We are patients and supporters of the Kingston Health Center who have attended the meetings held there with Jason Bleak, CEO of the Battle Mountain Hospital. 

In the September 18 issue of the Bugle, the front page article did not convey a fair representation of the issues.  

First, it should be pointed out that the Kingston Health Center serves a much larger area than just Kingston. 

 The Austin Clinic is currently only open four hours a week, and some residents come to the Kingston Clinic. 

While there is a clinic at the Round Mountain Mine, residents of Hadley not employed at the mine come to our clinic.  Also, the clinic serves the many ranches and homes scattered throughout Big Smoky Valley, Reese River Valley and Monitor Valley.  If we lose this Clinic, Battle Mountain Hospital is a two to four hour drive one-way for these residents to access service.  This creates huge safety issues for drivers who risk being involved in an injury accident on the southern Lander County highways.

Second, it should be stated that we have a Kingston resident serving as the PA at the Clinic.  Ann Miles, PA-C is highly qualified, and we are very fortunate to have a dedicated provider who wants to serve in this very rural area.  Rural clinics throughout the country are struggling to stay open, and a major factor is the availability of a qualified provider.  We are so fortunate to have Ann Miles, and that must be a major consideration for the future of our Clinic.  Ann Miles worked for three years without pay to develop a badly needed clinic here; it has been a life-changing service for the residents in the surrounding area.  

Something as simple as a blood draw becomes a full-day event when you must drive to Battle Mountain or Fallon, Reno or Carson City to access this service.

Third, the article failed to mention that Mr. Bleak initially approached the town of Kingston about taking over the operation of the Clinic if Battle Mountain Hospital were to donate the building to us.  T

his has now changed to being able to purchase or lease the clinic.  If we were to purchase the Clinic, it would have to be at fair market value. 

This is not financially feasible for a small town, and we certainly cannot support the costs of a clinic, particularly when our taxes go to the county seat.  

The article made it sound as if the town was unwilling to put the effort into keeping the Clinic open.  We are all very concerned and committed to keep this clinic open, however we are not medical professionals or administrators with the background to take this on.

Fourth, the operating loss for our clinic was consistently quoted to us as $105,000 per year rather than the figure of $110,000 to $150,000 as quoted in your article.  We believe we are not credited for all of the services the clinic provides. In fact, some of the contributions made by our clinic serve the bottom line of the Hospital rather than being credited to the Clinic. 

At the first meeting we had with Mr. Bleak, we asked him to inform the hospital board that they have a moral responsibility to continue providing healthcare to Southern Lander County.  However, when this meeting was recapped to the board and a group of Kingston residents listened in on a speaker phone, this was not mentioned.  

We pray that this decision will not be based on monetary concerns alone.  We live in a wealthy county, and there must be a way to preserve this invaluable resource.  

While this article tries to portray this as a very open issue, those of us who have attended meetings in person and by conference call have not been filled with optimism. 

At the very least, a representative from the Kingston Clinic should be included in all meetings with the Nevada Health Center, which appears to be our best option, but only if the Kingston Health Center is portrayed accurately.

Linda L. McMahon

Nancy Hadlock and Richard Potashin

Jaunita and Bill McKeen

Cheryl Meyers