SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Re: Wilson Clinic
By Dave Kiffer


April 27, 2007

I agree with Janet Spear that it is sad that the hospital is "retiring" the name of the Wilson Clinic.

I guess I should be happy that Peace Health kept the name for such a long time after the Wilson family left the local medical community, but it is unfortunate that it has chosen to replace with something as bland and - unfortunately - "clinical" as "Peace Health Primary Care."

It reminds me of another recent hospital change when "Island View Manor" became the incomprehensibly vague "New Horizons Transitional Care Unit." Not all change is for the better.

It is interesting to think of how we commemorate important local people and how transitory those commemorations can be. For example as we have replaced airport ferries in the past few years, we lost important commemorations.

Dick Borch and Ken Eichner, giants in our local search and rescue communities, lost their commemorations when their ferries were "retired." The same could happen the borough replaces the ferry "Bob Ellis" in the next few years.

Sometimes, local officials will downplay the need for naming things after important local people by noting that years later no one remembers what the person was famous for. To me, when people ask who Ernest Houghtaling - for example - was, it gives me the opportunity to talk about his years of service on the school board.

I would hope that Peace Health will at least keep the Wilson name on the clinic building so that when someone asks who the building was named after I can say that Dr. Arthur Wilson Senior was there when I was born and his sons Dr. James and Art Junior where there to keep me healthy when I was growing up. I'm sure that a lot of Ketchikan residents can tell the same stories.

Dave Kiffer
Ketchikan, Alaska

Received April 25, 2007 - Published April 27, 2007



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