As a former CEO of Brookville Hospital and a longtime rural Pennsylvania hospital executive, I was extremely dismayed to learn that Gov. Tom Wolf used his line-item veto to eliminate state funding for Pennsylvania’s critical access hospitals (“Funding for Hospitals Reduced by Wolf Veto,” Jan. 14). Since the funding for CAHs is a 40 percent state and 60 percent federal match, this elimination is a double whammy to these rural facilities since they will also lose the federal funding match as a result of his ill-informed action.
Gov. Wolf has shown that he obviously has no regard for the rural citizens of the state who depend on these CAHs for their health care needs.
As CEO, I secured CAH status for Brookville, without which it probably would have been forced to close its doors almost 10 years ago.
This move by Gov. Wolf puts not only Brookville but also the other CAHs in more rural parts of Pennsylvania, like Coudersport, in greater financial jeopardy and could lead to closure of those facilities. This would be devastating for the residents of their communities. This is unconscionable and, if not rectified, will severely, negatively impact rural life in Pennsylvania.
I stand firmly with the Hospital and Healthcare Association of Pennsylvania, the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania and the PA Critical Access Hospital Consortium, of which I was proudly affiliated for many years, in opposition to Gov. Wolf’s action.