\’We Are A Community That Likes To Be Involved,\’ Health and Safety Are Concerns

The 5A Advisory Neighborhood Commission held their monthly meeting on Wednesday at Bernie Backus, UDC.  Not sure if it\’s the topic on the agenda or more of an interest in community drawing the numbers, but it was well attended.  This as many developments are underway in Ward 5 such as Providence Hospital going through a vigorous name change and transition of patient care services.  Add a spike in gun violence across the city, many residents want to ensure their community is cared for in an adequate and sustainable manner, but most of all safe.

\"\"Forth District Commander Randy Griffin of the Metropolitan Police Department informed the community they are taking more of a holistic approach to address the crimes. Unfortunately, the community must understand gun violence isn\’t specifically a police problem according to Commander Griffin, and more police don\’t solve the problem. Hopefully the holistic approach is the starting point for the solution. That way the community can see the plan of action being carried out.  And since the streets south of Michigan Avenue are 5th District now, it is possible.

What currently has to be figured out, is how Providence Healthcare will address the concerns of the community along with being able to provide the requested information to the 5A ANC Commissioners by the March 7th deadline.  Representative Amha Selassie of the D.C. Department of Health presented some suggestions. However, had no plan of support in hand to give the Commissioners or share with the community.  Mr. Selassie\’s suggestions were in support of Providence Hospital review of the Certificate of Need.  Moreover, his purpose was to provide some clarity of the process, so Commissioner Washington was thankful he was present.

The Certificate of Need (CON), is the first permit that a healthcare provider needs before establishing a new service, facility, or before they provide the Letter of Intent, and before they spend $2.5 million dollars.  During the application review, the Certificate of Need must explain what they will be doing, what kind of patients they will have, and what services they will provide.  One facet of the application requirement is that every applicant must inform the Neighborhood Advisory Commission.  They sometimes receive input from the Commissioners, however the Letter of Support (from the ANC) for the Certificate of Need is not required. The only rule is that they are informed. \”And we want to be informed of the process,\” stated Chairman Edwards.

Commissioner Emily Singer Lucio was assuming Providence Hospital would notify them specifically of what the tone of their request is. \”Absolutely,\” replied Mr. Selassie. That is the whole purpose. It serves two good purposes according to Mr. Selassie:

  1. It gives the public a chance to know what is coming into their neighborhood.
  2. It also notifies them of who is coming into their neighborhood.

Commissioner Washington was interested as to how will they know when the application is in.  To which she learned, the applicant has to write a   \"\"

letter specifically to the Ward 5 ANC Commissioner. Commissioner Washington wanted further clarity on the Providence Hospital CON that expired last year, and if it can be transferred or if it covered the current request.  Because of the new entity, Providence is providing a Health Village, along with provisional healthcare services including family medicine, internal medicine and geriatrics.  The applicant of the Certificate of Need was present at the meeting, and did receive the support of the ANC Commission as long as Providence Health Services can provide the following:

  1. Commission sees the application
  2. Commission would like to see the Letter of Support from the other ANCs
  3. Provide a confirmation to the Commission they have spoken to Councilmember McDuffie

Moreover, the Commissioners want to avoid any appearance of a work around process for the Certificate of Need.  A decrease in services was the reason for Providence Hospital\’s closure. The curtailment of service does not align with the needs of the community. 

The meeting was adjourned around 9:02 pm.

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