I am Gordy Lewis and serve as the CEO of a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) in Wisconsin.  While the opiod epidemic is appropriately front of mind, there is another looming crisis that is having a real impact on rural hospitals across our Nation.  Regionally, Burnett Medical Center in Grantsburg, St. Croix Regional Medical Center in St. Croix Falls, Spooner Health System in Spooner, Osceola Medical Center in Osceola, Westfields Hospital in New Richmond, and Hudson Hospital and Clinics are a few of the 58 CAHs in Wisconsin being affected. A petition is now available on-line for those to read and voice their support for your rural hospital, asking the elimination of the impact of sequestration (loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars per facility) on over 1300 CAHs across the country.  We have 30 days to gather the 100,000 signatures required for a response, so let's hit the ground running.

PETITION PURPOSE: "Help save our hospitals!" 

Due to Congressional sequestration, CAHS are getting 2% less from this vital program designed to ensure rural citizens have ready access to quality care close to home.  The cuts result in over two in every five CAHs experiencing growing negative margins. This sequestration defeats the purpose of the CAH legislation that has made it possible for rural communities to continue to have ready access to needed quality care, close to home.  Closures of your rural CAH will have impactful negative consequences on your community from both an economic and spiritual viewpoint.

BE ONE OF THE FIRST: First, do your part by signing the petition.  Then, go one step further by leveraging the power of social media, by sharing with and encouraging at least 10 others to do their part.  Just think, if 10 people, tell 10 other people, that tell 10 other people, and 10 other people, and 10 other people, we achieve our goal of focused response by the Executive Branch.

Initially, we need at least 150 signatures. Until that number is attained, the petition asking for financial support of Critical Access Hospitals will only be available from the following URL (see below) and will not be publicly viewable on the Open Petitions section of the "We the People" website.  To sign the Petition, please go to: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/critical-access-hospitals-critical-condition

IMPORTANT: After you sign, you will receive an email from "We the People" asking you to confirm your signature by clicking on a signature confirmation link. This confirmation needs to be completed within 48 hours of receipt to count your signature.

Once we achieve 150 signatures, the petition is published on the White House website, and there will be an automatic email from the White House with a direct link that people can use to sign.  Simply forward it to friends and family and we're on our way to obtaining the needed 100,000 signatures required for White House review.

Again, once we get our first 150 signatures, the petition will become publicly searchable on the "We the People" website.

When the petition reaches the required threshold of 100,000 signatures in 30 days, it will be put in a queue to be reviewed by the White House. Others can still sign on voicing their support while it is awaiting a response.

When the White House responds, everyone who has signed the petition will get an email from the White House to let us know that they have reviewed and responded to the petition.

I appreciate your help in supporting this initiative.  Together we can have our voice heard.  Please feel free to direct questions or concerns to me at glewis@burnettmedicalcenter.com or call at 716-463-7275.

Gordon A. Lewis, MHA, FACHE 
CEO, Burnett Medical Center 
Grantsburg, WI 54840

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