The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 11, 2013

Committee 'exhausting efforts' to keep day care open

(Continued)

Lindenmayer said he advised the former Ottumwa Regional Health Foundation of the significant costs involved in this model, “but [former foundation president Michael Feinstein] wasn’t interested in hearing that.”

The hospital said Dionne was not available for comment Wednesday morning; however, Suzie Wood, ORHC executive director of development, said the date to close the day care has not been extended.

“The meeting was a closed meeting,” she said. “We will be working with key community leaders to see if we can find an alternative situation for them.”

The discussion resulted in one possible idea: reach out to local businesses “that may be able to subsidize or contribute financially to keeping the day care open,” Schuttlefield said. “Mr. Dionne and Dr. Lindenmayer are committed. I talked to [Dionne] this morning, and he’s already working on three possible dates to meet with businesses.”

Lindenmayer said the idea to reach out to local businesses for financial help was only one idea discussed Tuesday, and no meetings had been set up as of Wednesday.

“We’re going to commit some people to start a dialogue on whether it should — or can — be addressed,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s the job of local businesses to do that. There may be some interest in that, but to pick up a tab for $130,000 is a lot. I don’t know that businesses, given the economy we’re coming out of, I don’t know how much interest or ability they have in underwriting something like that.”

He noted that neither the hospital nor the college’s mission is to “provide child care to the masses.”

“That’s part of the problem,” he said. “It doesn’t have the capacity to handle all the community needs, and it’s not built on a financial model that would allow us to do that.”

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