Editorial

Our hospitals and medical centers are arguably the lifeblood of Floyd County.

They, as well as Harbin Clinic, bring a wealth of people and services that benefit us in so many ways. We’re blessed with a ready access to high quality healthcare that many communities in our state envy.

In addition, we have competition between Floyd Medical Center and Redmond Regional Medical Center that keeps us up to date with the latest medical technology and services.

Competition is a good thing, but the rivalry also causes problems as well.

From September 2018 until June, the helicopter pad at Redmond Regional Medical Center housed a helicopter owned by Air Methods — an aeromedical evacuation company — helicopter. For clarification, that helicopter was used by both hospitals.

In June, Air Methods left Redmond stating, the “reimbursement for services has not kept up with the costs” of keeping the helicopter there.

The contention, voiced in letters between the boards of the two hospitals, is that once the Air Methods helicopter was stationed at Redmond in 2018 — Floyd Medical Center all but ceased using the company’s services. FMC had employed Air Methods frequently the year before, the letters state.

In response, the board at FMC said they’d already been developing a relationship with Life Force — whose helicopter is based out of Calhoun. FMC said they’d started working with Life Force earlier and that’s the reason their use of Air Methods’ services dropped off, not the company’s agreement with Redmond.

Our view is having a helicopter stationed here in Rome is a community benefit regardless of where the helipad is based.

In Dr. Paul Ferguson’s letter to the editor today, he talks about the “golden hour” — the short period of time after a traumatic injury with the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death. He knows much more about that subject and the importance of prompt medical care than we ever could.

As a matter of fact, we appreciate everything our hospitals, and their staffs, do. All of us here have seen the wrecks respond to, the natural disasters they work in and the crime scenes they brave in order to do their jobs. It’s appreciated, all of it.

Going back to the letters between the hospital board, there are two invitations to open up conversation. Redmond invites Floyd board members to meet and discuss how they can best assure the best emergency care for patients in our region. Floyd also puts forth an offer for a meeting of the two hospital’s medical professionals with trauma care expertise for a similar discussion as well.

There’s no doubt if collaboration was needed in a public heath emergency, all differences would be put aside to work together. Why wait?

Going forward, we ask two of our largest community partners to put differences aside and work together on issues like this. While we understand the competitive environment, we also understand there are times when collaboration — especially in the name of public health — should trump all else.

Rome’s ‘no-tell motels’

Things are in the works between residents of Summerville Park and the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority to buy some of the property which a hotel is poised to build on — and that sounds like a great thing.

Let’s be fair — the Sleep Inn is a national chain and likely not going to be another one of our mini red-light district hotels along Martha Berry Boulevard. At least not anytime soon.

It’s also very understandable that residents of the neighborhood don’t want the chain to build there right on their doorstep.

But in this case, the city’s hands are tied.

The hotel went through all the proper channels and it looks like commissioners would be begging for a lawsuit if they blocked the development.

The residents of that area are still 100% right to want that corridor to improve.

If you think back, some of our most notorious hotels at this point — including one off Chateau Drive — used to be the main places travelers stayed in Rome.

Now, some of those “no-tell motels” on Martha Berry Boulevard are the subject of police reports on an almost daily basis.

You can’t roll back time and change previous decisions, but a proactive approach in that area could truly reshape one of the main corridors into Rome.

There seems to be a solid push for good development on ends of that corridor. There’s a mini boom past Berry College near the mall and we’re seeing new businesses on the other side near Floyd Medical Center.

Hopefully we’ll see more of that spread down Martha Berry Boulevard to revitalize that entire area.