As Nov. 7 approaches, we will likely hear many opinions on the Payson Unified School District's Kids Count $33-million bond issue. As CEO of Payson Regional Medical Center, I would like to offer a different perspective on this issue, which I believe is one of the most important our community faces.
We are fortunate to have a strong community hospital in Payson. During the past nine years, PRMC has invested more than $25-million in new equipment, services and the recruitment of skilled physicians and clinical hospital personnel to our area. However, the hospital's strength is only fortified when other key community resources are just as strong. Despite the efforts of many fine teachers and administrators, our school system continues to struggle with budget shortfalls. Without this bond, the school district will continue to face teacher retention issues, greater teacher-student classroom ratios, a lack of building improvements and fewer extra-curricular activities -- all contributing to an erosion of a quality education for our students. In addition, lack of support for this bond, will jeopardize the hospital's ability to recruit and retain quality physicians and medical professionals.
Last year alone, our physician and staff recruitment efforts brought more than 10 new families to the area. More than half of our employees have school-aged children. Without quality schools, it will be difficult to attract new physicians and other health care professionals to Payson, not to mention retaining the high level of medical expertise we currently enjoy. Fewer physicians and the inability to recruit needed specialists could result in the loss of important health services and threatens our ability to grow.
A strong and progressive school system is vital to the future of our children and the health of our community. Please vote "yes" for the Kids Count school bond issue on Nov. 7 to ensure the best educational environment for our children.
Thank you for your continued support of Payson Regional Medical Center and our community.
R. Chris Wolf, CEO, Payson Regional Medical Center