The following was sent to local newspapers and shared with Bertrand Chaffee Hospital.
There’s the saying, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” that I think about from time to time when I remember Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda.
I was a registered nurse at Tri-County when the village flooded and the hospital closed. I then became a full-time employee at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital before taking another registered nurse position in Gowanda. I remain a per-diem nurse in the BCH emergency department. From where I sit, I have a good view as to the value of local hospitals, both in terms of keeping people healthy and making for a thriving area.
The loss of Tri-County Hospital ripped a hole in our community. Jobs were lost and healthcare services were diminished. There’s a gap that may be filled, but the scars will remain for a long time. Sadly, that’s a scenario that has played out at other rural hospitals across the country.
In contrast, BCH has created a healthcare facility that not only offers vital and needed services, it is a hospital that has withstood the test of time. That hospital’s future, with the multimillion dollar state funding award and investment in primary care and technology, is assured.
As I look to my east toward Springville, I have a message for the people of Springville and the leadership at Bertrand Chaffee Hospital: keep doing what you’re doing. Your growth has been steady and your services have kept up with community needs. I am glad to know that your hospital is there for me and for my neighbors.
Katie Pawlak, RN