The E.A Jenny Rasmussen/Dahl Memorial Clinic is our community health center. The residents of Skagway envisioned and invested into this medical facility for Skagway.
It’s unfortunate we have experienced a glitch in its management to the point of a major crisis. I feel we came very close to closing the doors to the clinic. That is the past and we are now looking to the future to solve the problems.
Tom Steiner, the new director, has been hired to solve the clinic crisis. My recent conversation with Mr. Steiner makes me believe our clinic could be viable again. I have personally witnessed the fruits of his management. He has a timeline that is manageable to get us out of a crisis mode. What is happening with medical personnel and cost of doing business is nationwide, and we can recruit from the same pool as SEARHC can.
We do not know what SEARHC management would be, and we will not have control of our clinic anymore. I believe SEARHC will not offer employees the same benefits and clinic staff will be reduced.
I’m a taxpayer and business owner. I ask the question: What’s the cost of doing business? In the medical world today, you have to pay market value to have qualified providers. It’s the best investment we can make. I also believe we can recruit providers that want to make a home here. Our town needs good, qualified people to have a successful viable community that wants to invest here year-round. The clinic is one of those entities that support stability in a tourist town and furthers its local economy.
I have lived and worked in radiology in ultrasound departments for 55 years. My career includes hospitals in Valdez, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Homer, Alaska. I have contracted with SEARHC clinics in Juneau and Haines.
I believe a SEARHC management and/or sale agreement is NOT the answer. If the municipality insists on proceeding with an agreement with SEARHC, I admittedly believe a vote by the residents of Skagway is mandatory because so many have donated monetarily and voluntarily to our medical center.
Please write to the city assembly with your concerns. I urge you to sign the petition. I also suggest that if you have any complaints about your care at the clinic or any kind of issues you are concerned about, give the director a call and he would be more than happy to try and solve it.