Gary Horton | Yes, We Do All Get Along


“Why can’t we all just get along?” Uttering these simple yet seemingly unattainable words, none other than Rodney King went down in public memory as a fatally flawed yet nascent philosopher.

Why can’t we all get along? What’s so darn hard about mutual cooperation?

Well, I’ve got news for you: we most often do.

Yet, with all the never-ending political rancor coming out of the White House and Congress, and ever-present tweets bashing this, that, or him or her, we feel like we’re constantly at one another’s throats. Perhaps Washington politics is actually that way. Maybe we’ve got bought-off boneheads calling our national shots. But maybe rancor is just getting amplified by the media because, like sex, a good fight sells.

After all, where would Info Wars or Rush Limbaugh or MSNBC be without windmills at which to joust? Who would watch TV just to see people politely agree with each other?

But ditch the national news and we see we’re much more civil than we think we are, even among folks of differing religions, races, politics and persuasions. Oh, disagree we may, but be constructive, we nearly almost always are. So, take heart, we’re not yet a lost civilization…

Carrie and I had the fine opportunity of hosting an informational fundraiser for Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital at our home last week. A wide assortment of dedicated SCV residents stopped by and learned about the new tower being finished up and the exciting new services to be provided to the community.

And it is exciting. New all-private rooms, some 90-plus new beds, new women’s and maternity facilities, on-roof helipad and much, much more. But this level of construction is costly, at approximately $160 million, and the hospital is fundraising to help cover the downstroke on the financing arrangements.

Yes, the process of providing critically needed care carries serious costs.

The folks attending our event are mostly already active in varied community concerns, and was also manifest, come from a wide political spectrum. Those attending certainly wouldn’t all agree on many national or state policies. But all understand that eventually all our lives intersect in common cause and providing much-needed hospital services to our community members transcends almost any other difference.

We’re all born, and we’ll all get sick, and likely, we’ll all end up sometime in emergency care, a trauma center, an ICU, or operating theater. We’ll all need expert, urgent medical care when the time comes. And Henry Mayo is the only game in town when time is short and the going gets tough and the conditions are serious.

Quick fact: Way back at the start, it took Henry Mayo 40 years to serve its first 1 million patients. With all the growth in the SCV, it’s now estimated that HMNH will serve 1 million in just the next 12 years. Henry Mayo will serve three times the volume on the same patch of land we’ve all driven by for so many years. Building upward is mandatory to keep up with the intense need. Today, HMNH sees 70,000 patients a year. Most come through the emergency room doors. It’s a busy and very needed and appreciated place!

When it’s 2 a.m. and you have to call the ambulance, or there’s yet another crash up on the interstate, or you fell off your ladder and hit your head – time is everything and every minute counts. HMNH is the only local trauma center quickly reachable. Its very community location may save your life someday. Or, you need cardiac services or maternity services or hip surgery and don’t want to fight traffic up and down into the valley. Ditto again – Henry Mayo is your only local option – and it comes with a big plus. It’s a modern, 4-star-rated hospital and is among California’s very best.

The folks at our fundraiser know all this. And they know, as you likely know, we’ll never see another multi-billion-dollar hospital in the SCV in our lifetimes. The cost is simply too prohibitive. The SCV is a one-pony show when it comes to this level of medical care, so helping HMNH keep up with both demand and state of medical arts is of top concern to all, transcending any other differences we otherwise might share.

We can all get along when we get behind great common causes like Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, where you come from or how you think. Like good schools and safe communities, we’re all together on this one.

Working together on such good causes also has a great side benefit: It brings us closer and builds bridges and community. It makes friends. It gets us connected. It helps us feel good to help others.

The SCV is blessed with many opportunities to volunteer, serve, and to contribute to – all bettering the lives of all those around us. Helping Henry Mayo help us is surely at the top of the list. To learn how you might help, call 661-200-1200 for the Hospital Foundation.

And yes, on the important stuff, we really can all get along, we really do work together, and we make great things happen together. Indeed, building good community together is the keynote history and culture of the entire SCV.

Gary Horton is a Santa Clarita resident. His column, “Full Speed to Port!” appears Wednesdays in The Signal.

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