Letter: Community needs WhidbeyHealth services

Editor:

What if there were no hospital, emergency room or ambulance services on Whidbey Island? What if the seven clinics operated by Whidbey Health just went away? These vital services operated by the Whidbey Public Hospital District have been severely strained by almost two years of the COVID pandemic, and your YES vote on Proposition #1 will help stabilize the Hospital District’s finances. In addition to the loss of friends and serious illness across Whidbey Island, the COVID pandemic caused a massive financial loss for WhidbeyHealth. It came on suddenly, and the budget was not prepared for:

l Operating testing stations, and the operation of vaccine clinics at both the medical center and in other “pop-up” locations on Whidbey Island where more than 17,000 injections were given.

l Increased operating costs for infection control supplies, staff overtime, intensive care treatment, and up to $1 million each year in uncollectable billings.

l A tremendous drop in revenue because of the suspension of elective surgeries for many months. These are a significant source of revenue for the hospital.

l The loss of revenue due to the fear of COVID, which caused many people to delay or not seek treatment at all for their various medical issues.

Please vote yes on Proposition #1 for the first increase in the levy rate in the Whidbey Public Hospital District’s 57-year history. Your yes vote will help the district address additional staffing needs, retain existing staff with salaries comparable to other medical centers in the region, and bring in new providers to the district’s health system.

A heart attack, a car accident, a serious injury, an illness requiring frequent medical attention, or the routine medical issues for a local practitioner. Whidbey Island needs the vital services provided by WhidbeyHealth.

Marti Anamosa

Clinton

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