RENTON REPORTER EDITORIAL: Approve strategic alliance with UW
May 19, 2011 · 11:08 AM
Coming before the Valley Medical Center commissioners Monday is the most important issue they or any hospital board has faced, whether to form a strategic alliance with UW Medicine.
Unless commissioners hear a deal breaker Monday – very unlikely at this late stage in the negotiations – they should approve the alliance, based on the hours of review they’ve done and the hard work of their negotiating team to protect Valley’s interests.
The agreement’s details, now fully vetted, while giving up some control of hospital operations to a mostly non-elected board of trustees, in no way detract from the ultimate goal: enhancing health care in Southeast King County and ensuring (we hope) the future of Valley Medical Center.
It has been a difficult few months for the commissioners. A long-existing 3-2 split on the board held firm, as commissioners struggled to keep themselves focused on the alliance and not get sidetracked by issues that perhaps while important had nothing to do with the alliance.
The five will still have a critical role in overseeing hospital operations as part of the 13-member trustees board and at the same time still watching over what makes Valley Medical a public hospital – tax dollars. But it’s also apparent that each commissioner needs to carefully assess whether his or her commitment remains to public service on the board.
If their professional careers simply will keep them from serving on two boards, they should reconsider whether they have the time to serve or whether they can remain effective in office. This has nothing to do with squelching dissent and debate, the lifeblood of a democracy. It has all to do with providing oversight the public and patients deserve in the hospital district, unvarnished by agendas that have nothing to do with health care.
It’s interesting that the strategic alliance has caused barely a ripple in the public’s mind. Certainly, it has not been as contentious as the debate over where to locate Renton’s new libraries. Perhaps the public is simply looking forward to what the alliance promises, better health care and easier access to one of the premier hospital systems in the world, UW Medicine.
Finally, SIFF to kick off
The hard part is over. Let the party – and film-going – begin.
The Seattle International Film Festival today launches its first-ever screenings in Renton with a film at the IPAC and a gala at the Renton Pavilion Event Center following.
Yes, indeed, the world of film is coming to Renton. Invite your friends, family and co-workers to enjoy this exploration of different cultures, of different ways of looking at life.
Tickets are easy to get, at siff.net.
Enjoy the show. This is a great opportunity for Renton and its residents.