A new “Yakima Valley Memorial” sign is photographed Friday, March 12, 2021, along Tieton Drive in Yakima, Wash. Virginia Mason Memorial reverted to its previous name — Yakima Valley Memorial — reflecting its transition to an independent, local health care system.

To the editor — Being a retired nurse of 35 years, the commentary by 37 local retired physicians on medical care in our beloved community certainly did not fall on deaf ears ("Yakima Valley Memorial must be leader in building robust regional health care system," April 4). I cannot tell you how many people, particularly of my age (baby boomers) who cannot find physicians on this side of the mountain for many of their health needs. Many go to Seattle, Issaquah, Bellevue or the Tri-Cities, either by choice or by referral from another physician who reluctantly share that we simply do not have the right doctor in this vicinity with whom they can partner for their patient's care.

Yes, financially it is a hardship for many. I, as a retired home health and hospice nurse, have come in contact with many who have simply said they cannot afford the needed travel on a frequent basis for follow-up visits. Many travel outside our community for surgeries i.e. hip and knee replacements, back surgery, second opinions on any kind of life-threatening diagnosis or chronic illnesses.

Kudos to all of the caring physicians who signed this article. Thank you for speaking the truth!