EDITORIAL | Steward Healthcare owes Texarkana an explanation on the future of the new Wadley Hospital

Workers erect office buildings for Robins & Morton at the construction site of Wadley Regional Medical Center on Friday afternoon, Jan. 13, 2022, in Texarkana, Texas. The project, at University Avenue and West Park Boulevard, is expected to be complete in 2024. The hospital will remain at its current location, 1000 Pine St., until construction is complete. (Staff photo by Stevon Gamble)
Workers erect office buildings for Robins & Morton at the construction site of Wadley Regional Medical Center on Friday afternoon, Jan. 13, 2022, in Texarkana, Texas. The project, at University Avenue and West Park Boulevard, is expected to be complete in 2024. The hospital will remain at its current location, 1000 Pine St., until construction is complete. (Staff photo by Stevon Gamble)

Communication is important in all aspects of life.

It's important in personal relationships, professional ones and possibly most vital in the development of community.

Steward Healthcare has done a remarkably poor job of communicating. This week, it became public that the construction of the new Wadley Regional Medical Facility paused. Despite our numerous attempts to contact Steward Healthcare, Wadley's parent company, over the last few weeks we've heard nothing.

But it's not just us. The prevailing sentiment from most of the community is Steward has been silent. They do not respond to phone calls, or emails. Nationally, they are facing financial hurdles of the highest degree. It has led to questions locally about Wadley's current viability and the future of its $250,000,000 facility. We don't know if or when it will be completed.

And no one knows the answers to these questions. We're not sure if Steward knows the answer, however silence in the face of rampant uncertainty is unacceptable.

Texarkana and its citizens put their faith in this company to deliver a state-of-the-art facility providing the area with pristine medical care. We and the community at large supported this initiative with the pomp and circumstance it deserved. Yet, here we are in the dark with no answers on the future of this building. It's unacceptable.

Problems arise. We get that. The newspaper industry is far from financially secure. But this organization has taken on the task of building something that would ultimately be a pillar of the Twin Cities. They owe it to all of us to be forthright, clear or at the very least respond with a "no comment."

But silence? It's offensive and unprofessional. It's disrespectful to the city, to hospital employees, but most importantly citizens who hoped for a medical facility unlike any we have seen.

We hope Steward is able to find a path to financial success. We hope they're able to complete construction of the hospital. We are still rooting for them. But until they are clear about the situation, we have no faith or trust in their ability to complete the hospital.

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