Editor: There is so much intentional misinformation, mass social Media Hysteria and information that is legally prohibited from comment floating around in social media land regarding NCCH, in my personal opinion.

Let’s just start with the fact that NCCH is our community hospital. NCCH has been serving our community since 1968, and is going into the new decade, enjoying its strongest business condition of recent history.

I have worked for NCCH more than three years now, and oversee multiple departments and functions. I also live in a nearby city, however this makes absolutely no difference to my commitment to the Willcox community. In this day and age, those of us working usually spend much more time at our work than we do at our homes. I have also spent time in the local hospital of my home location, and thank God for NCCH, we are so much better in so many ways.

NCCH is a true community hospital, providing economic stability for the city and region. We employ more than 155 persons. Just speaking for the departments I oversee, we employ 10 Willcox residents with full-time jobs and benefits, and a pathway to management here in Willcox.

We support local Willcox business first when, in the age of clicking a button, we can shop online. We support local trades first in all our projects, and the last couple of years that has been more than $1 million. We all know there is a huge nationwide shortage of skilled labor, and this is felt even more so in our rural regions.

In 2020, my departments and NCCH are developing an apprenticeship program with local high school and college trade programs to keep and develop skilled labor in the Willcox area.

As an NCCH employee, I represent the hospital and indirectly the greater Willcox region at the county and state level for community safety issues. I bring the rural representation to these levels of government on a regular basis. Don’t tell me that because I don’t live directly in Willcox, that I don’t care or don’t contribute to the good of the community.

All the social media misinformation and hysteria that is portraying the new physician group as “carpet baggers from the North,” is ridiculous. First, hospitals change physician groups as a regular course of business. The new business model is used here in our region, in our state and across the nation as a model of survival for rural critical access hospitals. Do your research off social media and get educated.

The new physicians group is not “dropping in” from out of state. They have a local history, they are at Canyon Vista Medical Center in Sierra Vista and they are the medical leadership for one of our area’s full-time EMS services.

None of the past Emergency Department doctors or hospitalists lived in Willcox. The new group is bringing in 16 new providers to the hospital, with more than 13 new doctors to serve our community. This is in a time when many rural hospitals are unable to even have a doctor on site, let alone keep their doors open.

Knowledge weighs very little; it is not gained from social media. As a personal belief, 2020 is the kick-off of a very exciting decade for NCCH, as we are bringing in new leadership with our new CEO, and we are starting the design and planning of our new Emergency Department, among other changes that are going to make NCCH the best rural critical access hospital in Cochise County.

Bill Hopkins

NCCH employee

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