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Problem or solution: What will you be?

For those readers that are “thin skinned” or wear their “feelers” on their shirtsleeves this opinion may seem critical.

It’s not really, it is simply my perception of actions of some members of our community that leave me in utter dismay as to answering the question, “Do they really think they are making things better?”

I have had the pleasure of living in the Chester community for well over 25 years. I know that doesn’t qualify me as a person of tenure, but it does mean I’ve had over a quarter of a century to watch the changes that have taken place (good and bad) in real time, as they occurred.

Having grown up in a small “Main Street” town in Siskiyou County, I am quite familiar with the traditional “raised in a small town” mentality versus those who have moved here to retire in a nice quiet rural town.

Three of my four children graduated from Chester High and two attended K-12 right here.

My youngest was born in Seneca Hospital with a little encouragement from Dr. Douglas.

And that brings me to the center of my topic.

Seneca Hospital has had some fine doctors over that 25 years and many of them have left for varying reasons and circumstances.

Just between my family and myself we have seen four or five of our family physicians relocate to other areas for various reasons, ranging from family issues to just wanting to live in a more suburban area.

Like every rural hospital, services have fluctuated as the demographics have changed resulting in reduced revenues for the hospital.

We’ve seen several CEOs come to the hospital with different styles along with several changes in the SHD board that have tried to deal with the ever-changing conditions and governmental regulations.

No, I haven’t forgotten those poor souls who think they have been wronged or slighted by some member of the hospital staff and therefore the whole hospital is going to hell in a hand basket.

I, too, have had two or three, what would be called, “bad occurrences” over the years and Yes, at that moment I was quite upset.

Believe it or not, I have never known a perfect person, friend, family member or even a doctor in my life.

But not once was I so arrogant to assume that in my unquestioned wisdom I could blame an entire staff for the perceived failings of one individual.

To the contrary, on the whole it has been my personal pleasure over the last nine to 10 years to witness a renewed professionalism and an upbeat aura within the staff at Seneca Hospital.

Seldom do changes, positive or negative, happen in a vacuum or because of a single person and I would say that is the case at Seneca.

The massive improvements in care and service have been a collaborative effort through good administration and dedicated medical staff.

No magic pills, just hard work on the part of administration and medical staff alike.

There has always been a small group of people in the community, many of whom are members of the Seneca Hospital Auxiliary, that have steadfastly supported the hospital in word and deed.

There is of course the other constant aspect I see that never seems to change, that is the support, or should I say lack thereof, by many other members of the community when it comes to the hospital.

I was appalled as I watched the recent fiasco that required hospital administration and medical staff to jump through hoops trying to accommodate a sudden interest by the community in hospital operations, only to find out that their concerns were based on false information, hence they retreated to their comfy little homes to be seen no more.

Of course, it is the originators and perpetuators of these negative rumors that should be shunned, but it is with dismay that I watch so many who naively fall for the narratives over and over again.   

And yet, it is the hospital personnel that still pay the price in lost hours and altered schedules for the so-called good intentions of the community.

Here’s my bottom line regarding attitudes toward our local hospital.

If you don’t believe Seneca Hospital is necessary to the community or you think it’s “not a good hospital,” may I suggest you look for another community to relocate to that has a facility that will meet your standards.

What this community does not need are residents that are quick to find fault, but never contribute to any solutions to the supposed problems.

To my knowledge, there has never been a time that whining or complaining has ever solved any troubles.

It seems that there are those who are so impressed with their own opinion they feel the need to share it with everyone they come in contact with thereby creating a false narrative by the loud minority.      

If, on the other hand, you believe that Seneca Hospital is an important part of this community then it deserves your support, in word and in deed.

Come to the monthly board meeting regularly and offer positive suggestions about medical services or customer services you would like to see.

Sit on the Strategic Planning Committee and help shape the future of the hospital as it speeds toward new state mandates.

Volunteer some time with the Seneca Auxiliary as the “Pink Ladies” help in and around the hospital in so many ways.

If nothing else, just remember and relate the good occurrences you have experienced.

Those two or three occasions I mentioned earlier where I was not happy are far outweighed by the dozens of positive occasions when Seneca and its staff took very good care of my family.

Each one of us in the Almanor Basin have a choice in regard to Seneca Hospital, you can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Please, choose wisely!

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