I am responding to the article "Nurses accuse Columbia Memorial Hospital of hoarding cash" (The Astorian, June 28), concerning the nurses’ contract dispute with Columbia Memorial Hospital. I was diagnosed at CMH with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in mid-February of this year. Since then, I have been treated — and cared for — at CMH.

My type of cancer has a very grim prognosis, and limited treatment options. When diagnosed, I was offered participation in various clinical trials at prestigious hospitals nationwide. Instead, I chose to be treated at the CMH/Oregon Health and Science University/Knight Cancer Center here in Astoria. After four months, I could not be more pleased with that decision.

The particulars of my situation have required visits to the emergency room, an in-patient stay, and weekly chemotherapy infusions. Every aspect of my treatment and care has been outstanding. The oncologist is first-rate. The nurses could not be better.

And the same can be said of all the ancillary staff, too numerous to mention here, but nonetheless important and crucial to patient outcomes. Even the hospital administration has been compassionate and generous.

What all this means is that CMH is a well-run hospital, equivalent in every way to hospitals far larger and more prestigious. In particular, CMH is undoubtedly superior to Providence Seaside Hospital and Ocean Beach Hospital.

The fact that the nursing staff at CMH is paid less, with fewer benefits, than the nursing staff at Providence Seaside or Ocean Beach seems like an aberration, which I strongly urge the hospital administration to fix, as soon as possible, effective with the next contract.

BARRY PLOTKIN

Astoria

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