Editorial

The signs won’t be changing for another few months but the largest business deal in the history of Floyd County was completed this week — Floyd Medical Center is now a part of North Carolina-based Atrium Health.

We’re a little nervous for our community, yes, but it’s not a surprising match and there appears to be a lot of the deal that will work out well for both Floyd and Polk counties.

Plans for a well-funded Floyd-Polk Healthcare Foundation have been stated primarily to address medical disparities. While those needs have only been obliquely referenced up to this point by the hospital’s leadership, we’re hopeful they’ll continue to work in the areas of improving care for low-income families and the elderly.

That said, there’s no question that FMC — or whatever it will ultimately be called — President Kurt Stuenkel knows how to manage a hospital and it sounds like he has plans to grow those funds.

Next up locally is Redmond Regional Medical Center, whose deal with AdventHealth will likely be finalized next month.

While many, if not all, of the day-to-day decisions will be made locally, ultimately big decisions will be made in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Altamonte Springs, Florida.

On the surface it does appear odd that Floyd County’s two very profitable hospitals are being sold, but this is the way that industry is going. Already-massive health care systems looking to compete on an even larger scale and reap the benefits of bigger buying power.

As part of it, the smaller hospitals within those systems get the benefits of being a part of a larger buying network.

That’s good for the hospital soon to be formerly known as Floyd Medical Center, and in many ways that spells out good things for our community as well.

How’s the best way to put it ... we’re cautiously optimistic.

It’s really not been that bad ...

Despite it seeming like the pipeline work along many of Rome’s major traffic arteries has taken forever, if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s really only been a minor inconvenience.

That’s not likely a widely shared opinion, but it’s true.

It would have been nice for the large metal plates and patches of concrete to have been gone a while ago, but the project is working toward finalization and in a year we’ll have forgotten about it.

So until then, take a breath and drive carefully.

... and another thing

It’s been so good to watch life get back to normal.

It makes our hearts glad to see that families are getting back out, people are socializing once again, events are going on as scheduled, restaurants are opening back up and daily life in our community is starting to look a lot like it did before the pandemic.

Along with that, please consider getting vaccinated for COVID-19.

The highly contagious Delta variant is fueling the increase in new cases in other parts of the U.S. at the moment but Floyd County is currently in a good place and we’d like to stay there.

Unfortunately, it only takes a short amount of time and a continued indifference for that to change.

Americans are still dying every day from COVID-19 infections, and while some who are vaccinated do still catch the virus, those cases are rare and generally mild.

Yes, there is distrust in our area — largely fueled by misinformation wearing the disguise of political rhetoric — but no one wants the country to return to the problems we faced the past year.

Thank you for reading.

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