I recently facilitated the public forum hosted by the Hospital Taxing District commissioners. They provided a thorough update on their efforts to develop a plan and a budget for sustainable medical services for the community. They are deep into assessing needs and focusing on the gap in after-hours urgent care. Urgent care is defined as medical issues that require quick or immediate assessment and treatment, like a cut that requires stitches. (This is different from emergent care, like a cardiac issue, which requires EMS support).
Currently, if you need stitches after 5 or on weekends, you need to go to Friday Harbor or the mainland for care. The Commissioners would like to be able to support such care on island going forward.
Cost is a concern, as is the current UW Neighborhood Clinic model, which has been developed based on the needs of communities that have access to an Emergency Room as well as Minute Clinics. Orcas lacks both, so something will need to shift to provide expanded coverage. Complicated issues, but it is clear we elected a great team to serve as commissioners; we are very fortunate as they have a challenging job ahead of them.
The Orcas Island Film Fest launches next week. There are many wonderful pictures coming.
I am heading into a weekend of pepper and tomato harvesting. Please send favorite sauce, salsa, and pickle recipes!