I t now appears a solution is being worked out in the drama that surrounds Cameron’s Central Texas Hospital. It looks like the facility will remain open and will be operated for the long term by Rockdale-based Little River Health Care.
While most of the attention has been focused, rightly, on the “Cameron doesn’t need to lose its hospital” side of the story, there’s a perspective from this side of the river that needs to be spotlighted.
How amazing that, after three short years, it’s the Rockdale health care community that’s able to come to the aid of a neighboring facility.
As late as December, 2010, it was Rockdale’s Richards Memorial Hospital in danger of closing, as the disastrous Blackhawk Era ran its course. That summer about 40 percent of RMH’s staff has been laid off and by late fall it appeared the hospital was on track to close.
Obviously, things turned around. That’s been well documented. The point is, who would have thought in late 2010 the Rockdale health care community would have been economically and professionally strong enough to play this kind of a role for a neighboring hospital?
The prospect of a community losing its hospital is one of those concepts that can probably be understood a little deeper by one that’s come close to having it happen. In Rockdale that’s been the case more than once.
Being without a hospital would create a ripple effect throughout community life, from economic development to senior citizen issues to unemployment woes to much more.
Cameron’s hospital needs to stay open, just like Rockdale’s did. While details of the agreement aren’t yet known, it’s pretty obvious the good folks north of the river are going to come out way ahead on this deal.
They’re trading an operator that obviously has had some serious problems for one that has a track record of professionalism, expertise and, above all, a willingness to be a good neighbor when a helping hand is needed most.—M.B.