Let’s learn from the past so we never experience it again

I am writing to you — the people of Marshalltown and the surrounding areas of State Center, Conrad and Tama-Toledo. Over the past year, those of us as local healthcare providers have struggled with the severe turn of events brought on by an unbelievable financial problem. It came to a conclusion that prompted the only alternative of bankruptcy. Often, in the still of the night, I would wake up and try to find some better way, something I could do to make our problems turn around. Contrary to other opinions, I don’t think anybody “wins” with bankruptcy. Many creditors, providers, staff and patients were hurt financially and emotionally; it was not uncommon to have depressed or angry people leave what was Central Iowa Healthcare.

I concluded that the best I could do was to still be here for patients who needed medical care.

I feel it is time for us to put the past behind us; not to forget it, but to do everything we can to not ever experience it again. I am grateful to the remaining administration and board of trustees for hanging in there, which has allowed us to have something to build upon. I am very happy to be a part UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown. It was the only organization to step forward to help us rebuild and provide the best care for every patient, every time. I believe that they care about Marshalltown and are providing stability and direction as we work today and build for the future.

This brings me to my last point. There are providers and staff who had to leave employment here through no fault of their own. You should know that there is a steady “return to the team” of providers and staff. They want to be a part of the rebuilding. We stayed here because we believe in a “better day.” There are good people in the hospital who want to put you, the patient, first. Your highest expectations and best outcomes are our goal for each and every one of you; we trust each other to make this happen. We ask that you give us an opportunity to earn back your trust. Our entire team is focused on making this happen. If you need us, we will be here for you. As I like to say, “It’s a good day to do the right thing.”

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Dr. Milt VanGundy, MD, is from Marshalltown.