If you take a left out my front door and continue for not quite two miles you arrive at the region’s top rated hospital. I had the opportunity to avail myself of their emergency room services on Christmas Day of all days due to the presence of some very tiny, yet very painful, kidney stones. That it was Christmas morning, that I was unable to drive, and that my wife was unwilling to leave her eight year old daughter unattended at the house at 3 a.m. meant that logistics required her to make several trips (dropping me off, coming back after appropriate child care had been found, returning home to open presents, returning again to take me home). My wife commented on how the relative proximity made all of that relatively easy.
True as that was, when I was released from the hospital with a firm diagnosis and a prescription for some pain medication my wife, who hadn’t made it a custom to visit pharmacies on Christmas, asked two or three people in the employ of the medical center if they knew of an open pharmacy nearby? Every one had the same answer: they were not familiar with the area.
I’ve written before about the fact that Springfield, for all of its flaws, provides most of the region’s best jobs, but my intent here is not to focus so much on that as it is to simply state: Until the City of Springfield is perceived to be a place that can provide a quality of life such that doctors and nurses at the E.R. choose to live in close proximity to their place of employment it will not be a thriving metropolis.