Just an idea

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Just an idea

Post by 911Dispatcher on Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:47 pm

I thought this deserved a new thread because it was off topic where I had first posted it.

Okay I have thought about this for awhile now. I may be way off because I'm 3000 miles away. However I am going to shoot for the stars and say this. I agree with Jennifer on the fact that we need to be looking on a bigger scale as far as providing jobs and a tax base for the River Valley. The Casino, although it failed, was headed in that direction but was a little misguided. For years Rumford lived off from what made the state strong and that was paper. As is with all history things are changing due to technology and advancement. We need to look at what the states strong point is and to grow off from that. Heres my idea....Rumford and surrounding communities are in general an area for families and the elderly. I know all too well about how frustrating it is to have to travel for good health care. Something that is in high demand for both the elderly and families. Why is the town not looking at expanding the Rumford Hospital and trying to compete with CMMC or the Portland Hospital. You could draw numerous jobs from construction, janitorial services, and professional jobs such as Doctors and nurses. While doing this you are also going to be drawing in educated persons such as doctors, medical techs, people who fix and run medical equipment, pharmacies, etc. These families are looking to live in small communities with good schools. What better place than the River Valley? You'll also need to look into bringing in other ammenties for those using the medical benefits. People from surrounding communities will need places to stay and eat. You could expand in so many ways. Why not a cancer treatment facility? Why not an imaging center? Why not some services that most in the area are forced to travel to Lewiston, Portland or even Boston for. You increase your tax base. There are huge fedeal government monies for programs like these. Its not a quick fix but it could be a permanet solution. People are always going to need health care, young and old alike.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Timeout on Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:07 pm

It is natural to look at the second highest employer in Rumford and ask how we can grow that business. Unfortunately healthcare in Maine can't really afford to compete with other health care in Maine for a number of reasons:

1) Rumford Hospital is CMMC
2) No one is winning right now in health care and everyone is just holding on.
3) We need our great relationships with all the healthcare resources throughout the state. For instance, you can walk into Rumford Hospital and have work being done in the Lewiston cath lab faster than if you had walked into a Boston Hospital and had the same work on premises.
4) We share protocols and policies with the other hospitals, Med-care, etc. We speak with one voice when it comes to how we do trauma, how we do chest pain, how we do rapid response. Collaboration is essential or the organizations die.
5) We have an oncology center and almost all imaging capability. If you get your imaging done at night, a radiologist in Australia reads your diagnostics and diagnoses you. We are globally collaborative.
6) We bring specialists here so that people who live here don't have to travel.

If we wanted to carve out a market niche, it would be in the area of complimentary and alternative practice because people are willing to pay for these services out of pocket and prefer to be in a rural setting to receive these services. For example, Dr. Mark Lescoe in Farmington practices ayurveda - traditional Indian medicine involving life energy - and people are more than willing to travel to him. For breathwork, however, who is going to come to an area with an air polluting industry? They would rather go to Bethel, Rangeley, Byron, even Rumford Point to receive treatment in a conducive setting.

Another potential area for growth might be focusing on primary prevention, i.e., developing something like a community swimming pool with all fitness services but that has never been a popular notion in Rumford.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:11 pm

Timeout,
The Stephens High School Alumni Association attempted to develop a swimming pool in the area about 12 years ago. The efforts were not only not accepted, but hampered by those who were supposed to be looking at growth and community development.

Our community has changed, but then again, so has the financial climate. Before we can consider any public funding for an aquatic center, we need to address the deteriorated infastructure that exists in our community. When looking at our town budget, we need to consider both revenues and expenses. Our revenues are dropping because there is little, if any, building going on. When we have no building, we have no expansion of the tax base. At the same time equipment tax revenue is going away thanks to our state government. This means that we will see our tax revenue from the mill reduced in half. While this may help kee the mill here for a while longer ( I said may), it will require our leadership to make difficult decisions in the next few years. It will also reduce the likelihood of any major capital project unless it will guarantee an increase to the tax base (please remember that town buildings are not taxed).

If we could encourage a business to build an athletic center, it would add to our community socially, physically, financially, and cardi-vascularlly Smile. The problem is that the health clubs that have opened, have hgad a tough time staying open. On top of that, they compete with the ever-popular GRCC. Perhaps one option would be for our recreation-oriented organizations to work with Black Mountain to devleop year round recreational opportunities, generating demand for a motel chain which could include a health club with a pool. We already host a number of winter events, and with The Madison converted to condos, our area hotel capacity is diminshed.

So, what would it take to develop such demand? Let's begin with a more defined network (including signs, maps, etc) of trails for mountain bikes and ATVs, bicycle,canoe and kyack rentals, increased exposure of guide services, and let's not forget promotion. The Field of Dreams approach won't work without additional efforts, but it is a starting point.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Timeout on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:13 pm

I don't think it's a good idea at all unless driven by health care professionals. Then it stands a chance. What is the field of dreams approach? Oh, you mean build it and they will come? Not sure where you are taking that?

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Re: Just an idea

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:20 pm

Okay, that idea was shot down. Let's just shoot down everybody's ideas and we can guarantee our town will fail.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Timeout on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:23 pm

You give up too easily Kevin. Plus I still don't know what you're talking about.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:24 pm

Timeout wrote:You give up too easily Kevin. Plus I still don't know what you're talking about.

If you don't understand what is being said, why not ask, instead of saying it won't work??

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Timeout on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:25 pm

Where do you read I said it won't work...I think it's time for you to go to bed?

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Re: Just an idea

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:27 pm

Timeout wrote:Where do you read I said it won't work...I think it's time for you to go to bed?

I don't think so.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by 911Dispatcher on Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:24 pm

wow this turned a little nasty. I was thinking more along the lines of a cancer center (maybe not at the hospital). An imaging center (again not at the hospital). Their are numerous health care businesses other than the hospital that can be offered. There are also many specialist (diabetes for example) who have offices outside of a hospital that could be promoted to move into Rumford. Look at a bigger scale here.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Jennifer Stowell Norris on Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:31 pm

911, you are pretty smart. I like the way you think.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Timeout on Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:41 pm

We only have 11,000 people in the whole area. We have a large number of elderly on Medicare. Who is going to use those services and who is going to pay for them? We don't have a large enough base to support those specialized services.

We get approximately 12 MRI's transferred out of our ER per year because it's such an expensive, last ditch diagnostic tool. The volume is not there and it never will be unless Rumford turns into Portland.

The ideas you are suggesting are applicable to more urban areas with greater population. No one would travel to Rumford for those services because it is mostly secondary roads to get here, all loaded with 18-wheelers. Why would anyone from a more urban area come to Rumford for that?

We are not suited for this type of development, either demographically or geographically.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Jennifer Stowell Norris on Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:44 pm

Wow, Timeout!!! I like the way you think, too.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by 911Dispatcher on Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:58 pm

Thanks for pointing that out Timeout...again it was only an idea. I'll keep thinking.

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Re: Just an idea

Post by Timeout on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:38 pm

Hi 911 - I was in and out all day so I want to go back to your original post because you make some very good points. The bold print is from your post:

We need to be looking on a bigger scale as far as providing jobs and a tax base for the River Valley. Absolutely.

We need to look at what the states strong point is and to grow off from that. Great place to start with assets and strengths.

Rumford and surrounding communities are in general an area for families and the elderly. True.

I know all too well about how frustrating it is to have to travel for good health care. 911, I would add that people wait to get appointments and services from area docs because there is a doctor shortage throughout Maine and particularly in very rural areas.

While doing this you are also going to be drawing in educated persons such as doctors, medical techs, people who fix and run medical equipment, pharmacies, etc. These families are looking to live in small communities with good schools. What better place than the River Valley? I agree with the premise of this but particularly right now, hospitals are struggling for survival due to a vast array of health insurance problems. This isn't the best time for Rumford to be able to create a draw for these people due to lack of capital, Maine's healthcare system, etc.

People are always going to need health care, young and old alike. Very true and there is nothing to say that we can't discuss future possibilities in this area, so don't take my earlier post as shutting down the discussion. Sooner rather than later, most of us middle-aged baby-boomers (who still think we're young chickens) will bombard Rumford's health care services. I'd love to see a plan that turns potential disaster into profit!

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Re: Just an idea

Post by 911Dispatcher on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:46 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I think you know from our earlier conversations why I went with this idea. I know all to well the frustration with medical care both in the Valley and in Maine.

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Re: Just an idea

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