As a history buff and newspaper journalist, I love looking at old newspapers. And having grown up in the West, I love looking at the early days of newspapers that often opened in communities before …
As a history buff and newspaper journalist, I love looking at old newspapers. And having grown up in the West, I love looking at the early days of newspapers that often opened in communities before they were even formed into official towns. These papers were bent on reporting the news, but they were also unabashed cheerleaders of their town.
In early Tribunes, the paper reported on the comings and goings, and also the many reasons why more people should move there, from the nice people to the prime agricultural ground created by the irrigation recently made possible by the completion of the Shoshone Dam (later Buffalo Bill Dam) project.
Obviously, times have changed and the early boosterism of towns has changed into far too often the paper having a cynical appraisal of town government, even its people. We try to avoid that in Powell and stick to a true community journalism lens, focusing on the people and institutions that make this town such a great place to live (just ask the record amount of newcomers across the county). And, while we’re not quite as blatant in our cheerleading as those early papers were, it’s still nice to brag every once in awhile.
Powell Valley Hospital staff and board members came to that conclusion last week after a board member brought up conversations she has heard in town from others who say Cody’s hospital has cheaper procedures and thus worth the drive, and due to an ad campaign from the county’s other hospital promoting use of a breast cancer procedure that Powell’s Dr. Carletta Collins has done for years.
We don’t have to criticize another town’s institutions (unlike some of those old time newspapermen) but I think we can still maintain our integrity as an ethical newspaper while cheering on the good happening in our town. And it’s nice to have a hospital in town that does care about the community and is committed to doing what’s best for the people it serves.
At this most recent board meeting, for instance, CEO Terry Odom spoke glowingly about departments who reported very high scores in patient evaluations, but also highlighted those that had lower scores and thus need to work harder to focus on providing better patient satisfaction. That’s a good way to operate, of making sure to highlight the good and also to learn from the bad.
Like the hospital, we’ll continue to report the less savory news in town, such as busted drug dealers, but also the good news, like Powell Valley Healthcare making a point to increase customer satisfaction — heck, they even welcomed the community to the hospital last Wednesday to meet staff and the three newest providers.
Our fair city in the Big Horn Basin, well watered and well appointed thanks to work of many hands more than 100 years ago, remains a jewel worth bragging about.