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This week, NICHE celebrates two months of existence. It’s been a whirlwind summer, with a tremendous amount of volunteer time and effort driving the process. But the most important element is you, the people who read our posts and visit our Facebook page. YOU are NICHE as much as anyone else. We thank you for your support.

This milestone also provides a good opportunity for us to reflect and reaffirm why we exist. NICHE was founded as an educational entity. We saw activity in our community that threatened quality of care and we sought to shed light on problems we believe can and should be resolved. Moreover, what drives us is what’s at stake. That includes questions that all of us should be asking. Including…

– What if CHS’s cost cutting were to result in someone we love losing their job?

– What if CHS’s cost-cutting were to compromise the health—or, dare we say, the life–of someone we love?

– What is the result of local control over LHN being diminished–or lost entirely?

– What is the effect on our community when talented healthcare professionals are squeezed out of their jobs and decide to relocate?

– What’s the impact of when one of our two hospital systems becomes significantly less competitive?

– What are the ethics of CHS and its executives?

– What, ultimately, is at stake when companies put profits before people?

We will continue to explore these questions and invite you to do the same. As always, your comments are welcome here, if you wish to speak publicly, and anonymously at Thank you for being part of the conversation for the past two months, and please keep our momentum going.