Nearly 100 years ago, Skiff Medical Center was dedicated in memorial to Mary Frances Skiff, the deceased wife of Vernon Skiff.
It is thanks to the efforts of Mr. Skiff and many other local citizens that the hospital was built. It stands as a memorial to Mary Frances and the community that brought it into existence.
To rename it is no different than defacing a statue or any other monument. It is disrespectful. It is a theft of our cherished local history.
The current owners should not throw away that history as part of some monolithic branding campaign.
The places in our community have meaning, and their namesakes tell future generations about the people who built it. Emerson Hough, B. C. Berg, “Pop” Lynn, Fred Maytag, Mary Frances Skiff — these names ought to stand for all time.
So, call it “Skiff Medical Center, Part of the MercyOne Network of Fine Medical Centers” or some other corporate word soup, if they must. But let’s continue to keep and honor the local history of a name that has been part of our community for a century.