Letter: Hospitals could fall

January 27th, 2010

Palo Alto Daily News,

Dear Editor:

Unimaginable devastation barely describes the images coming out of Haiti. The Haitian earthquake and our own recent seismic activity in Silicon Valley and Eureka are disturbing reminders of what could happen here. Palo Alto is within hiking distance of one of the most destructive faults in North America.

Most choose to think about health care and hospital facilities in generalities, until the fever persists, the drunken driver veers, the knife slips, or that which occurred in Haiti suddenly happens here.

Fortunately, in Palo Alto, we have immediate access to world-class medical care at the Stanford University Medical Center.

The medical center’s renewal project will provide us with a new, seismically safe hospital, but this project has been under discussion by the Palo Alto City Council for more than three years. The project deserves careful review, but as a voting resident of this city, I ask the council to at least commit to a schedule to complete the review and approval process in 2010. Time and disaster stand together when action is not taken. The renewal project not only ensures our safety, but it also brings jobs, significant fees to the city, a mitigation package for the community and revenue for local businesses.

I want Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital there—standing and safe—when my family and I need them. Don’t you?

Laura Adams
Palo Alto