Contributed photo/
                                The San Juan Island EMS building.

Contributed photo/ The San Juan Island EMS building.

Hospital district board talks trainings, Planned Parenthood and meeting location

At the Oct. 24 San Juan County Public Hospital District 1 Board meeting, commissioners discussed San Juan Island EMS training, the district’s Planned Parenthood subsidy report and meeting locations.


When commissioners returned from an executive session in which the public could not attend, commissioner Rebecca Smith said EMS Chief Jerry Martin’s certifications are up to date.

“There have been reports that our EMS is falling apart … however … our EMS is operating as they always have, in an exemplary fashion,” said Smith, who is married to EMT Frances Smith. “Martin renewed [one certification] in April 2017, and it does not expire for three years.”

Martin’s paramedic and EMS evaluator certifications are listed as active on They both expire in 2020.

During Martin’s EMS operations update, there was lengthy discussion regarding ALS, or Advanced Life Support, and BLS, Basic Life Support protocol training.

San Juan Island EMS Paramedic Weyshawn Koons explained that a meeting to review and adopt new protocols in August did not occur or get rescheduled. The commissioners voted unanimously to write a letter to the parties involved to set a date for the meeting to adopt new training protocols.

A representative from the Washington State Department of Health said “San Juan Island EMS has a current training plan approved by the department that meets the minimum requirements in our regulations.”

Planned Parenthood

Director of Mount Baker Planned Parenthood Linda McCarthy provided an update on services in San Juan County. The hospital district provides a subsidy to the health provider annually. According to McCarthy’s report, the largest percentage of counseling at the local facility is centered around sexual health and contraceptives. However, 46 percent focuses on nutrition and healthy eating. Many served by Planned Parenthood were 18-39 years old, and 31 percent had a poverty-level income, McCarthy said. About 97 percent of the patients gave positive reviews.

Commissioner Warren Appleton asked about contraceptives for men, such as condoms.

“I hope one day to come back and say, we are on it,” McCarty responded, noting that progress has been made in developing additional male contraceptive, but some have unwanted side effects.

Meeting location

During audience participation, former commissioner Barbara Sharp encouraged the board to move meetings back to the county council’s hearing room on Second Street.

“This room was meant as a classroom,” Sharp said, noting that during meetings with a large public turnout, the room becomes cramped, and difficult to hear. The board discussed the pros and cons of returning to the administrative building. The pros included better visual and audio equipment and a larger space, and cons included difficulty reserving the location due to possible county executive sessions and special meetings.

For updates on the hospital district, visit


Staff photo/Heather Spaulding

Staff photo/Heather Spaulding

Staff photo/Heather Spaulding

Staff photo/Heather Spaulding

Staff photo/Heather Spaulding

Staff photo/Heather Spaulding