BROOKS HOSPITAL Don’t hold back on details

Richard Ketcham, former Brooks Memorial Hospital chief executive officer, echoed the thoughts of many in the north county last week when he chastised the administration and board of directors of the health-care facility for being so quiet in recent years.

When Ketcham left, the institution was in strong financial shape and had a history of always working and listening to community leaders. Those practices came to an abrupt halt in 2008.

Not only was it unfortunate, it has led to much of the skepticism by the community on the hospital needing a new facility in Fredonia. It did not have to this way, but that was the road chosen by the board.

With this being the case, hospital administrators — and board members — need to be more transparent with everything moving forward. Meeting with community leaders last month was a start, but how about a meeting with the rest of the stakeholders at the Clarion Hotel Marina and Conference Center or at one of the State University of New York at Fredonia auditoriums?

An excellent group of volunteers are part of the reuse panel for the current hospital location. Updates from this committee after each meeting — through the OBSERVER or social media — would also ease some of the anxiety and questions.

A bond has been, as Ketcham noted. Moving ahead, the healing process must include more aggressive, sometimes uncomfortable, communication.