Letters to the Editor

WGH expansion needs your ‘yes’ vote | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

We have lived on Whidbey for 30 years.

I have worked for Whidbey General Hospital for 18 years. Prior to retiring, my husband worked there for 14 years. Other than a few trips to the ER and several outpatient procedures, our experience has predominantly been on the giving side.

In January, my husband collapsed at Island Greens in Clinton. His friends called 911 and then me. I followed the ambulance to the hospital, where we spent several hours in the ER. A bed was reserved for him, and he spent the night on the Med-Surg ward. Luckily, he did not have to share his small room with a roommate.

The care he received from start to finish was excellent. Every staff member from the EMTs, the hospitalist, nursing staff, diagnostic imaging, dietary or environmental services was professional, as well as concerned, caring, enthusiastic and helpful. This episode gave us the opportunity to experience the type of care that is provided at Whidbey General, and to see how it feels to be on the receiving end.

We are supporting the bond issue on

May 17, and not because Whidbey General is/was our employer. Whidbey General is an aging facility. Single-patient rooms have become the standard of care in hospitals across the nation. It is what hospitals are doing as new ones are built or old ones are remodeled.

One patient per room provides privacy for patients as well as family members. This improves confidentiality. It improves infection control. Single-patient rooms ensure the ability of nursing staff to use lift equipment for transferring heavier patients. As nurses age, they must prevent injury to themselves as well as to their patients.

We recommend readers who are undecided to attend the public meetings at 12:30 p.m. March 22 at the Bayview Senior Center, 6 p.m. March 24 at the Coupeville Library or 1 p.m. March 28 at the Oak Harbor Senior Center. You can ask questions and learn more about this important bond measure.

Currently, my husband and I live on one fixed income plus my salary. In a few years, we will live on two fixed incomes. It is worth it to us to tax ourselves a bit more now to pay for a facility that, most likely, we will use more in the future.  Construction costs are not going to decrease.

We are aging, as is our island population. We all deserve the best possible hospital in which to heal — a modern hospital that will enable recruitment and the retaining of top-notch medical and ancillary care providers.

We urge you to join us. Vote YES on the Whidbey General Hospital Bond on May 17.

Claudia and David Fuller


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