Two public hearings set for Memorial bids

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The public will have two opportunities to hear the  six proposals to lease Memorial Health System.

On Dec. 2, when the task force has finished scoring the proposals, it will meet for six hours with bidders to hear proposal details

On Dec. 7, a town hall meeting will offer each bidding organization an hour to complete their  pitch and take questions from the audience.

Tonight’s town hall meeting, designed to answer questions about the ongoing process,  drew concerns from health care professionals and government skeptics.

“Health care should not be political,” said Harry Anderson, a local pediatrician who works with Memorial’s children’s hospital. “It should be delivered in an egalitarian and selfless way. Pediatrics is non-remunerative. Some places aren’t going to be dedicated to delivering it, or at least not delivering it here.”

He said Memorial put money “it didn’t really have” into pediatrics to creating the only children’s hospital in southern Colorado the trip the the pediatric hospital in Denver is not an option because it’s too far away.

He is concered that when dollars in the amount of HCA/HealthOne’s $500 million proposal are bandied about, residents will go toward the money.

“I’ve lived here a while,” he said. “And this is my concern – people will go for the short term money, and I’m concerned. I’m worried. I want what’s best for the city. This is my town.”

Others were concerned about the task force itself.

Sean Paige, representing Americans for Prosperity, once again raised that organization’s concern about the health care professionals on the task force.

He asked three – Carol Flynn, a Memorial nurse; Dr. David Corry, a trauma surgeon; and Dr. Michael Welch, a doctor at Peak Vista Community Health Centers – to recuse themselves from reviewing the bids.

All three declined.

“My job is bigger than Memorial,” said Flynn. “It’s about the patient, the community, the city. And this is bigger than that. This is about the way health care is going to be delivered in the future, and that’s something I care about. I can bring an unbiased view about the health care aspects, and I believe I’ve done that.”