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Letters to the Editor

Skiff a part of Newton heritage

I, like Mr. Faircloth and Mr. Hurto in recent letters, feel like the stripping of the Skiff family name from our local hospital is a “slap in the face” of a local family with long historical ties to our community.  

As Mr. Hurto alluded to in his letter, I spent 25 years working for the Jewel Tea Company which was founded by Frank V. Skiff. Frank was the son of Mary Frances Skiff, the namesake of the local hospital.

Recently, while researching the history of the Jewel Co., I was impressed with the contributions of the Skiff family to our community. They were a family held in high regard by community businesses and residents. Now, to have the name wiped from a “monument” to the family is difficult to understand. It would be like Mr. Hatch, the new owner of the Maytag Hotel, deciding to call that building the Hatch Hotel.

Does history and its contribution to society have no significance to the present? Apparently not, in light of Mercy’s recent decision to eliminate the Skiff name from the local hospital’s name. Yet, the following quote appears in the January issue of Vital Signs, A Skiff Medical Center Employee Newsletter: “One thing to note is the words “Mercy” and “Skiff” will remain a core part of our brand name and story. 

Our heritage is important to us and this name has helped us build trust and brand equity in the minds of our patients and communities through decades of providing care.” Then why not call the hospital MercyOne Newton-Skiff Medical Center?

Bob L. Lane

Newton

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