Prospective candidate forum May 9

Submitted by San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1

Want to make a difference? San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 has four of its five commissioner seats open for election this fall. This is almost unprecedented. Prospective candidates must file between May 13 and 17 and community leaders are needed to provide a new generation of strong leadership. SJCPHD#1 provides oversight for San Juan Island EMS and pays a subsidy to (but does not operate) Peace Island Medical Center.

In order to assist those who are interested, the district is holding the following events (held at the EMS business offices, 1079 Spring St.):

Meet and Greet: April 24, 1–2 p.m., the board will set aside an hour before its regular board meeting to talk to prospective commissioners and members of the public.

Open House: May 9, 5 p.m., for members of the public to visit the EMS offices and learn more about EMS operations.

Prospective Candidate Forum: May 9, 5:45 p.m., for candidates to learn more about the positions by hearing from current commissioners and senior management. This is not a debate or campaign event.

The district is willing to provide tours as possible at any of these events, or at other times as convenient for those who are interested in running for office. Contact Superintendent Pamela Hutchins at 360-378-2857 ( or Interim Chief Karl Kuetzing 360-378-5152, ext. 4 (

In consultation with senior staff, the Board makes final decisions regarding the overarching goals and objectives of the district. Commissioners may bring a variety of backgrounds to the table such as accounting, law, public policy or medicine. Superintendent Hutchins said, “This is a rare opportunity for the public to select compassionate, knowledgeable, and collaborative leaders to represent all health care needs of San Juan Island residents.”

Anna Lisa Lindstrum, who holds the only commissioner seat that is not up for election, said: “I’d love to see a diverse group that can use their skills to help solve healthcare needs on our island, not least because the projects we are involved in are diverse.” The district is currently moving toward integrating its EMS services under Fire District No. 3, looking into how to provide long-term care, continuing to support PIMC and generally working to provide needed services to island residents.

This is a perfect time to run for hospital district commissioner: only one open seat is for a six-year term — a daunting commitment — while two seats are for two years and one seat is for four years. This allows those who have requisite experience and background to try out this leadership role and learn whether it is a good fit. Said Hutchins, “Please consider stepping up and contribute your leadership skills to this new board in 2020.”