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Thread: So many new hospitals and medical centers

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus pcjournal's avatar
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    So many new hospitals and medical centers

    I'm beginning to work on a blog posting for the PlannersWeb -- which may also turn into an article for the Planning Commissioners Journal -- about the dramatic expansion in hosptial/medical center construction nationwide (primarily expansion of existing facilities, but also new hospitals).

    This struck me during my six-week cross country trip on U.S. 50 last Summer. Several planners I met with highlighted the importance of regional medical centers to the economic well-being of their community -- and also indicated their importance in keeping (or attracting) folks planning for their retirement (i.e., the swarm of baby boomers).

    I'm curious to hear from Cyburbians about whether this is an important issue in your city/town or county, and what role, if any, local government is taking -- through planning or economic/community development departments. Any thoughts on the related health care cost impacts would also be welcome; and any suggestions for resources/contacts I might check into for useful perspectives on the role of medical centers in cities and towns.

    Thanks,

    Wayne Senville
    Editor, Planning Commissioners Journal

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    It is a very large issue in this Oregon coast resort town. We have a 37-bed, critical access hospital that is affiliated with a regional medical provider, and which is barely breaking even financially. It is a aged building that needs replacement. We are making sure that planning decisions we make and planning actions we take will not adversely affect the hospital or its rebuilding options. I am both the city's planning director and a member of the hospital's board of trustees. The hospital is essential to the city. If the hospital closes its doors we will have an exodus of boomers, including me.

  3. #3

    different take on hospitals

    I think hospitals can be great for some things, but they can also be a problem for economic development. Our large medical center owns a lot of land and a good chunk of it is used for parking (paved lots). They also house their computer/network and plenty of offices in a prominent building downtown. Although I am not against the office use, the ground floor of that building is a great location for retail/restaurant. Basically they are a huge land owner and see it more as an investment for expansion in the future, which means we presently have a struggling downtown economically. I don't wish them to leave, but they could do more for the better of the community as a whole.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Related article-
    Headline: Lack of trauma care is killing Kentuckians
    Injured in rural areas often lose 'golden hour' of treatment
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...WS01/712300516

    Highlight:

    In fact, only three of the state's 126 hospitals are designated as trauma centers, and Kentucky -- which had more than 4,000 trauma cases in 2006 -- is one of 14 states without an organized trauma system.

    Indiana, which passed a law in 2006 to develop a trauma system, has three Level 1 centers in Indianapolis and four Level 2 centers, two in Evansville, one in Fort Wayne and one in South Bend. That's about 1.1 Level 1 and 2 centers per million people, and hospital officials say more may crop up in the future if the system evolves and more money becomes available.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Loss of local hospitals has been a big issue in rural counties on the plains. When I would travel there I would often hear concerns that the hospital had closed, or was requiring a substantial public subsidy to stay open. Conversely, the communities with successful hospitals would tout that fact as an indication that their communities were still economically and socially viable.

    In Hot Springs, SD, the VA hospital is the most important economic engine in the community. Hot Springs has become a retirement destination for many retired military personnel who may have been stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base. In other places the draw for retirees is not as direct, but you can still see it reflected in the patterns of population change. The places with the regional hospital are the bigger communities that seem to hold onto their population a little better.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus
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    HEADLINE: Hospitals seen as key players in Ky. economy
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...802010378/1003

    HIGHLIGHTS:
    The economic impact analysis concluded that hospitals rank seventh among Kentucky industries in terms of jobs and fifth in total employee pay.

    The KHA said it commissioned the study to raise awareness that hospitals are important to the economies of local communities -- and that cuts in government reimbursements would have a ripple effect on local spending.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    HEADLINE: Trustees OK $108 million plan to expand hospital in Columbus
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...=2008802040441

    HIGHLIGHT:
    project that would add at least 60 private patient rooms, a new emergency department and 225,000 square feet of space to Columbus Regional Hospital.

    "Our new pavilion is also the right thing to ensure our community has a strong hospital which is vital to economic development for the needs today and the future."
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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