Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Phillip Bentley/Huntsville Hospital vs Citizens of the Shoals

I usually leave this type of entry to ShoalandaSpeaks.  But I’m mad.  I’m mad at our brain-dead congress, government shutdowns, Obamacare, and people like local business man Phillip W.  Bentley, who, in no way has the best interest of Shoals citizens foremost in his mind, even though his business is here. 

Below is a letter to the editor that our “local” news rag the Times Daily (AKA Times Faily and Totally Decatur) refused to print.   I think the fine people of this area would like to know...

RE: Conflict of Interest

Mr. Phil Bentley is the Chairman of the Huntsville Hospital Healthcare Authority. Mr. Bentley is also the owner of Bentley Chevrolet Cadillac in Florence.
The new hospital planned by RegionalCare Hospital Partners (d/b/a Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital) will provide equipment and services that are currently not available in the Shoals area. Therefore currently, many patients must be moved from any Shoals hospital to Huntsville Hospital for treatment and care.  The time lost by this movement can be critical and often fatal.
When the new hospital is complete, these patients will be treated locally and valuable (often life-saving) time will be saved. This time saving will reduce the Huntsville Hospital patient load.
If the Huntsville Hospital Board, under Mr. Bentley’s leadership, continues to play an influential role in the future of healthcare in the Shoals area, we as citizens should question our continued support of his business located in our community.
It is interesting to note that Huntsville Hospital is affiliated with Helen Keller Hospital. Helen Keller Hospital has been fighting the new hospital since they perceive that it will lead to their demise. There is a need for Helen Keller Hospital in the Shoals area. Some of their services, such as Physical Therapy and WellCare, are the best operated and staffed I have ever seen anywhere. Unfortunately, the Helen Keller staff has been using old data to substantiate their battle, rather than looking to the future growth of this entire area. As I indicated earlier, the only real loser of Shoals area patients is Huntsville Hospital, not Helen Keller. Therefore, Mr. Bentley has been quietly letting the public think that Keller is the loser, not Huntsville.
As a Muscle Shoals resident, I consider the new hospital an indispensible improvement to the overall health care available in the entire Shoals (Colbert and Lauderdale counties) area. Therefore, I urge our citizens to purchase vehicles from other automobile agencies in this area.
A concerned Shoals area citizen.


  1. Hmmm. I can see why the paper did not publish this letter. Although it is well-written and provides pertinent facts, it is too heavy handed in its request that citizens boycott the auto dealership. If the author had left out those couple of sentences--while leaving IN the part identifying the local business'owner's relationship/role with the hospital group and the name of his business--people would have probably considered the boycott on their own. And the newspaper would have had no legitimate reason to not publish the letter.

    They may not have published it, anyway, of course. And that would have told you a much bigger tale about their allegiance. As it is, promoting boycott of a local business is a legitimate reason to not publish. No other motivation can be attributed.

    Perhaps someone will do a re-write, leaving out the boycott.

    Just as an aside, small community hospitals run on very tight margins and are often threatened with takeovers by large "health systems." Speaking as a former employee of a small community hospital, our community hospitals need our support and citizens ought not to assume that the big hospital in the big city provides better care. It is often not the case, at all. (Getting down off of my own soapbox now.)

    And who knows what Obamacare is going to do....


    1. Since it is a letter to the editor (not necessarily the opinion of the newspaper blah blah blah) and they state they encourage “diverse views” and their email address is vent@...com, not to mention they “reserve the right to edit,” I think they could have published it. TD doesn’t do well to report local news these days.

      Obamacare? At this point, I can’t help but wonder how quickly people will change their tune once the reality of the damage it causes hits home. It’s amazing how duped so many American citizens are.

    2. Ahhh. Well, if they state "the right to edit" then they could have published if they had wanted to. Apparently, they didn't want to. Too bad. I think that it would have generated some healthy debate.

  2. Do you think they refused to publish the letter because no name was signed at the end of it? Our papers won't print anonymous letters (did you write the letter?) I'd find another way to get it out to the media, some independent paper, massive campaign on Facebook or something. I'd definitely think twice before buying a vehicle from him.


    1. It's a possibility. I don't know if the original letter to the editor had a name attached or not.


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