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Moving Ahead With Health Care Despite State Cuts

To the Editor:

Last week, the Connecticut State Legislature voted to approve the governor's budget that includes $550 million in funding cuts to hospitals in the state.

At Western Connecticut Health Network, our patients, employees and communities will feel the $30 million cut to our operating budget over a two-year period. We are now forced to reexamine our ability to offer community programs that, sadly, affect people who most need care, reduce staff who dedicate their lives to serve others, and continue to scrutinize our operations to find any opportunity to stretch our dollars to preserve our mission.

As we move forward, we sincerely thank the thousands of people who voiced their support for community health care services in Connecticut.

Across the state, patients, community leaders and health care workers expressed their concerns to the Governor and legislators, visited representatives in Hartford, and worked social media outlets to gather public support for community health. While we are disappointed by this vote, we are grateful for the people we have met. Together, we have increased awareness of the importance of accessible health care to the communities of Connecticut. Throughout this tumultuous period our communities have reinforced the vitality and essence of our mission.

No decision by the state, no matter how ill-informed, will deter us from providing the right care in the right place at the right time. While there's no simple way to find the funds to make up for the cuts, the WCHN team has demonstrated the foresight to plan for such challenges. We each come to work every day with one purpose – to make a difference in the lives we touch. We carefully manage our business, including what we spend, to make certain we have the services in place to touch the people in need. Now we will seek to minimize the impact of these new limitations. The needs of people, especially the sick and the poor, often require complex solutions, many of which do not neatly fit into line items on a budget.

Thank you for your continued support. More than ever, we need to work together.

John M. Murphy, MD

President and CEO

Western Connecticut Health Network

24 Hospital Avenue, Danbury                      June 11, 2013

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