Community success depends on that of our local hospitals

Our community’s success is deeply rooted in the success of our local hospitals, especially UP Health System-Marquette. First, please know that I am writing on behalf of the Marquette County Ambassadors. We are a privately funded group of business, education, community and government leaders from across Marquette County. Our mission is to promote and foster economic vitality throughout Marquette County and the Upper Peninsula, to carry the story of Marquette County to others and salute those who deserve recognition. Our biannual trips to Lansing bring a collective voice from our region to those making critical decisions on our behalf. As you look around Marquette County, you can’t help but notice the incredible amount of development going on. Nearly $1 billion, led by UPHS’ projects, is being invested in our community. On behalf of the Ambassadors, we would like to address the importance of a healthy regional hospital at UP Health System-Marquette.

UPHS-Marquette provides critical specialty services to residents across the entire Upper Peninsula. Specialty care ranges from cardiology, cancer care, brain and spine, orthopedics, NICU, infectious disease, urology, gynecology and beyond. If an entity with a main campus within our state or in nearby Wisconsin had purchased Marquette General Hospital, it is highly likely most of the specialty services would be performed on their main campus and the Marquette facility would be used for basic and emergency care only.

In addition to the convenience and excellence our Marquette hospital brings to us in terms of services, the economic advantages afforded to our county and region are irreplaceable. Economies are driven by jobs, services and infrastructure. The family-sustaining jobs UPHS provides, along with the goods and services it consumes, fuel all segments of our local economy – from gas stations, retail stores, restaurants and grocery stores to taxes paid to fix roads and maintain local parks. Having a thriving health care provider like our hospital is vital to the well being of our people and community at large. The facts are beyond contestation: to be a community of excellence and viability we need our hospital to be successful. We ask that our fellow community members remain cognizant of the fact that our hospital is an integral part of what makes Marquette County a great place to live, work and raise our families. By remembering UP Health System-Marquette’s importance in each of our lives and by keeping health care local through the UP Health System network across the Upper Peninsula, we can and will help make our regional community a better place.

Editor’s note: Bryan DeAugustine is superintendent of NICE Community School District and a leader with the Marquette County Ambassadors.