Letters to the Editor

Doctor supports WGH expansion bond | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the editor:

Apparently many people think that I wrote the letter attributed to Dr. Richard Wagner.

I am Dr. ROBERT Wagner and I do support the bond proposal for Whidbey General Hospital.

I have served on the medical staff for over 20 years, in addition to my pediatric practice in Freeland.

Over the years I have watched as we have moved into a new era of minimally invasive surgery, shorter lengths of stay, and an increase in preventive and outpatient services. We must respond to increasing federal and state requirements for digitized documentation, privacy issues of many degrees, and limitations on reimbursements.

At the same time we are the center on the island for 24/7 acute and emergent care. So we have to continually adapt to changing needs and standards, and the people of Whidbey General are working hard at that.

The hospitalist program has been well-received. Shorter stays, more outpatient procedures and integration with regional hospitals will keep the bed counts stable despite the growing population on Whidbey.

While advances in preventive care have drastically reduced pediatric admissions, the island demographics show an aging population, one that will increase demand for screening colonoscopies, eye surgery, urological procedures, orthopedics and new models for cardiac and stroke care. Whidbey General is working to define what can be done well here and what should be transferred efficiently, all in the name of improving outcomes.

I am thrilled that we have been able to recruit quality providers to continue this work. For example, an epidural anesthesia program, a new obstetrician and midwife deliveries are causing increased use of our birth center.

The bond proposal will provide for more coordinated inpatient care, improved surgical facilities and better integration of central services.

It’s a new era. Please talk to friends, family and us, the medical community. And support your hospital district with a YES vote.

Robert Wagner

South Whidbey Pediatrics

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