Hospital board seeking input on financial challenges, personnel changes at medical center when it meets tonight, at 5 p.m.

The Inter Island Medical Center continues to face staffing and financial challenges.

The Board of Directors of the San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 has been reviewing options at its regular meetings, and public is encouraged to join the discussions.

The board of directors meets the third Wednesday of each month, beginning at 5 p.m., in the Frank Wilson EMS Building, 540 Spring Street. The board will discuss an assortment of financial challenges and possible solutions to overcome those challenges when it meets tonight, June 15.

Inter Island Medical Center is facing a significant reduction in providers during the next four months, its busiest season.  Recruiting for a new, full-time provider is under way, but the process could be lengthy.

In addition, the IIMC's financial challenges are being made more difficult by increasing costs and decreasing reimbursements. The staff has been modifying procedures and reducing expenses in attempts to improve the financial picture. All IIMC staff and providers have taken cuts in pay as well as in work days.

The district board and the medical center's professional staff are considering several options, including:

— A temporary levy lift to cover obligations incurred before the PeaceHelath Peace Island Medical Center is operating in late 2012.

— Possible changes in medical 24/7 urgent care coverage (24/7 EMS response and operations would not be changed).

— Fundraising and philanthropy.

The board urges residents to join them at its next meeting, June 15, and at subsequent meetings to explore these and other options.

San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 is a junior taxing district that operates clinic-based medical services with 24/7 urgent-care services at Inter Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor. It also operates San Juan Island EMS and Island Air Ambulance, which provide emergency medical services, critical-care transport, and injury and accident prevention programs.

The hospital district is comprised of San Juan Island, the Town of Friday Harbor and Brown, Stuart, Johns, Speiden, Pearl and Henry islands, located in San Juan County, Wash.


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