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Citizen & Community Advocates for Best-In-Class Hospital Ownership

“The greatest wealth is health.” – Virgil.

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Calling Key West home is a privilege, but not for the obvious reasons some might assume. Sure the weather's great, and the food's amazing, but it's our community that makes Key West special. A perfect example of our charitable and generous community spirit is our SPCA.  We've donated millions to build a world-class animal shelter, and yet many of us have to, or choose to, export ourselves to the mainland for acute Hospital care.

The relationship between Key West Citizens and our Hospital is complicated, and has been contentious for many years. Complicating matters further is the existing Hospital Operator, Community Health Services (CHS), has divested (sold) 65% of its Hospitals in the last 10 years, and is self-disclosing significant financial risks to its operations.  While CHS's lease with our Hospital ends on April 30th, 2029, OHkw learned that CHS is already seeking an extension of their lease, and on March 6th, 2024, CHS has publicly disclosed it desires an extension of its lease with our Public Hospital.

Our Hospital Key West (OHkw) was founded to advocate for a Best-In-Class Hospital Ownership, inclusive of a Hospital Group which is financially-stable, well-managed, well-rated, and has the most comprehensive level of care possible for our Key West Community. Assessing what defines "Best-In-Class" Hospital Ownership / Operators requires a quantitative analysis and comparison from other Hospital Operators to achieve this goal.

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Our core principle is that existing Hospital Ownership / Operation (CHS) should not be the "presumptive next Owner / Operator" when their lease ends on April 30, 2029. Further, given that CHS has already expressed their interest in negotiating a new lease (December of 2023), OHkw believes that a quantitative comparison of other Hospital Ownership / Operators is also now necessary, which would be inclusive of Levels of Care which would be offered to attain the responsibility and privilege of being our sole Acute Hospital provider as of May 2029. OHkw intends to explore these options and publish the findings for all stakeholders for their consideration.

 

Only through a comparative and competitive "bid" process for our next Hospital Owner / Operator (May 2029), inclusive of all aspects for considerations, can any of us be certain which Hospital Operator is truly in our community's best interest for our future.

Equally important for our community to understand, and as anyone who lives in Key West can attest, we're a loving, tight-knit community. Between now and the end of our current Hospital Operators lease we must support our local Hospital and our friends and family who work in our local healthcare system, including Lower Keys Medical Center. OHkw's advocacy for a Best-In-Class Hospital Ownership has nothing to do with the professionalism of our local friends and family healthcare workers, our advocacy is for the best possible "Operator / Ownership". 

To become one of our Citizen Advocates, please let us know here!

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