To the editor:
Every good and successful organization recognizes the social responsibility to the community it serves. Lehigh Regional Medical Center is well aware of it and takes pride in being an intrinsic part of community of Lehigh Acres. We recognize that in addition to taking care of our patients, our role and responsibility is to serve our community and support its development, growth and overall economy.
The most significant economic contribution we make to our community are the jobs. We create 380 of them and as a result, we spent over $22 million in employee wages and benefits. As a chief financial officer, I believe that my primary responsibility is to protect these jobs through good financial management, as well as of course to facilitate support for highest quality care in our organization.
I take those responsibilities extremely serious as I am well aware of the impact of employment on the health of economy of the Lehigh community, that I deeply care about. We also spend over $1 million with local vendors. Needless to say, this is major influx of cash into our community critical to so many local small businesses that form back bone of our community.
In addition to these economic contributions, we spend significant resources in various charity functions. We provide services to our patients regardless of their ability to pay and as result we incur $39.7 million in charity and uncompensated care.
I view that too as our social responsibility as we are primarily and above everything else a community hospital. This is a critical point to make as there are rumors and concerns about changes in our affiliation from Health Management Associates (a system that owned 71 hospitals all over U.S. that was sold to Community health Systems, our current affiliate).
The reality is that no matter who we are affiliated with, we will always be here for our community as evident in $146,000 spent for various community programs and events such as Lehigh High School Athletic Trainer, Spring Festival, Relay for Life, Spring Run, AHA Heart Walks, etc., as well as $12,265 in scholarships and health education.
I have a sincere desire to represent my organization's commitment to contribution and service to our community and for that reason I entered race for Lehigh Acres Honorary Mayor. If elected as an Honorary Mayor, my goal will be to support every aspect of life in our community through funding of these organizations:
- Lehigh Community Services, which provide vast array of services in education, medical care and public assistance;
- American Cancer Society has national level activities that have major impact on our community;
- Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce creates jobs and economic growth, which I view as a foundation of our own continued success as well as our community's growth and development.
I truly believe that such universal/comprehensive focus is exactly what our community needs - we cannot just be successful in one aspect or support one activity as education, elimination of poverty, healthcare, medical research, economy and employment are intrinsically linked together and should be tackled as such.
Please join me in that effort by supporting my campaign and donating at: www.LehighRegional.com. In addition, I wanted to invite you, your families, friends and neighbors to please attend my fundraiser/BBQ that will be held on Saturday, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Medical Office Building at Lehigh Regional Medical Center, at 1530 Lee Blvd. Let's get together, eat, talk and support the community that we all truly love.
Chief Financial Officer