Submitted on behalf of Tom Cable, PeaceHealth Peace Island Community Board chair, and Merry-Ann Keane, chief administrative officer at PeaceHealth Peace Island
PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center opened five years ago on Nov. 17. With intention, the doors officially opened at 11:17 a.m. that morning, a nod to the date and to the address of the new facility: 1117 Spring Street.
While that date and time marked the medical center’s official opening, the genesis of this community-based care center began many years earlier. A team of community members led an effort to bring integrated, quality healthcare to the island. They began a pursuit of potential partners long before they knew where the hospital might be built.
After a thorough search, islanders put their trust in PeaceHealth, a Northwest-based healthcare system with a 126-year heritage with a Mission of respect, compassion and caring that lives through its caregivers today.
Since that beginning collaboration with islanders, we have shared a vision: improved access to essential healthcare on-island; an emergency department, primary care, and specialty services—including cancer treatment—so that residents needn’t leave home for such vital care; and all in a facility that would be beautiful, sustainable, and representative of the island’s culture and values.
In just five years, we have touched more than 82,000 lives across our service area – more than 10 times the population of San Juan Island. Nearly one-third of those visits were for care that used to require going off-island. We have delivered state and national award-winning emergency care to more than 13,000.
Since 2012 we have expanded services at PeaceHealth Peace Island so patients can stay on-island for specialty care such as cancer and cardiology, diagnostic imaging and outpatient orthopedic, GI and general surgery. And we offer telemedicine, one more way to bring high-level care close to home.
It isn’t just about convenience; it’s about providing the right care, at the right time, in the right way. For example, end-of-life care, for which PeaceHealth caregivers respectfully honor patients’ Advanced Directives, is part of the essential continuum of holistic care that also includes supporting health and wellness in the first years of life. And by continuing to collaborate with the county’s Department of Health to improve childhood immunization rates, for example, we can make an important difference in our children’s, and our community’s, health.
It’s been a great five years. Thank you for being there from the very beginning: choosing PeaceHealth; finding the family homestead that could be home to our medical center; helping to create a beautiful healing environment; celebrating and supporting each milestone, award, and new service; and being part of an award-winning healthcare team. There is more work ahead; and once again, it’s going to take collaboration toward a shared vision. If our first five years are any indication, we’ll get there…together!