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Lincoln Daily News welcomes letters of appreciation, information and opinion on matters pertaining to the community. 
Controversial issues:
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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

Letters must include the writer's name, telephone number, and postal address or e-mail address (we will not publish address or phone number information). Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to reduce their size or to correct obvious errors. Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as many acceptable letters as space allows.

Congratulations, Lincoln, on new Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Springfield Clinic

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To the editor:

Congratulations, Lincoln. We had the privilege of attending the opening and ribbon-cutting of the new Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Springfield Clinic. As we listened to the speakers and toured the modern, state-of-the-art building, we thought of the sheer pride our father, Emil Stahlhut, would have felt for the forward thinking that this building represents in the Lincoln community.

During the 30 years that he was CEO, Mr. Stahlhut oversaw many changes in health care, including the advent of personal health insurance and of Medicare and Medicaid. He was considered ahead of his time when he encouraged doctors who had been practicing independently in the area to come together and have a joint practice at ALMH (a precursor to the Family Medical Group). That allowed Lincoln to recruit new doctors and made it possible for specialists from larger hospitals to come weekly to Lincoln to see their patients. He also started the 24-hour emergency room, the hospital-based ambulance and paramedic system in Lincoln, the hospice program, the Logan County Mental Health Clinic, and the Logan County Health Department. These were all momentous changes at the time and did not come easily.

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Although Mr. Stahlhut spearheaded all of these changes, they would not have taken off without the collaboration and support of the Lincoln community looking to the future in making these difficult decisions. The community has been able to stretch beyond the "usual and customary" and strive for quality.

Congratulations on your new hospital and physician clinic and for continuing to be a leader in meeting the medical needs in central Illinois.

Also we extend a warm thank-you from our family for honoring our father with the naming of Stahlhut Drive -- the new address for the building (and good luck on the spelling!).

From proud former Lincolnites,
The Stahlhut family

[Posted March 18, 2011]

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