The right prescription for area health care

Published 12:36 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This week, the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners and the Beaufort Regional Health System Board of Commissioners will formally vote on the offer from University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina to lease Beaufort County Medical Center. This is a historic event with profound implications for the people of Beaufort County and surrounding counties.

A long and arduous courtship is soon to be consummated with the joining of these two hospital systems.

We’ve learned much along the way, including how dedicated our medical staff and employees are and how much the people of Beaufort County treasure their hospital and medical facilities.

There are no losers in this venture. The benefits with our association to UHS are tremendous and will serve the citizens and community well, now and in the years to come.

From an economic perspective, UHS will help facilitate growth of jobs in the medical and associated fields. A strong, vibrant medical community will encourage businesses to expand and retirees to relocate to this region.

The medical benefits are innumerable. Access to greater technology, services and additional providers and specialists is essential to the health of our citizens, and the “health” of this region.

Already, as we move toward the Sept. 1 start-up date, UHS advisers have been working at the hospital, assisting us in implementing improvements and efficiencies in the services we provide. Communication with our medical colleagues in Greenville and at other UHS facilities is being enhanced, all to the betterment of care to our patients. No doubt we will see many changes in the coming months to the physical appearance of Beaufort County Medical Center and how things operate. We anticipate this, knowing the changes are just one step toward our goal of serving the medical needs of this region.

The physicians of BRHS are thrilled to be a part of this process and look forward to joining in with UHS in the mission of providing superior medical and surgical service to our regional friends, neighbors and fellow citizens.

The UHS motto is, “Our family caring for yours.”

In a similar fashion, I would like to say to UHS, “Welcome to our family.”

Dr. Thomas Ruffolo is an employee of Beaufort Regional Health System in its Coastal GI office in Washington.