The Norman Transcript

Editorials

November 20, 2012

Mission needs to stay intact

NORMAN — Later this month, NeoHealth board members will consider appointees for three newly-created board slots, but perhaps more importantly, they’ll be looking at four candidates for the chief executive officer position.

Several well-qualified people are on the short lists, but an impressive resumé isn’t the only consideration. When it comes to this unique multi-county health care entity, the motive for serving is just as important as the ability to do it.

The Northeastern Oklahoma Community Health Center (now NeoHealth) was incorporated Dec. 3, 2001, but the seeds were planted in the mid-1990s, when visionary individuals with the Cherokee County Community Health Coalition saw a need for affordable health care for low-income families.

Many area residents took part in the drive to create the NeoHealth system. When the state legislature in July 2001 created the Oklahoma Center for Rural Development at NSU, the pump was primed to grow new businesses. Local lawmakers and community leaders have played key roles in helping establish a strong foundation, and NeoHealth has continued to thrive. Clinics are now located in Adair, Cherokee and Muskogee counties. But here’s the rub: NeoHealth is a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to provide care to folks in mostly rural areas, where health care sources might be limited, or where the people who need those services might not be able to pay for them. The sliding-scale fee assessment has been a boon for the area’s most vulnerable families.

It’s easy to see why some people might feel somewhat threatened. A medical facility that must balance attention to its bottom line with the well-being of patients is part and parcel of a market-driven economy, but the presence of a clinic that offers those same services at a far lower cost is a challenge some businesses wouldn’t like to face.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Let’s toast: Main Street bridge nearly complete

    It was January 2013 when crews began knocking down the Main Street bridge over Interstate 35. The timeline on completion has always been this May. If everything comes together and the weather holds for the next few days, the overpass and ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Yes to Capitol and museum

    Two major spending bills have emerged from the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee headed by Norman Rep. Scott Martin. Both are up for passage in the full House of Representatives. We believe both deserve passage....

    April 11, 2014

  • Assistance needed

    The planned reopening of the Canadian River bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington is still more than two months away. Some of the businesses that depended on cross-bridge trade may not make it that long....

    April 11, 2014

  • Voters need speak up

    As candidates gear up to get their names on the ballot this year, it also may be time for voters to take some initiative, too....

    April 9, 2014

  • Let the filing begin

    The path to the state Capitol and local election board offices will be busy for the remainder of this week. Candidates, incumbents and those thinking they might want to be an incumbent will sign up today through Friday to have their names ...

    April 9, 2014

  • Taking care of business

    The backlog of state prisoners filling county jails in Oklahoma is finally getting some attention. The Associated Press’ Sean Murphy reports the new director of the state Department of Corrections has made clearing the inmate backlog a ...

    April 8, 2014

  • A Tuesday kind of market

    A family friendly, festive atmosphere is what organizers of Cleveland County’s Farm Market hope for tonight at the fairgrounds on East Robinson Street....

    April 8, 2014