Writer: Ballad’s plan to close local ICU is its own failure

Published 10:18 am Friday, May 19, 2023

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To the Editor:
For too long we have listened to the voices of our leaders, administrators, and CEOs, whose job it is to identify problems and come up with solutions that best serve the people they are responsible to with honesty, truth, and the highest degree of integrity.
Unfortunately, that noble goal has degenerated into messengers of deception, and masters of manipulation in their attempts to convince the public that the emperor has new clothes while they proceed with dastardly deeds.
This became clear to me when an article appeared in the Johnson City Press within the past year. The headline identified the culprit as a “nurse shortage.” The solution was to form a committee of administrators from ETSU and Ballad Health to determine why there was a shortage and concluded that they would have a comprehensive plan to address the issue within five years.
To the public that is hogwash. In five years, no one will remember that the question was asked. In five years, some of those administrators will retire with fat pensions and inflated egos. Others will have moved on to other positions they acquire on the basis of their cunning mastery of the art of “con-artistry,” and once again, it will be time to reprint the article in the paper about the continuing shortage of nurses and how a newly formed committee will have a comprehensive plan to address the issue in five years.
In the meantime, their plan is to proceed with the plan already in process. In the coming five years they will continue to close birthing centers, ICU units, and any other department they deem necessary until they can shut down the entire hospital. When hospitals close, doctors leave, which begs the question that will never receive headlines in the press. Why do our leaders place such hardships on we the people because of their very own failures?
The truth is there is no nursing shortage. They are quitting because they are no longer allowed to perform the jobs they were trained to do.
Schools continue to graduate large classes of trained professionals every year. Those graduates will need to be able to perform the job they have been trained to do before they, too, become disillusioned and quit.
Linda Stewart

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