Responsibility goes hand-in-hand with strong leadership.
Thus, we view the decision this week by the board of trustees at Alpena Regional Medical Center to seek outside assistance in helping to determine the future of the health care facility a very wise and courageous move.
It was courageous in that should change ultimately be recommended, as in a partner for health care management, we all know change never is easy.
It was wise in that board members understand that evolution is inevitable in most things and in the health care world today, that is especially true.
It was responsible in that now ARMC has hired Juniper Advisory LLC to assist them in evaluating what the best course of action might be for ARMC. Board members are open to all the possibilities - including the fact that the current independent operating system might ultimately prove to be the best way to continue.
The difference between "proactive" and "reactive" in the business world often means the difference between profitability or closing the doors. Trustee Beach Hall said if ever you doubt that with health care, look no further than Cheboygan Memorial Hospital and its closing its doors amid bankruptcy two years ago.
Health care today looks nothing like it did a decade ago. New technology, research, philosophy and regulations like the Affordable Health Care Act have altered its landscape.
We support the ARMC board in being "proactive" regarding this issue and are confident the process - which easily could take a year or better - will provide them the insight they need to best serve the residents of Northeast Michigan.