GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

September 13, 2011

Don't let rumors cloud health forum

The appearance by top Northeast and Lahey Hospital executives Ken Hanover and Howard Grant at a pair of community forums at Cruiseport Gloucester today (7:30 a.m., and 6 p.m.) holds a lot of potential for residents and officials alike.

But as residents ponder questions for the soon-to-be partners in the joint Lahey/Northeast affiliation, it's important that they be rooted in facts, not rumors that all-too-often swirl around Addison Gilbert's future. And residents should keep in mind that, while a "guarantee" of some perpetual survival of AGH would be nice, it's just not realistic to expect anyone to "guarantee" anything in writing amid today's business climate, let alone within today's still-evolving American world of health care.

We hope Hanover and Grant can indeed give Cape Anners a commitment to maintaining the core programs needed to keep AGH a full-service hospital for years to come — and we hope they recognize AGH's history as a true community institution.

But we also hope AGH critics hear these visiting officials out — and and stick to facts, not fears.

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