The Norman Transcript

Opinion

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
Opinion
  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • 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

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 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

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014