Letter: Reader speaks out about hospital protest

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To the editor:

I am a resident of Southington, an employee of a small business in Southington, and active in the community.

I was saddened to hear in April of last year that the remaining 15 inpatient beds at Bradley were going to be closed. Concerned, I started to ask fellow residents what the reasoning was behind the move and why Hartford HealthCare (HHC) wasn’t investing more in the town.

What I started to learn was that Hartford Healthcare would continue to have a presence in Southington. I also learned that the average daily census at Bradley is eight to nine patients per day.

Being a part of a small business, I realize how important it is to have a business model that is sustainable. We as a community need to support businesses and their decisions to maintain a sustainable business model.

Our town contains a lot of services that most communities envy, and we should be thankful for them. Four amazing senior care facilities, an abundance of walk-in clinics, Hartford Healthcare’s future Family Health Center on Queen Street, a brand new orthopedic surgery center located at the current Bradley Campus, the Alzheimer’s Resource Center of CT Inc., and University of Connecticut Health Center medical offices providing a variety of services.

All these facilities provide healthcare coverage for us in town.

As a former facility engineer in healthcare I ask that you consider several items with regard to the Bradley Campus.

Renovating and maintaining a building that was originally built in the 1930s is a nightmare. From dealing with asbestos, to structures that cannot be changed to provide the proper design and the strict regulatory codes that need to be followed during renovations; it is more cost effective to build a new state of the art facility.

As more and more procedures move towards outpatient visits, the need for overnight stays in hospitals is decreasing. For us as a community to push HHC into providing and maintaining inpatient beds at Bradley would be doing an injustice to ourselves.

The amount of money that HHC would spend annually on maintaining services at the existing Bradley building would prevent them from investing money in new buildings and services within town.

While having in-patient beds in Southington is convenient, it is not practical. Southington has a lot of benefits that will continue to grow and with growth comes change.

As a community, we need to embrace the change and realize that HHC and others will continue to invest in our community with a more focused menu of services.

A.J. Garstang, Southington resident

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