The Coalition for Orcas Health Care (COHC) wants to hear from as many folks in the community as possible. Toward that goal, it has planned four Town Hall-style meetings over the next few months to hold a community conversation about the proposed Public Hospital District.

The first two meetings will be to share general information, the third to provide information about Public Hospital Districts and how they work. The fourth will allow commissioner candidates to make their case before the public. The Town Hall meetings are currently scheduled as follows:

  • Town Hall #1 – November 30, 2017, 5:30-7:00 PM, Eastsound Fire Station
  • Town Hall #2 – December 18, 2017, 5:30-7:00 PM, School Cafeteria
  • Town Hall #3 – January 24, 2018, 5:30-7:00 PM, Eastsound Fire Station
  • Town Hall #4 – March 14, 2018, 5:30-7:00 PM, Eastsound Fire Station

The resolution to create a Public Hospital District was passed by the San Juan County Council during its meeting on October 31. The resolution will now go on the April 24 Special Election ballot. The proposed Hospital District comprises the four voting precincts on Orcas Island. The ballot will include a separate section for the election of five, at-large Hospital District Commissioners. Candidate filing for Commissioner positions has been scheduled by the County Elections office for Feb. 5 through 9, 2018. “Hospital District” is the legal term the ballot measure must use. District funds are not intended to build a hospital, however, but to support primary care (clinic visits) plus urgent medical care both during and after regular office hours.

COHC members believe that a hospital district is needed to support the basic health care needs of the entire community, and feel it’s important to hear from as many Orcas residents as possible. “We want to hear people’s concerns about their health care needs and what it might mean for them to have a Hospital District on Orcas,” said Julie Gottman, COHC Member.

In addition to the larger Town Hall meetings, COHC is scheduling civic group presentations and neighborhood meetings. “The voices in our community matter and we look forward to engaging Orcas citizens in the conversation about a Public Hospital District,” said Dale Heisinger, COHC member. For more information, see the Coalition’s website at: