Monday February 26, 2018
Quality of facility depends on continued public ownership.
As a physician practicing cardiology in Berks County for 40 years, I see Berks Heim as an extraordinary example of what a well-conceived and well-run facility can do for people who have great need and few other alternatives.
The physician staff is outstanding. My visits to patients at the Heim reveal a wonderfully clean facility with very well-run units. Patients and their families express their overwhelming gratitude for the wonderful care that is given.
Apparently the Berks County commissioners are considering selling this outstanding facility because of concerns for its financial future. Obviously, its finances are not going to be improved by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to a law firm to sell the facility to another operator that will not have the strong personal connection with Berks needs. Another agency will have less funds to operate the unit. Whether for-profit or nonprofit, they are going to have to reduce needed services, either to generate a profit or to pay the very high salaries that often accrue to "nonprofit" executives.
The public is very well aware what happens when an outside group or agency is hired to take over a struggling organization such as a nursing home or drug treatment facility. It's generally not good and frequently disastrous. I feel strongly that continuation of local control of this jewel of a facility is best for Berks residents.
E. Berry Hey Jr.
Keep Berks Heim in county's control