Updated: Purchase agreement signed for hospital site

PeaceHealth officials announced July 8 they have signed a purchase agreement on a 22-acre site near Friday Harbor Airport where they plan to build a new integrated medical center and critical access hospital, scheduled to open in summer 2012.

The property is outside the Friday Harbor town limits and will need to be annexed. The seller is the Boe family. Terms of sale were not disclosed.

PeaceHealth and the San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 Commission in March approved a long-term agreement to significantly expand on-island healthcare services for hospital district residents and island visitors. The 50-year contract calls for PeaceHealth to build a new, fully integrated medical center located in Friday Harbor, including a new, expanded primary care and specialty clinic, expanded diagnostic services center, a 24-hour emergency room, and a 10-bed critical access hospital.

The property selected for the new healthcare facility is located at 1049 San Juan Valley Road, adjacent to the Friday Harbor Airport and just minutes from downtown Friday Harbor.

“Both the physical beauty of this property and its location make this the perfect place for PeaceHealth to build our community healthcare facility and for the district to co-locate our new EMS facilities,” Hospital District Commission Chairwoman Lenore Bayuk said in an announcement released by PeaceHealth.

“This is another significant step forward in our process to increase access and provide for the long-term healthcare needs of hospital district residents and island visitors.”

Peter Adler, PeaceHealth’s senior vice president of strategy, innovation and development, added, “This property will enable the design of a new facility that will create a healing environment for patients and caregivers, and which will be consistent with the beauty of the San Juan Islands. The timing of the land-purchase agreement keeps the new integrated medical center project right on timeline and on budget.”

Under the terms of the contract signed in March, local philanthropy will contribute $10 million toward capital costs for the new medical center and hospital. PeaceHealth will fund the remaining $20 million, own the property and new facility, and will have full responsibility for the delivery of ongoing patient care, staffing and operations when it opens in the year 2012.

The hospital district will continue to operate San Juan EMS, which will be based on the hospital site in a facility built by PeaceHealth at district expense, funded by the sale of the Inter Island Medical Center site. The district will contribute about $1 million in annual property tax revenues to subsidize medical services.

PeaceHealth recently appointed Jim Barnhart to lead the planning and implementation phase of building and operating the new facility. Barnhart has served for nearly two decades as the CEO and chief mission officer of PeaceHealth’s Peace Harbor Hospital in Florence, Ore. Under Barnhart’s leadership, Peace Harbor, a critical access hospital, has consistently achieved excellent clinical and service outcomes for its patients and community, PeaceHealth reported.

San Juan Island's integrated medical center will increase the number of physicians serving the hospital district’s residents and will nearly double the number of other on-island healthcare professionals serving the Island community. The critical access hospital component of the project will require Certificate of Need and licensing approval from the State of Washington.

San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 is a tax-supported agency that currently provides clinic-based medical services and 24/7 urgent care services at the Inter Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor. It also operates San Juan Island EMS which provides emergency medical services, critical care transport, and injury and accident prevention programs.

The district is comprised of San Juan Island, the Town of Friday Harbor, Brown Island, Henry Island, Johns Island, Pearl Island, Speiden Island and Stuart Island in San Juan County. For more information on the hospital project, visit

PeaceHealth is a Washington-based non-profit healthcare system serving rural and urban communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. For more information, visit

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