Cambrian: Opinion

Public can speak out on local health care

It has been about four months since The Cambrian reported some of the challenges the Cambria Community Healthcare District Board (CCHD) was facing from within. In brief, the board majority decided to try to remove the two of us from our elected positions as president and vice president, respectively. It was only through community support and pressure on the board that that waste of time, focus and money (including about $12,000 in related legal costs) was stopped.

Since then, we have made significant progress. The board has adopted four goals designed to improve the services we provide to our community. In summary: 1) Explore ways to bring urgent care and enhanced primary health care services to Cambria; 2) Ensure our fiscal health; 3) Evaluate options to maximize the utility of our property resources on Main Street; and 4) Enhance our health education offerings.

Early in 2016, residents will receive a survey in their monthly water and sewer bills. The survey, carefully designed by the CCHD’s Health Professionals Committee, will ask you what gaps you have noticed in the health care available to you and what additional health care services you would like in Cambria.

We have already reached out to the health providers and health organizations in Cambria, San Luis Obispo and Templeton to let them know that Cambria is interested in bringing more health resources to our area. Those conversations have been extremely positive; there is indeed an interest in meeting our community’s needs.

After the survey results are tallied, we will let you know what the community has told us. We will also relate that information to those in San Luis Obispo County who may be able to provide the services you have asked for. We will keep you informed about the options and what role we as a community might play in ensuring those services can be available here.

The Cambria Community Healthcare District is the only public agency in the county with two critical responsibilities to our community: 1) We are the sole providers of ambulance services, and 2) As the health care district, we are the only public entity responsible for ensuring that the community’s health care needs are met.

We take both obligations very seriously. Know that we will always continue to support our excellent ambulance service while exploring, and hopefully bringing, additional important services to town. Good health care means having a continuum of health care services available to you, including emergency care, of course, but also less urgent but equally important resources.

We need your support to help ensure that we keep moving toward this goal of bringing enhanced health services to this area. Come to our next meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 at Rabobank to hear the discussion, and speak up, if you feel so inclined. And feel free to email us: Mike: ibt856 @gmail.com, and Barbara: bbgray@sbcglobal.net.

As a community, we can do this.

Michael McLaughlin and Barbara Bronson Gray are president and vice president of the Cambria Community Healthcare District Board of Trustees.

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