Dear Editor,

In response to the full-page advertisement by Johnson County Healthcare in the Nov. 1 newspaper regarding opposition to the proposed skilled nursing facility for veterans in Buffalo.

My first question is: What is the healthcare center more concerned about – losing employees or having some competition? It appears to me that they are more concerned about competition than the employee situation.

My second question is: What is the purpose of economic development? I believe it is to attract viable business to Buffalo in order to create more opportunity for the city and the county and for its residents – current and future.

Economic development includes not only attracting more and diverse opportunities but also those workers and support systems that would come with it. This provides a trickle-down effect for almost all businesses in Buffalo and Johnson County. One of the claims made by the healthcare center is that Buffalo does not have enough CNAs. Wouldn’t more hospital workers including CNAs come to Buffalo when the job opportunities are present? The standard argument is there is not enough housing for a new business. The workers who come to Buffalo during a “boom” cycle seem to find housing and whatever else they need. Why would this be different for another class of workers?

The nursing facility would be a long-term, government-funded initiative. There would be no question as to whether this “business” would remain a part of the community. What more could we ask for? What a great opportunity for us as a community!

I believe the healthcare center is wrong to speak out against such an opportunity because it would possibly affect their bottom line in the future. The healthcare center is especially wrong to print a full-page advertisement to sway public opinion in their favor. If the nursing facility comes to Buffalo, the healthcare center should be able to adapt and adjust. A solution would be found if their fears are realized. As an example, has the healthcare center considered that more workers and families indicate more need for doctors? Clearly, they have not considered the entire community.

Joanne Heppner


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