Shop local means taking advantage of local hospital

I wanted to add my voice to supporting our local doctors, medical professionals and hospital following recent Times-Republican articles and supportive letters to the editor on this subject and after my recent surgery here in Marshalltown.

Very similar to encouraging all to “shop local” to support and sustain our local businesses, we need to utilize our local physicians and hospital, so that they can grow, invest in facilities and attract even more medical professionals to our community. Here was my very “local” experience. I chose to utilize one of our local surgeons, he gave me permission to use his name, Dr. Stephen Van Buren, for a recent surgical procedure. I happen to know Dr. Van Buren, and I do believe it is an advantage, to know your surgeon, a person you already have trust and confidence in. We live in the southern part of town, but what an advantage being able to drive five minutes to the new, first-class surgical facility at UnityPoint, just across from Marshalltown Community College. We arrived at 6:30 a.m., after a 2.5 hour surgery plus recovery time, I was home by 1 p.m. By the way, even though the facilities and staff were great, it is always more restful to recover at home.

Before and after the successful procedure, I was able to speak to the staff, and knowing about the recent transition to UnityPoint, I questioned each on how they are being treated by UnityPoint, and to a person, they were very happy with their new employer, working conditions, colleagues, etc. I also noted, all the staff I spoke with were local (OK, one was from Green Mountain) with families attending schools, spouses working in the area. I also have to say that all three of our boys were born here in Marshalltown at the time the downtown MMSC hospital again with great, local care. Not having that drive to Des Moines or Ames or Iowa City is a good thing.

So, yes Marshall County, let’s shop local and also have your medical care be provided locally, when possible. Besides the convenience and what I believe is in many cases, superior care by individuals we know and live with, having the local medical capability will help Marshalltown grow, retain and attract more business and residents. Specifically consider all the past and recent investments in our area nursing homes, the convenience for those with loved ones being cared for locally and the jobs — an industry that requires having local medical facilities. There is also the attraction of commuters living in Marshall County that work in surrounding communities that decide to live here knowing they have access to local medical care, adding to our tax base, buying homes, sending their kids to our schools.