Hospital district defers bond ballot for 2008

Whidbey Island Public Hospital District Commissioners have decided to hold off on pursuing a bond until next year, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.

One wing within the hospital has remained unchanged since its construction in the 1970s and is in need of a serious renovation to come into 21st century standards for healthcare, said Trish Rose, Whidbey General Hospital spokeswoman.

The commissioners had hoped initially to put a bond measure on the spring 2008 ballot for vote that would have paid for the renovation.

The hospital wing design, financial and data information is not ready yet, Rose said.

"We decided not to pursue a bond this year. We were talking about a potential bond, but the designs are not ready and we are still investigating and evaluating the different facets," she said.

"We're gathering the data and plans. All the different departments that are affected are weighing in with what they need," Rose explained.

The board hopes to have a decision made so that a bond could be placed on the 2009 ballot.

"Until it is voted on by the board, it's just discussions and planning," she said. "The building committee is meeting on a regular basis to discuss this issue. They are asking how much the project will cost, what it will look like. They will have a mock-up of what they are trying to do."

The renovation to the wing would allow newer technology to be used and create an environment where quality, patient safety and patient family support as well as confidentiality are improved, she said.

"We do use technology now. But as technology advancements occur, we will need a more viable platform on which to implement those improvements," Rose said.

"Our desire is to provide the highest quality care and safety to our patients and their families/visitors," she added. "We take great pride in our promise to deliver the highest quality healthcare and the therapeutic design of our proposed remodel is the key to that promise."

Spencer Webster can be reached at 221-5300 or

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