KRMC officials deserve time to work problems out

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KRMC went through a tsunami in the past couple of years with the untimely passing from breast cancer of legendary CEO Velinda Stevens followed closely by a federally bullied $24 million settlement for basically bringing Velinda’s vision of university-level medical care to the Flathead and Western Montana and creating thousands of jobs.

But anger about the painful fallout appears to be juicing a knee-jerk response, enabling another Washington, D.C. predator SEIU to pounce, and obscuring a stone cold fact. The number of rural acute care hospitals operating under an RN contract with SEIU local 1199NW while also maintaining their independence is — zero.

All of 1199NW’s acute-care RNs work for large hospital chains, and the explanation doesn’t require rocket science. Apparently anticipating this sad consequence here, even SEIV public supporters are now resorting to newspaper finger-pointing to deflect future blame. But it will be a done deal.

Instead, how about giving new CEO Dr. Craig Lambrecht and new Chief Nursing Officer RN Ryan Pitts a real chance? Fundamentally, it’s always been the same with all of us. America is about receiving opportunity and then working really hard to deliver value to the surrounding community. It’s not about angrily and hastily bringing in yet another money-extracting Washington, D.C. gorilla to crush a recovering but still vulnerable community linchpin. Craig and Ryan and our Flathead deserve more than the previous two months to straighten some real problems out.

Dr. Andy Palchak, Kalispell

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