OUR VIEW: Keep cool during IHA meeting in Grand Forks on May 23

OK Grand Forks, you don't like the state of health care and you have a lot of grievances but be civil at the meeting with IHA execs.

Interior Health Authority (IHA) CEO Dr. Robert Halpenny, Board Chair Norman Embree and other officials will be in Grand Forks for a meeting with locals.

The date has been set for Wednesday, May 23 at 4 p.m. at the Boundary Hospital board room in Grand Forks.

City officials first contacted IHA officials at last September’s Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver and locals have numerous concerns about health care in the area.

A meeting, thought to be set for February, was postponed and one of the reasons IHA gave at the time was in order to, “avoid long travel for its directors and because of dangerous winter road conditions,” and while that is a legitimate reason, that didn’t sit well and angered some people.

People wrote letters to The Gazette asking if they had to travel the highways during winter to go to hospitals in areas such as Kelowna and Trail, why couldn’t IHA executives travel to Grand Forks?

Then there is the situation with Broadacres Care Facility, where owner and operator Rod Gustafson was passed over during a request for proposals for 40 residential care beds last year, despite Broadacres being operational.

Golden Life Management was the successful proponent and is currently building Silver Kettle Village on 72nd Avenue and 25th Street and it is estimated that it will be complete by this September.

And while Grand Forks residents likely have a long, long list of grievances to air with IHA there has only been 30 minutes set aside for the meeting – not enough time for everyone to ask questions.

Nevertheless, cooler heads must prevail at the meeting. Residents have a lot to get of their chests but it benefits no one if people show up foaming at the mouth.

A meeting such as this works best when rational discourse takes place, so that people can get their concerns across to IHA brass – that won’t happen with shouting, screaming and obscenities, although it’s possible people will feel like doing just that.

There’s nothing wrong with being passionate, as health care is important to many, if not all, in the community and some don’t agree with how IHA has been conducting business but it’s best to curb your anger.

Feel free to be passionate but don’t cross the line.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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