Vote For Issue 64: Do No Harm

Defeating Issue 64 would be an unmitigated disaster. The hospital will not remain standing. You will not bring an outdated facility into the future, bigger and better than before. Dr. Jacob Palomaki's recent letter to the Sun Post Herald is spot on regarding the facts and future of medicine. 

Healthcare will be practiced across this country within a model of wellness, integration, smart technology and most importantly, a smart patient. It will be practiced in ways we cannot yet even imagine. 

I read Ms. Roth's letter to the editor as well. I respect and regard her service to Lakewood City Council. During her tenure I was an independent primary care physician at Lakewood Hospital. As doctors, so many of us were appalled, shocked and angry that the practice of medicine as we knew it was coming apart. Stories spread like wild fire. Who were the perpetrators? How and why were they trying to put us out of business? We huddled like 9th grade football players plotting our victory, convinced we would restore the independent practice of medicine. Maybe some were stoked by anger, others fueled by revenge. But most of us sincerely believed our way was the best. We'd studied hard, worked even harder, cared deeply for our patients and were devoted to giving them the highest quality care we could. The way we'd practiced had to be the right way. The only way. We would win and make our way better than ever. 

But the medical revolution in this country had already begun. Our refusal to accept this was a colossal misstep and an even bigger missed opportunity. If we had put our feelings aside and opened our hearts and minds I believe we could have had a seat at the head of the table. Our voice could have been strong and not reduced to a whimper. Our impact could have been indelible and undeniable in shaping the future of medicine and ensuring uncompromising high quality care. Only one in three physicians will remain in independent practice by the end of this year. That number will continue to decline. 

The talent, energy, diversity and dedication of Lakewood residents are unmatched. Do not focus these gifts on something that cannot be realized. Don't repeat our mistake. Focus on empowering patients to navigate the future of medicine. Your health and wellness depend upon it. Vote FOR issue 64. 

Georganne Vartorella

Georganne Vartorella, MD is a physician, writer, advocate for seniors, a patient advocate and healthcare coach. She had an independent primary care practice in Lakewood and is the Founder of Positively Senior and Patient Advocacy MD, LLC

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Volume 12, Issue 22, Posted 5:52 PM, 10.25.2016