Dismayed by religious intolerance in hospital race | Letters

It took a chainsaw and Monica Harrington to motivate our first letter to the editor. A chainsaw accident gave us the opportunity to experience the incredible competence and care at Peace Island Medical Center.

We have read Harrington’s strident and mean-spirited attacks on PIMC, and on opposing candidates who appreciate the hospital’s value to our community. Our concern is even greater because two candidates, Barbara Sharp and Bill Williams, have joined her in a clearly partisan voting bloc designed to take over the San Juan County Public Hospital District Board in order to make PIMC conform to Harrington’s political agenda.

While it appears that Harrington is the driver of much of the antagonistic campaigning, the complicity of the other members of her voting bloc raises questions about their judgment, and willingness to put an anti-Catholic agenda ahead of the community’s need to preserve the excellent services now available at PIMC.

We are not Catholic, but are dismayed by religious intolerance, and the failure to differentiate between responsibilities of the SJCPHD board, and the PIMC management and board. We do not understand Harrington’s vehemence as an island part-timer, but it goes beyond San Juan Island, and has nothing to do with improving health care.

The legal actions Harrington proposes would divert resources from care to ideologies that have nothing to do with the board. It is hard enough to attract doctors and other health care professionals to serve in a rural area without subjecting them to attacks by self-aggrandizing politicians who want to tell them how to do their jobs.

We are encouraged by the qualifications of the other three candidates: Jenny Ledford, Michelle Loftus, and William “Doc” Hancock. Each has demonstrated health care and community service experience, and an understanding of governance issues, including which are the responsibility of the board, and which are not. We urge support for Jenny, Michelle and Doc to ensure that the future of PIMC and its dedicated staff is not jeopardized by irresponsible actions of some who care more about their personal agendas, than improving health care in our community.

Bill and Katia Robinson

San Juan Island