Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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February 21, 2014

Prayers for the hospital

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Bowed heads and prayers to a higher power took center stage in a brief but meaningful rally to show support for Pauls Valley’s local hospital and its future.

Gray skies and a chilly wind didn’t slow down Wednesday’s mid-day prayer vigil as several people gathered at the hospital gazebo.

The whole idea was for the group to pray together and offer individual stories, some with high emotions and a few tears, on just how important Pauls Valley General Hospital has been to them and the community as a whole over the years.

The hospital’s chief executive officer, Jim Clough, said the vigil was an important thing for hospital employees and other members of the community.

“It’s critical because we need God’s help and God’s blessing,” Clough said.

“There’s not any one organization that can turn it around without help,” he said.

“It takes a team effort, and we do need God’s wisdom and strength.”

For some the rally was not so much about a sales tax election coming on March 4 to benefit the hospital, which continues to battle financial difficulties.

Instead, the idea was simply to bring people together for some prayers of support for the hospital.

As a local pastor Perla Goody described specific times from the past where the hospital was instrumental in saving lives and helping others in pain after they lost a loved one.

“This hospital has cared for each and every one of these individuals,” Goody said.

“We went above and beyond what a lot of hospitals would do,” she said. “We need to focus on the good things — the good it’s done.”

“God bless this hospital,” said Connie Wright.

“It’s a hospital full of angels, doctors who have saved so many lives. God give us the strength to work here,” Wright added.

Rita Phillips, a nurse at the PV hospital for about three decades, can’t imagine not having a hospital here, which could happen if the tax proposal goes down to defeat.

“I can’t tell you how many lives we’ve touched at this hospital,” Phillips said.

“To not have it, I can’ even fathom it.”

If voters say yes on election day and pass the measure, revenues generated by the half cent sales tax are earmarked strictly for helping the hospital make capital improvements, specifically diagnostic equipment and services.

Pauls Valley voters have until Wednesday, Feb. 26 to request mailed absentee ballots for the election.

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