As with most proposed taxes the Grady Memorial Hospital sales tax has come with may questions and possible misconceptions.

GMH has announced an upcoming public forum at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 28 in the Davis Hall Amphitheater at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

While GMH CEO, Kean Spellman and others have answered questions via social media, Spellman said a face-to-face discussion is better.

“Whether or not the hospital itself is threatened with closure if the new surgery center isn’t built, how the decision will affect the local economy, and whether the hospital could be sold – these are questions people want answered. And there are solid answers available," Spellman said in a news release.

Grady County residents will have the opportunity to vote regarding the .25 of a cent sales tax on Feb. 9, 2016.

"Since this hospital has operated for 57 years without any local tax support, the are plenty of curious people who wonder what the project is all about and what will be accomplished over the next 20 years if the sales tax is approved by local voters," Spellman said.

The tax has been earmarked for facility construction, building renovation, and capital equipment such as air conditioners, operating room tables and lights.

"There is a portion, 11.5 percent which will fund emergency ambulance services in the county as well.” Spellman said.

Earlier this month, Spellman released a sort-of ‘State of the Hospital’ report called Healthcare 2020. A copy is available from hospital staff or on the Friends of Grady Memorial Facebook page, www.facebook.com/friendsofgrady.

The report answers many of the questions that GMH leaders have heard in recent weeks, but a public discussion will allow concerned community members to be heard and accurate answers provided.

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