Last March, Veterans Memorial Hospital shared its intent to file a petition to invoke a vote for a city to county conversion and received the Waukon City Council’s support. In July, the hospital turned in a petition with more than enough signatures to earn a spot on the ballot on November 8 for voters to vote on this conversion in the general election.
Veterans Memorial Hospital staff and board members will now visit each Allamakee county community in the next two months to hold a meeting to present and discuss the needs for this city to county conversion.
Like most rural hospitals, Veterans Memorial Hospital faces growing financial challenges. Changes made by the current leadership team have helped the hospital become solvent over the past two years and COVID relief dollars also helped offset expenses and fund minor renovations, but that is not enough to ensure its future. Converting to a county hospital will build on this progress and help ensure long-term sustainability with the support of recurring annual appropriations.
“The main goal of this conversion is to make sure Veterans Memorial is here for the community for the long term,” stated Michael Coyle, CEO of Veterans Memorial Hospital. “To do that, we need additional resources not only to retain inpatient services like OB, but to bring other specialties to Allamakee County and the surrounding area.”
“Our patients and their families have been—and always will be—at the center of every decision we make,” said Coyle. “That’s why this conversion is so important. It’s critical to improving patient safety, meeting growing healthcare needs and changing regulations, and making sure everyone in the Allamakee county area continues to have access to exceptional care close to home. So we really hope the community will support this effort.”
Coyle also emphasized that the 70-year-old facility requires major renovations to meet new and upcoming healthcare codes. Appropriations would help support these critical infrastructure updates and other capital investments in technology.
Information on the need for this city to county conversion will be shared at these community meetings as well as shared in local newspapers and on the hospital’s website at www.veteransmemorialhospital.com
The schedule for these county meetings, by community, is as follows:
Harpers Ferry Tuesday, October 18 6 p.m. Harpers Ferry Community Center
Lansing Monday, October 10 6 p.m. TJ Hunters Banquet Hall
New Albin Thursday, September 29 6 p.m. New Albin Community Center
Postville Tuesday, September 27 6 p.m. NE IA Wellness Center Meeting Room
Tuesday, November 1 6 p.m. NE IA Wellness Center Meeting Room
Waterville Tuesday, October 11 6 p.m. Waterville Community Center
Waukon Tuesday, September 13 6 p.m. Freedom Bank Community Room
Tuesday, October 25 6 p.m. Freedom Bank Community Room
Anyone is welcome to attend to these presentations and question and answer sessions will follow. For more information about the need for the city to county conversion, please call Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.