Contributed photo
                                The Life Care Center of the San Juans closed in 2017.

Contributed photo The Life Care Center of the San Juans closed in 2017.

Task force update on services after Life Care Center closure

  • Mon Feb 26th, 2018 2:16pm
  • News

Submitted by Community Long-Term Care Options Task Force

To address the crisis created by the closure of the Life Care Center of the San Juan Islands, the Community Long-Term Options Task Force, an ad hoc group of individuals with expertise in health care and the community, has been meeting over the last five months.

The task force is comprised of Evan Perrollaz, Janice Fisher, Beth Williams-Geiger, Beth Helstien, Deanna Osborne, Kyle Davies, Kathryn Clary, Julia Thompson, Dennis King, Pamela Hutchins, and Carrie Unpingco.

The group has looked for the best options for San Juan County on the issues of skilled nursing, long-term affordable senior housing, home care, home health, workforce development, and related support systems. One of the goals has been to clearly define the community needs and formulate conceptual solutions for not only today but the future.

The task force has been developing a health care proposal that highlights the very solutions identified. They will share these with local business and government entities. The next step for the community is to secure a planning grant. The group is looking to join the Washington Rural Health Access Preservation-Community Based Long-Term Care Network as they are putting together an application to the HRSA Rural Health Network Planning Grant program. This newly created network stems from the statewide planning efforts being conducted by 10 rural public hospital districts over the past year to address the growing problem of diminished skilled and senior services in rural Washington. It will be crucial to have a professional consultant add further financial and demographic information while firming up the details of the plan. Once the plan is completed, it will be shared with members of the community, relevant health and social service organizations, government agencies, and policy-makers for extended development and to explore ownership, oversight, and funding sources. This process is similar to the one used by the Medical Center Guild in planning for the long-term viability of the Inter-Island Medical Clinic which resulted in the development of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center.

This is an exciting time for health care. Traditional business models are making way for nimble, innovative and person-centered care. The new direction is designed to create more spokes — delivering personalized, comprehensive care options across a broad spectrum utilizing new technology and creative processes. The task force has debated and researched current innovations and new possibilities.

For info, email The group looks forward to hearing your thoughts.