I am writing in regard to the closing of the Cardiac Rehab Maintenance Program held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Barnesville Hospital. I feel it is a disservice to the community and surrounding areas. I had a quadruple bypass in 1997. Since then I have had eight stents. I have been going to rehab for 20 years and feel it has kept me going. The girls in rehab are great at keeping an eye on us. They have detected problems with me and many other patients. They call our doctor if necessary or take us to the ER.

The reason behind this closure, we have been told, is due to not making enough money on the program. There was a waiting list for people to get into Phase III, but they were not allowed to join for some reason. If you want to make money then why do you turn people away from a program that helps people improve their health? Isn't that what the hospital's Mission Statement is: "To improve the community's health through the efficient provision, coordination and integration of quality health services, health education and research. To provide passionate, quality health services according to the physical, social, religious, environmental, and economic needs of our communities"?

Strange how this is the Mission Statement, but the hospital is going against everything stated here. Yes, some of us are older, some of us are younger, and some of us are middle aged, but we are all in need of continuing to improve our health and well being through this program. Going to a gym is fine for those who can use the machines, but not all can use those machines down there and we all need to be monitored for any issue that might arise. This is how many of us have had issues caught before they were life threatening. A gym setting cannot give the peace of mind that we have when we have the girls right there to help out.

A group of us went to the hospital board meeting in July, but we were taken into another room and talked to. Why weren't we allowed to talk to all board members and give our opinions at the 7 a.m. meeting? I feel the community is being left in the dark on several issues regarding this decision and it is not fair to the ones wo were in the program and the ones who were looking forward to beginning the program.

I hope all the board members would take a stand, revisit this decision to do away with Phase III and come up with a better solution than sending people away from a facility that we all use for other health needs. When you start sending people away from your facility you are taking people out of the services other than rehab. WE NEED THIS SERVICE FOR ALL COMMUNITIES AND ALL WALKS OF LIFE.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. I hope more people will continue to ask questions about why these decisions are being made to discontinue services.

Thank you,

Carol Ann Groves,