Hospital deal good for Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 3, 2006

It’s understandable that many employees of Obici Hospital are anxious about what the future holds in the wake of the hospital being taken over by Sentara. After all, gaining efficiencies (i.e., getting by with fewer employees) is one of the natural outcomes of such arrangements.

Also understandable is the lamenting among some of the loss of our local, independent hospital, a source of pride among many in the community, particularly long-time employees.

But the world changes, and few aspects of it are changing as much or as frequently as the health care industry. As Obici Board Chairman J. Samuel Glasscock noted Monday, Obici could have continued as an independent entity, but it likely would have struggled in the face of competition from behemoths such as Sentara and couldn’t have provided the services the merger will make possible.

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Glasscock has served on the board of Obici for 40 years, the last 25 as its chairman. That’s a long record of volunteer service and is indicative of his commitment, as well as that of other board members, to fulfilling Amedeo Obici’s vision. We feel confident the board would not have approved the deal had it not been in the best long-term interests of the citizens of Suffolk.