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Guest Contribution: Dustin W. Evans, Libertarian Candidate for Virginia House of 16th District.

Opt Ed letters are a powerful medium of communication. It allows us as readers of a publication to let the authors of an article how we feel.

Writing for Virginia Right is an honor. And the greatest thing is getting direct feedback from our readers. Some agree and some do not. However the open line of communication is there.
This opt ed response letter was sent to me by Dustin W. Evans, Libertarian Candidate for Virginia House of Delegates 16th District which includes:
This is Dustin’s personal response to a piece written in the Martinsville Bulletin 
Please find the original article here for your review.
Diagnosis incomplete on treatment for hospitals in Martinsville, Danville and 2 other citiesDiagnosis incomplete on treatment for hospitals in Martinsville, Danville and 2 other citiesThe retired Navy captain from Virginia Beach who took it upon himself to raise questions about the quality of health care in Martinsville, Danville and two other cities indicates he
The article was written by Mr. Paul Collins.  As the Director of Communications and Media for the Committee to Elect Dustin W Evans it is my honor and privilege to share Dustin’s perspective with you. I have had the opportunity to share phone calls and email correspondence with Mr. Collins. Paul thank you and the Martinsville Bulletin for providing fair and balanced reporting of the Libertarian perspective. Many papers in the Commonwealth freeze us out. But, you all have treated us with “small town respect”.

I wish other publications did that. It is why people like me create my own media and contribute to Virginia Right.

Dustin W. Evans’ Response:
As a local I grew up hearing horror stories about the hospitals around our area. A common joke I heard many times was “If I am dying, just throw me in the car and drive me to the Eden hospital”. Perhaps, this gallows humor was how we coped with what is actually a serious issue.

​On April 2, 2019 this publication ran a story about our lackluster health care. An article detailing James C. Sherlock’s findings on the medical coverage in Virginia. Danville and Martinsville hospitals both ranked in the 6% worst in the country.  I am sure a great many in our area breathed a sigh of relief that day that maybe something would finally be done. However, it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. The bureaucrats in our state appear to be doing nothing in regards to correcting the situation. I decided to write this article as not only the opponent of Les Adams in the House of Delegates Election, but as a concerned citizen.

​On June 24, 2015 my step grandmother was transported to Sovah health- Danville for a suspected stroke. For 5 days she sat in the ICU unresponsive. The doctors refused to administer an M.R.I., for they felt she did not suffer from a stroke, but rather she was simply depressed. My aunt who is a neuro surgery tech at UVA went to the hospital to visit her, and found her unresponsive. She had been placed in a chair, with another chair lodged against the chair she was placed in to prevent her from falling off. She was unable to feed herself, and she was unresponsive with her eyes closed. Her heart monitor highlighted that she was AFIB (irregular heartbeat), when brought to the attention of the staff, my aunt was told “it always says that”.  My aunt spoke to her doctor, and gave her credentials and recommended an M.R.I. be administered. After which she was informed by the doctor (who I will not name) “This is the problem with America, everyone wants unnecessary test done”. At this point my family was notified that my step grandmother would be transferred to a nursing home. Our family was told nothing was wrong with my step grandmother other than her being simply depressed. By then the head of neurosurgery from UVA contacted Sovah health-Danville to discuss that they had spoken to my aunt and believe she did in fact have a stroke.  After this, she was transferred in the middle of the night without her records to UVA. Where upon immediate test determined the right side of her cerebral cortex was dead, and she did indeed have a stroke.

​I wish, this was the end of her misery but it was not. On January 3, 2018 she was taken to the hospital by my grandfather. She was experiencing what she believed to be a heart attack.

Unfortunately, at the time there were no cardiac procedures in place (It should be noted that such procedures are now in place after my family filed complaints and met with the head of the hospital). She had to wait in the waiting room for a few hours. Eventually she was taken back, however no blood work or chest x-rays were taken. An electro-cardiogram was taken, whichshowed no signs. However, she was a diabetic which will lead to a misdiagnosis. At this point she was given a baby aspirin and lead back out to the waiting room to continue to wait. After 5 hours of sitting in the waiting room they decided to leave. Eight days later on January 11 my step grandmother passed away.

​This is infuriating because it is not a new story. If you live here, you most likely have heard a horrifying story in regards to our hospitals. What makes this even more disturbing is the level of arrogance and disregard our officials have for our safety. Les Adam’s response alone was a complete and utter nothing answer. Adams said he had brought it up to the CEO of Lifepoint. He went on to say “Obviously we’re always looking at how to improve our healthcare and how it is delivered”. Has it honestly been looked into? Truthfully, I do not believe he has. Les Adam’s apathetic response is a telling hand, as well as the contributions he has received from Lifepoint to his political campaign.

​What is needed, is a complete repeal of Certificate of Public Need laws in the state of Virginia.  Which limits the number of healthcare providers based off of a public need. What this essentially does is protect hospitals from any competition. Which further allows them to raise rates, and provide subpar service while we suffer. With the repealing of Certificate of Public Need laws, training will increase and will lead to better pay for the employees. While at the same time providing better care because it will increase competition in the marketplace.​While there may be some that say that 1 star hospitals are better than no stars. I am here to tell you we deserve better. An empty threat of, something is better than nothing is not good enough for the citizens of our area. People should not live in fear of going to the hospitals because of lackluster care. With respect to the staff, I wholeheartedly believe that there are hardworking caretakers that work there. However, because the way these hospitals are being ran, they are not receiving the training and tools they deserve, to better serve their patients. ​

​We should be able to receive the best care available, and the fact that politicians are not repealing these laws is truly despicable. In my opinion, it truly says that their values lay in whoever is funding them, rather than the good of the people they are elected to represent. If one truly cares they should look at the research Mr. Sherlock presented and take action to help the people, instead of keeping laws in place that force the government to financially safeguard hospitals from any competitors.

Dustin W. Evans Libertarian Candidate for Virginia House of Delegates 16th District (Martinsville, parts of Henry and Pittsylvania Counties)

About Corey Fauconier

Corey “Sage” Fauconier is a native of Cambria Heights, Queens, New York who currently resides in Chesterfield County, Virginia. He is a graduate of Hampton University with a degree in Political Science (1994) and a Paralegal Studies Certificate (1996). Former Libertarian Candidate for Virginia State Senate (2017). First Black Communications Chair of the Libertarian Party (2016), Lobby Day Leader for the Virginia Citizens Defense League, second amendment supporter, volunteer with Generation Hip Hop VA and host of independent podcast Talks Over Drinks in Richmond, Virginia.

2 Responses to “Guest Contribution: Dustin W. Evans, Libertarian Candidate for Virginia House of 16th District.”

  1. What a horrible, sad story. We place a lot of trust in medical professionals and the institutions that provide our health care, especially in emergencies. We need to hold them accountable when they betray this trust – and support families and friends when it leads to this kind of personal loss. My sympathies to this family.

    As a candidate for public office in a rural district in Virginia I think a lot about this issue. If Certificates of Public Need protect for-profit hospitals like this from competition then yes, they need to go.

    But CoPN are not the only component of this problem. Competition in the health care market often fails to deliver good outcomes (unless by “good outcome” you mean “profits for health care companies”) for several reasons. One is that providers can charge whatever they want for life-saving care. They can inflate the price of medications or treatments far beyond the cost of production because the consumer simply has no choice: if they insulin to survive, they will pay a high cost for insulin. The idea that insulin producers should be able to get a return on their investment makes intuitive sense. But in this case we have to think about what a “fair” return on investment looks like. We’re not talking about cars and toasters here.

    Even if we disregard the issue of how a market can function when consumers simply have to have the product right now to survive – no shopping for best quality and price possible – the question of ability to pay cannot be ignored. People without insurance or the means to pay out of pocket for expensive tests and procedures may have difficulty receiving the care they need. And more competition won’t improve health care services if few people in a region can pay for them. Don’t expect providers to move in after repeal of CoPN if no customer base with money or insurance exists.

    This is a moral issue. None of us can make a claim to care about protecting life if we associate wealth with life-saving health care.

    It’s also a liberty issue. None of us can be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness if tied to a job or place because it’s the only way we can get the health care we need to survive.

    Millions of people go without this health care in the US today. The system is broken. Yes, Certificates of Public Need contributed to breaking it. But they’re not the only culprit, and we need to think carefully about how to improve the system from the bottom up.

    Stan Scott
    Democratic Candidate
    Virginia Senate 4th District


  1. […] an activist. It is important to hold public officials accountable even if I like them! Here is a guest contribution from Evans (hat tip to my dear friend Corey Fauconier) and here is his campaign FB […]

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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