Letters to the Editor

Making sense of EMS levy failure | Letters

Dear San Juan County Public Hospital District Residents,

We appreciate recent comments regarding the levy failure, and your support of our EMS system. We did not provide timely or sufficient information.

Prior to any future levy ballot we will provide more of both, and will listen carefully to your suggestions.

The EMS levy, while collected under the San Juan County Public Hospital District No.1, supports only emergency medical services provided by San Juan Island EMS and Medevac. PeaceHealth and Peace Island Medical Center receive nothing from this levy.

San Juan Island EMS does not fund PeaceHealth or PIMC. There is no business agreement between SJIEMS and Peace Health. SJCPHD has a separate levy which supports the hospital.

Confusion persists regarding air medical transport options. Island Air Ambulance, is a service of San Juan Island EMS, with aviation services provided by Island Air, Inc., and Airlift Northwest is a service of UW Medicine, with aviation services provided by Air Methods/Aero Air. Both services provide needed medical transport to our community.

Residents of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 who fly on Island Air Ambulance will incur no out-of-pocket expense for that flight. If the patient has medical insurance, that insurance will be billed.

Non-district residents desiring this same benefit may purchase an Island Air Ambulance MedEvac membership offered by San Juan Island EMS and MedEvac.

Patients with insurance and an Airlift AirCare membership who fly on Airlift will have their insurance billed and will not incur out of pocket expenses.

In the coming months, we will discuss with community groups the SJCPHD No. 1’s EMS system and air medical transport options. We will also seek community input regarding a future levy ballot.

If you have questions or wish to schedule a speaker for your organization, please call us at 378-5152, or email us at feedback@sanjuanems.org.

A robust website answering many of your questions can also be found at sanjuanems.org.

J. Michael Edwards, Hospital commission

Jim Cole, Chief, SJI EMS/MedEvac


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