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Letter: BVHS President-CEO asks community members to write to legislators

We at Blanchard Valley Health System are grateful to each and every one of you who showed your support for us during National Healthcare Week. We are honored to be entrusted with your care and to be so deeply woven into this community, which means so much to all of us. 

Moving forward, we continue to ask for your support. As we emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as health care nationwide faces significant challenges, we urge community members to support local hospitals – and to let their legislators know that they offer that support. 

A community depends on its health system and vice versa. When you think of a strong, thriving community, what comes to mind? It probably includes flourishing local businesses, robust parks and a good school system. Similarly, a hospital or healthcare system is a part of the fabric of the community. It helps connect all the pieces together, making sure community members – and thus the community itself – remain strong and healthy. 

Health care is also an important part of a community’s economy. In Northwest Ohio, for example, BVHS employs more than 3,000 associates. Some directly provide health care for their friends, families and neighbors, while others support these caregivers in various crucial roles. In this way, too, the health system helps the rest of the community prosper and grow. 

Health care has always played an integral role in its community, but the pandemic has made that perhaps more apparent than it has been in decades. Still, it’s easy to take a hospital for granted until you or your family need it. 

The recent closure of McLaren St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee reminds us that hospitals should not be taken for granted. Other healthcare leaders in Northwest Ohio are watching our friends and neighbors deal with the ripple effects – on Maumee residents’ ability to get access to care, and on employment options in their community. 

Thankfully, Blanchard Valley Hospital remains a vital part of Hancock County, and we are permanently committed to providing care in this community now and into the future. But recent events, including both the pandemic and the St. Luke’s closure, are a reminder that we can best do so with our community’s support. This relationship works both ways – a community depends on its hospital, and a hospital depends on its community. 

We ask you to continue to be vocal with your support. Legislators at both the state and federal levels make important decisions that impact health care, both financially and in other ways.  

We know so many residents of Northwest Ohio are already deeply engaged citizens who regularly write or call their legislators to voice their opinion. We encourage you to do so, keeping in mind how deeply the well-being of a health system and its community are tied together. 

We value each of you for the support you have shown us in so many ways for so long. We now look forward to a successful future, serving the community in a new way in this post-pandemic era. 

Let your state and federal government representatives know how important health care continues to be to you. More information can be found at the following sites:

Myron D. Lewis
Blanchard Valley Health System
President & CEO