When I think of the cliché “what a difference a year makes,” my mind races in numerous directions. First to the national elections with Sen. Bernie Sanders on his surprising run against Sec. Hillary Clinton, and to Trump’s embarassing and shocking success against more experienced and better educated rivals, but also, more locally, of the turmoil Porter Hospital faced a year ago and how it has progressed.
It was last March that Porter Medical Center CEO Lynn Boggs resigned after nine months at the helm, numerous family doctors had left Porter’s employ, the nurses union was in uproar, Porter was said to be bleeding money, and more than 200 residents showed up at the annual meeting worried about the viability of their beloved hospital. By mid-March interim-CEO Fred Kniffin had stepped in to calm the churning waters and attempt to bring order to the chaos.
Recent news that PMC is building a new $485,000 express care clinic on campus to provide less expensive emergency care is just the latest example of the positive changes that have transformed Porter’s landscape. More significantly, doctors have been hired to fill many of the vacancies created nine months ago, and after six months of scrutinizing the options to affiliate with a larger medical institution or go it alone, last week PMC signed an affiliation agreement with the UVM Medical Center. Compared to a year ago, the financial picture at Porter Hospital appears much rosier.
A year’s time can make a world of difference.
How fast things can change reminds us that the crises we face today can be resolved, while others will surely be on the horizon. How leadership and the larger community deals with the crises is what makes the difference.
Angelo S. Lynn