms. Let the rowdy rabble merchant class of the Eastern District scuffle over these low-minded topics.

We'll just stamp our pretty dance pumps and toss our curls until we get what we want. It's not our concern if we bankrupt the farm with our instiable demand for fripperies. If the world isn't going to bend to our will and give us everything we desire when we desire it, well, that certainly isn't our fault! Hmph! http://www.geekfest.com/ubb/wink.gif

11-02-2003, 12:22 AM
Tarnation! It has just been absolute eons since ah've had a decent frippery. Ah do so love them deep frahed with a little dippin' sauce on the sahd and a cool bevar-age.