BRMC Not the Answer

Megan Descutner has written a well-crafted letter in support of Broadlands Regional Medical Center ["A Healthy Choice, Loudoun Extra, June 17], but there are too many wishful political thoughts and omissions masquerading as fact in her piece to allow it to go unchallenged.

The basic fact of the struggle between BRMC and a Comprehensive Plan amendment for health care planning is that Loudoun County residents deserve better than regional planning by way of Richmond. As far as Richmond is concerned, our local health care planning district stretches from Alexandria to Winchester.

Unless Loudoun joins every other county in that region by adopting a local plan for the location of facilities, Richmond will look at the population of the larger region, count the number of beds approved in that larger region and conclude from 200 miles away that we are adequately served.

Descutner acknowledges her employment by BRMC in her letter but does not acknowledge her long political affiliation with Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (I-At Large), the only board member to oppose comprehensive health care planning. York's blind support of BRMC attempts to continue "smart growth" by encouraging placement of all facilities on the Greenway.

Loudoun's residents deserve better than one-stop shopping on a toll road, with tolls rising ever higher. If we allow Richmond to be the de facto determiner of Loudoun's location of facilities, our regional quota of beds, as well as the care services allowed in the facilities, could remain unchanged for years, based on regional "need."

The previous board approved massive urban density next to Broadlands on the Greenway in the smart-growth desire to urbanize Ashburn. If HCA Corp. was foolish enough to option land in Broadlands needing a special exception to approve a hospital, gambling that smart-growth proponents would be re-elected, that is a business decision it must deal with.

Descutner's letter also hits on the smart-growth wish that no one live anywhere but on the Greenway. The fact is that Dulles South residents can't drive through the airport to access BRMC (a whopping six miles closer via two-lane Route 659). Rural residents not only have no facilities, they have no reliable roads to access those in other counties that are closest as the crow flies.

If one visits the BRMC Web site, a letter can be viewed written by Donald Descutner (another York political affiliate) as a board member of the Cascades Homeowners Association, although the couple moved to Lovettsville some time ago. In it, Descutner says, "The population of our 517 square mile county has exploded, and the epicenter has moved south as it has grown."

Only six miles south in more than 500 square miles? Let's get the politics out of public health and safety, as eight of nine board members seem prepared to do, and support realistic planning for all county residents.

Barbara Munsey

South Riding