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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The End

I've covered many business closings over the years, and it's always sad.

Marian Community Hospital closed last night.  As I looked at the building yesterday, before my noon live shot, I thought of all the people born here, all the people who got well here, and all those who entered another life here.  If those walls could talk...

So, you then have to start wondering "why."  Health care is a business, just like anything else.  The owner said the financial numbers no longer worked.  The flow of red ink had to stop.  There was no other option.

Before I drove up here, I looked at another set of numbers-- Carbondale's population.  The number I found:  9,100.  It was a lot less than I thought.  I guessed low teens.  A small city can't support a hospital, not in this day and age.

A security guard ordered a photographer and I off the property yesterday.  I'm not sure if he was trying to protect the employees, or was carrying out an order to protect the company's reputation by keeping the media away.  I did manage to speak to an employee before we were asked to leave.  He said it was more than a building.  It was a bunch of good people, working together, to help others.  You can't put a price on that.  You also can't force a company to lose money.

There will always be a need for quality health care, so I hope the 230 full and part timers who worked at Marian have an easy time finding new jobs.

I also hope the people of the "up valley" can get the medical help they need, when they need it.