Conspiracy? Or negativity?

The September 3, 2017, front-page OD story provides food for thought.

Following up on an OD guest column two weeks ago in which the writer called for an “end to easy negativity and pointless ill-will,” today’s story describes how “Some critics” (only one is named) have come forward to express concerns. Not to dispute the position that the community should come together in support of the hospital, but to insinuate conspiracy without alleging it, i.e., “We’re not accusing anybody of anything [but] it’s important for people to realize her husband sits on the MVHS board and was very involved . . .” The OD also points out that The Foundation’s board and the hospital’s boards have some common members. And a retired hospital CEO is a Foundation board member.

But let us go further. Examine the EDGE board, the United Way board, any other organization’s board. Are there connections among them, members who serve on other boards, people who are related to, even married to, other community leaders? Have any of them or any of their family members ever worked at or even sought health care at one of our area’s hospitals?

Perhaps the “critic” is correct, that “transparency” demands disclosure of any and all connections that could be described in a relatively small community where volunteer not-for-profit boards call on many of the same people to give of their time to serve. And some or all of these connections may demonstrate a modest, or monstrous, conspiracy.

Then again, we continue to return to our reason for starting a conversation on Facebook in August 2017:

A state-of-the-art regional medical center is a good thing for our area, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support and enhance regional rejuvenation, quality of life and future growth.

It’s ironic that a benign organization, one that has invested tens of millions of its donors’ dollars in our community, chose to speak out, to call for an end to negativity—only to become the subject of it.

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