Dear Editor,

North Arkansas Regional Medical Center (NARMC) is the second largest employer in Boone County. The salaries, wages and benefits paid to those who work and live in this community exceed $50 million. Additionally, overall purchases of equipment, supplies and other goods add another $48 million to the total. The economic impact alone on this community is vital.

NARMC provides healthcare services through its hospital, clinics and ambulance service to residents of Boone County and surrounding counties. In all, more than 85,000 residents depend on NARMC for their emergent and chronic care needs. There is no question that the hospital is a necessary component of the economic success and quality of life for residents of the area.

NARMC is a private not-for-profit entity that was formed in 1996 so that the hospital could be operated in a more favorable environment than a governmental entity. While NARMC is subject to many regulations and reviews as a private not-for-profit, it is not subject to all the laws and regulations of a governmental entity. Therefore, it is allowed to compete more fairly with other for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare organizations in the region.

The hospital, its physicians and staff have been recognized by numerous national organizations for quality and performance. In fact, the hospital has won the Arkansas Governor’s Quality Achievement Award for three consecutive years.

The facts above are not disputed, yet there is a small group of vocal individuals in our area that seek to damage the reputation of the hospital for personal agendas. Attacks on the hospital, physicians, board of directors, staff and leadership damage not only the reputation of the hospital, but also limit the future of the community.

As the Board of Directors for North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, we are ultimately responsible for the operations of the hospital and its staff. We also recognize we have a responsibility to the citizens of this community to ensure all decisions for the medical center are made in the best interest of the health of the community.

Our Board is made of nine representatives with deep local roots and includes respected business leaders and professionals from across the community. We take our responsibilities very seriously and serve this organization with our time and skills without compensation. As Board members, we are actively involved in the decision-making of the organization, and we provide direct oversight of its operations.

Those who seek to damage the reputation of NARMC by casting shadows of doubt, misinformation and outright fabrications are not only harming our hospital staff but also our community. More than 750 team members, from direct healthcare providers to ancillary staff, business office and administration, devote their lives to meet the healthcare needs of people in our community. These are the people who are being wrongfully maligned by attacking the reputation of NARMC.

Your Board does not claim to be perfect and when we make mistakes, we diligently strive to correct them. As a Board of professionals, business leaders, bankers, fellow church members and neighbors who have earned trust and respect in our community, we strive to put our community first by making the decisions that will ensure NARMC is here to serve our community for many more years to come. NARMC is an important piece of our community, and not just for the physical health of you and your family, but as a key piece to the health of our local economy. We recognize the responsibility that comes with governing such an important organization and commit ourselves to the task.

It is time for those who recognize the value of this hospital for the future of our community to speak up. Without the voices of those who hold dear the value of working and living in our community, the only voices heard are those who seek to do harm. Please be a vocal advocate for the continued strength and development of NARMC.

The Board thanks the doctors, nurses, staff and administration of NARMC for their commitment and perseverance in providing quality care to our community in this challenging environment.

North Arkansas Regional Medical Center Board of Directors:

Sherri Billings

Dan Bowers

Brad Crawford

Brian Linn, M.D.

Ann Main

Mike McNutt

Matt Miller

Mike Norton

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