My name is Deven McDougall. I live in Gloversville. I have lived there all my life, for 50 years. Both of my grandparents and both of my parents were patients at Nathan Littauer Hospital when they were alive. I was a patient there when my son was born and he was a patient there when his appendix was removed. Generations of people in this community have used NLH. I'm sure everyone in Gloversville (or their families or friends) have used our hospital. It is a vital part of our community. If we are patients or have to visit a loved one, we don't want to go to Albany Medical Center. Ellis Hospital or even St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam. We want to go here in our city. We want to be taken care of by people we know in our community. We want things that are familiar to us that make us feel comfortable.
I am a medical technologist in the laboratory at NLH. We are having trouble with our contract negotiations. It isn't just a matter of money and benefits. What we really need are good people who will take good care of the patients. If NLH management makes wages and benefits unfavorable or uncompetitive, workers will quit and go to the other hospitals. Who will replace these workers? People of lesser quality who won't work as hard or care as much about the patients. The quality of care will go down. Health care workers with good skills and experience will no longer work there. This would be terrible for our community.
What am I asking you to do? Perhaps you know members of the hospital Board of Directors and could discuss the future of our hospital with them. Let's all try to keep a high level of excellent health care in our local hospital.