PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center honored for mental health services

  • Wed Oct 25th, 2017 7:00am
  • Life

Submitted by PeaceHealth

The Washington State Hospital Association named PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center a 2017 Community Health Leadership Gold Award winner for the medical center’s innovative integrated mental health program.

PeaceHealth Peace Island’s behavioral health care program was developed in response to the community health needs assessment. The program includes behavioral assessment within the primary care clinic, complemented by a telepsychiatry program as well as psychological follow-up of behavioral health care services. The program serves all patients who access primary care at PeaceHealth Peace Island, which also includes a community-wide behavioral and psychiatric “service portal” that further assists patients in better accessing primary care services. The telepsychiatry specifically serves hard-to-reach San Juan County patients, offering weekly psychiatric services that would otherwise not be available. Assessment and follow-up services help with care coordination and facilitate access to services, lower cost of services and better quality of care.

According to WSHA, the award is given annually to a health care organization that is serving its community’s broader health needs in innovative and lasting ways. The intent is to recognize organizations that are not just serving patients, but making their entire community healthier. “Health care is traditionally thought of in terms of hospital stays or visits to an outpatient clinic, but a major focus of health care today is community wellness,” WSHA President and CEO Cassie Sauer said. “Hospitals such as PeaceHealth Peace Island have become important community partners when it comes to proactively helping residents live healthier lives.”

According to PeaceHealth Peace Island Chief Administrative Officer Merry-Ann Keane, “community” is foundational to the medical center.

“We opened the doors almost five years ago, after community members had been working for years to help guide and create what we have now,” said Keane. “This award is the result of stepping up to meet a clear community need in a holistic way, but it is also an honor we share with the community that gave us a home and supported our mission.”

For more information about the Community Health Leadership Award, visit

The Washington State Hospital Association works to improve the health of all Washington state residents by being active on key issues of policy and quality. WSHA represents more than 100 hospitals and health systems in the state, including those that are non-profit, investor-owned, and county, state and military hospitals. The Triple Aim guides our members and our work, as we strive to improve the patient experience, improve the health of populations and reduce the cost of health care. Visit for more information.

PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center is a 10-bed critical access hospital with primary care and specialty clinics, a cancer center and a 24-hour emergency department. PeaceHealth Peace Island operates as part of PeaceHealth’s Northwest Network, which includes PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, PeaceHealth United General Medical Center in Sedro-Woolley, several PeaceHealth Medical Group primary care and specialty clinics, cardiovascular and cancer centers, and imaging services. PeaceHealth, with medical centers in Alaska, Washington and Oregon, is a not-for-profit health care system founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in 1891.