PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center celebrates 10 years

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PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center celebrates 10 years

By Tom Cable, Chair of the PeaceHealth Peace Island Community Health Board, and Jack Estrada, Executive Director of PeaceHealth Peace Island.

Ten years ago this month, our community celebrated the opening of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, the first and only hospital in the San Juan Islands.

It was a moment of pride and joy – the culmination of a five-year effort by a small but mighty group of local residents determined to bring integrated, high-quality healthcare, 24 hours a day, 7 days a 7 to our community. These community leaders led a campaign to persuade their fellow islanders not only of the need for a hospital, but one that would be beautiful, sustainable, and representative of the culture and values ​​of the island.

Under the aegis of the San Juan Island Community Foundation, the hospital committee began looking for potential partners long before they determined where the facility would be built. After extensive research, they trusted PeaceHealth, a North West-based healthcare system founded in Bellingham in 1890 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. His mission of respect, compassion and caring, along with the depth and breadth of his services and his reputation for excellence, made him an ideal partner.

The generous locals eventually donated $10 million to the effort, while PeaceHealth contributed an additional $20 million. The hospital committee found a perfect location – a 25-acre family property less than a mile from the Friday Harbor ferry terminal and across from the airport. Construction began in July 2011; the hospital opened on time and on budget at 11:17 a.m. Nov. 17 — a nod to the address, 1117 Spring St.

Prior to 2012, there were no hospital beds on the island and no emergency care. Cancer and IV patients had to leave the island for treatment, and if you needed a colonoscopy, you’d probably need to stay at a motel on the mainland to get ready the night before. No day surgery was available, and imaging and laboratory capabilities were limited.

Since the beginning of this collaboration, we have shared a vision of improving access to essential health care right here on the island: an emergency service (recognized in each of the last five years by a Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence for Patient Experience), primary care and specialist services, including cancer treatment, diagnostic imaging, cardiology, outpatient general surgery, orthopaedics, rehabilitation therapies, full labs and more. Local residents have avoided several thousand off-island medical visits since 2012. The numbers help tell the story:

35,817 emergency room visits

1,575 patients admitted

133,203 clinic visits

17,661 chemotherapy infusions

2,825 colonoscopies

8,600 mammograms

16,934 CT scans

1,841 MRIs

9,330 ultrasounds

380,174 laboratory tests

14,719 outpatient rehabilitation sessions (new for 2020)

159 outpatient orthopedic surgeries (new in 2015)

356 outpatient general practices (new in 2015)

Today, PeaceHealth Peace Island employs 109 full-time caregivers and providers and eight traveling specialists. As proud as we are of our beautiful, award-winning facility, we know it’s the people who work inside to further the PeaceHealth mission that make it exceptional.

This includes an extraordinarily strong volunteer association. Peace Island volunteers held their first organizational meeting nine months before the hospital even opened and have played a vital role ever since. Their compassion, creativity, energy, talent and time help us provide better care for our patients and caregivers. We couldn’t do what we do without them.

We are also honored to work with valued community partners, including San Juan Public Hospital District, Joyce L. Sobel Family Resource Center, and San Juan County Health and Community Services, to ensure safety and the health of our community, including our most vulnerable and traditionally underserved. neighbors.

PeaceHealth Peace Island is grateful to the islanders for entrusting their care to us and proud of the progress we have made. We look forward to serving the community for many decades to come!

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