Creeping narrative about Pullman is misinformed

We live in a small community and one of the things that makes Pullman special is our ability to identify specific problems and work collaboratively across multiple political ideologies, governmental bodies, and public/private boundaries to find solutions. For example, the airport project received compliments from multiple federal agencies for its collaborative basis.

A narrative is creeping into our local public discourse that city staff have some sort of nefarious agenda and are actively hiding information from the public. It is simply wrong. We have amazing, dedicated civil servants in Pullman. Many of our employees have been with the city for decades. The work of our civil servants is demanding, and we don’t always have the financial resources to give them the staffing and technology that would allow them to thrive.

There are certainly areas in which the city can improve its information-sharing practices. As such, we have proposed that the city create a communications guide document that explains how to share information about items of public concern in a consistent and accessible manner.

We are concerned that this continued rhetoric that pits residents and the City Council against city staff, some of whom have dedicated their careers to supporting and improving our community, will only serve to divide our community and drag us down to the level of dysfunction and stagnation that has plagued the federal government for some time now.

If you have specific critiques about city communications or if you have suggestions for how to do something better, please share with either of us or by contacting the city department at issue. Pullman’s community approach to problem solving works.

We are current Pullman City Councilmembers. You can reach us at ann.parks@pullman-wa.gov or dan.records@pullman-wa.gov.

Ann Parks and Dan Records, Pullman

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Proposition 1 key to goal of integration

One of the goals of Proposition 1 is to bring a team-based approach to healthcare in our community. How to do that you ask? Integration. Integration physically — build space for health care providers to interact and come together to care for patients. Integration of information and technology — a community-wide medical record.

These things are typical of top-tier healthcare institutions such as the Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic has been developing and following this care delivery model for years. Pullman Regional Hospital is working to move healthcare in our community from fragmented to integrated.

The cost of less than a dollar a day for a property of $300,000 assessed value is small compared to all the inefficiencies each of us experience when we try to access specialists, basic physicals, procedures and tests. As a way to quantify how much inefficiencies cost, I Googled “costs of fragmented care.” One of the first results is from Healthify.us. The article states researchers found “patients who experienced the most fragmentation of care had an average total cost of $10,396 while patients who experienced the least fragmentation in care had an average total cost of $5,854.” That’s a difference of $4,542. If $4,542 is divided by 365, that is a little more than $12/day. Fragmentation costs. Integration saves.

Integration — a team approach to care — provides value to each of us as patients. A dollar amount is only one way to express that value. I urge you to vote yes on Proposition 1.

Andrea Howell, Pullman

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