Having been associate with Bartlett Regional Hospital for the past 25 years, as a former employee, board member, for many years a volunteer and just this summer an inpatient off and on for 20 days, I would urge the residents of Juneau to vote for Proposition 2.
There are 54 physicians living in Juneau, plus many visiting specialists who attend patients at Bartlett. One of the reasons we have been able to attract the physicians we have, is that Bartlett has endeavored over the years to keep up with the latest medical advancements, technology, equipment and the continued training of our outstanding nurses and support staff.
Having been a patient this summer, I came to realize even more that the renovation plans for the third floor inpatient area are greatly needed. The conversion of the present semi-private rooms to private rooms with private shower and toilet facilities is needed for the patient to enjoy a restful and dignified recovery. The plans for O.B. will add five birthing rooms and allow mothers to stay in one room from birthing to discharge. The critical care unit will increase from four to eight beds and the nursing station will be enlarged to accommodate all of the staff attending these patients. The mental health unit will increase from six to 12 beds, which will mean that the hospital will not have to refer a patient to Anchorage due to lack of space.
We need to remember that the third floor area is 29 years old, so these renovations are reasonable. Additional areas covered will be expanding waiting areas for emergency, radiology, pediatrics and adding a hemodialysis unit.
There are two other projects to be funded under Proposition 2. One is school repairs and improvements, which to me is a no brainer. The children and staff should be guaranteed a safe school environment. The other project is an ice arena and recreational facility at Savikko Park in Douglas. For the 49 years I have lived here, the Douglas Fourth of July committee has entertained all of us with wonderful Fourth of July activities. The committee has raised monies toward the ice rink, the rink would be installed where there already is water, sewer and parking. If you know the people of Douglas, they will continue to support this endeavor and I believe eventually this would be a great facility.
Please join me in voting for Proposition 2 on Tuesday, Oct. 3.