As an Oakdale resident who only became involved with Oak Valley Hospital a few years ago, I have come to have a great appreciation for the importance of this valuable health care system in our small community.
I recently had the privilege of serving as a member of the Oversight Committee at the hospital. This is the group that had responsibility for overseeing the property expenditure of taxpayer Measure H funds in constructing the new hospital. I found the management of the hospital to be on the same page as the Committee volunteers. There were no hidden agendas. We were all interested in the same thing, insuring completion of the hospital for the benefit of the community.
During the process I thought the professional leadership of the hospital (John Friel and Wayne Mills) responded very well to all the regulatory/state challenges and there were many. In spite of it all, they kept us on track. We are still on budget and on time to open the hospital later this year. If I can use a familiar phrase, I thought Oak Valley came out smelling like a rose.
In addition to learning a lot about large complex and regulated construction projects, I also learned more about the array of services our local hospital provides. It manages community clinics in Oakdale, Riverbank and Escalon. It actually provides a broader scope of outpatient services than inpatient care as the medical needs of patients change. The Oak Valley Care Center is one of the finest in the state. After every meeting I came away with greater respect for what the hospital means to our community and how fortunate we are in having a team of employees and leadership who are so caring and dedicated.
Like everyone, I am excited about the pending opening of the new state-of-the-art hospital and our opportunity to expand our quality care to better serve the community. In these difficult economic times, we can point to the hospital and its success as a very good thing for all of us.