Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Vision pushes county hospital forward

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Nov. 23, 2013 at 5:23 a.m.

Victoria's medical community is strong and unique. Our community is served by two quality, award-winning hospitals and several clinics.

Citizens Medical Center, our county hospital, has proven to be a unique institution in our community. At a time when county hospitals across the nation are becoming private, Victoria's county hospital had a reserve of $90 million in October 2012. We are proud to see our county hospital bucking the norm and standing strong, and we know it would not be possible without strong leadership.

Now, after serving as the hospital's administrator and CEO for 31 years, David Brown is preparing to retire. Brown has lead Citizens through times of prosperity and rocky seas. Under his leadership, Citizens has seen national awards and internationally publicized lawsuits. And through it all, Brown has worked to keep the hospital moving forward.

In 2009, the Victoria Advocate presented a series of articles identifying the 10 most powerful people in the Crossroads. David Brown was listed as No. 9. In that article, Brown had this to say when asked what his favorite cause was: "My cause is right here at Citizens Medical Center. When you look at all the things that are important in a community, health care is right at the top. There's only one thing more important than health care in any community, and that's education. But health care is so terribly important."

This comment shows Brown's commitment to improving health care in the Crossroads, and Citizens' growth during his tenure has reflected that desire. Citizens has seen improvements and expansion in everything from the new emergency room, the women's center, chest pain center, two new office buildings, the creation of Citizens Healthplex and the adjacent office building as well as simple things like expanding parking.

These are just a few of the improvements Citizens has seen under Brown's leadership, and each step was a step forward. The editorial board would like to thank Brown for his years of dedication to our community hospital, one of the top county hospitals in the nation under his watch.

Brown has led Citizens with a vision for the future, and we hope that vision will be passed on to his successor, Stephen Thames. Vision is essential to good, effective leadership. Without vision, a leader has no direction. We encourage Thames and the leadership of Citizens Medical Center to continue pushing forward. This hospital is a wonderful asset in the Victoria and Crossroads communities, and we want to see it continue in that role.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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