Commentary

Dr. Weed

Hospital survived, now flourishes thanks to his efforts, dedication
Dr. John M. Weed III resigned last week as a member of the Rockdale Hospital District board of directors, after stepping down as its president several weeks ago.

The financial problems, and stunning recovery, of Richards Memorial Hospital, have been well documented. It’s not an exaggeration to say that recovery probably would not have happened at all if not for Dr. Weed’s dedication and his tireless efforts.

He’s been a board member for 15 years, president for the last five, during the critical period in which Blackhawk Health Care assumed operation of the hospital and is now purchasing the physical plant.

But those cold statistics only scratch the surface. The board is, and always has been, made up of business people. Only Dr. Weed could provide a physician’s perspective and the crucial insights needed as the board struggled with many crises, ranging from bankruptcy to the very real possibility of closing the hospital’s doors.

He has not been reluctant to offer those insights.

Dr. Weed’s dedication to Richards Memorial Hospital, and Rockdale’s health care community, stretch back 36 years. He returned to his home town to practice medicine in 1974, something that just doesn’t happen today.

A case can be made that Dr. Weed is one of the last of a breed to whom medicine is a calling, not a vocation, an extension of his life, not a job to perform.

Before there was a Rockdale Hospital District, Dr. Weed served on the old Rockdale Hospital Authority. He was the founding father of Rockdale’s former volunteer EMS service. His focus has always been to make Rockdale’s health care community the best it can be.

There have been some harrowing times for RMH but through them all, not unlike George Washington at Valley Forge, Dr. Weed was there, enduring and preserving.

He has succeeded. Every Rockdale resident owes him a debt of gratitude, especially every parent who ever had to take a child to the emergency room at 3 a.m. and offered grateful thanks for truly life-saving care just a few blocks from home.—M.B.


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2010-07-22 digital edition



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