Public Hospital District to collaborate on Planned Parenthood draft contract, district bylaws

Public hospital district

Commissioners on San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1 scheduled a workshop to collaborate on a draft contract for services by the local Planned Parenthood and a draft of the district’s edited bylaws at the April 26 meeting.

Planned Parenthood contract

A draft contract to fund services with Friday Harbor’s Planned Parenthood has been written by commissioners but isn’t available to the public yet. Commissioner Barbara Sharp commented she wanted to contract with a lesser amount than the draft allots. They plan to vote on whether to pass the contract, next month, though Commissioner Michael Edwards cautioned that may be too soon.

“We don’t need to rush to judgment, in fact, I warn us not to do that,” he said.

A resolution about how to use the money from an original tax subsidy for Peace Island Medical Center was tabled so it could be discussed at the workshop too.

An amendment, passed last November, allowed the district to take $50,000 from the original PIMC subsidy agreement, to contract with vendors that provide services the hospital refuses. The hospital has been supplemented by a roughly $1 million subsidy, collected from the district’s property taxes, since 2009.

Edwards gave a presentation about services PIMC provides, including testimonies from physicians who said they would prescribe birth control. This, he said, proves that PIMC covers the full range of women’s reproductive services and partnering with Planned Parenthood isn’t necessary.

However, hospital officials have written policies against such procedures, said Commissioners Sharp, Monica Harrington and Bill Williams.

“What we can expect from PeaceHealth and PIMC is to go by their written policies,” said Williams.


Commissioners Edwards and Sharp edited the district’s bylaws to move the public comment section before new business, instead of at the end of meetings. That way, the public can comment before resolutions are voted on by commissioners. Edits also include establishing a time limit for commenters and allowing commissioners to set future agenda items based on comments.

Commissioners Edwards and Mark Schwinge wanted to pass a resolution that changed the time of the public comment section to mirror the bylaws draft, but the other commissioners voted against it. The same three commissioners voted to direct a similar resolution to the bylaws committee to work on edits, holistically, at the workshop.

“I don’t want to do it piecemeal,” said Sharp. “I’d rather work on it all together.”

The next meeting is at 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 24.

Public Hospital District to collaborate on Planned Parenthood draft contract, district bylaws