Town Hall Talk Held in Coupeville

by Keith Mack 26th March 2016


Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Fred Wilson listening to a question from an audience member


Whidbey General Hospital & Clinics held its third town hall-style talk of 2016 on March 22 in Coupeville. A group of about 65 gathered in a conference room at the hospital, where outside the window workers were busily preparing the site for construction of Whidbey General’s new inpatient wing.


Hospital board president Anne Tarrant thanked attendees and opened with brief remarks on the building project and on how the board works to meet healthcare needs throughout the community. Commissioner Georgia Gardner, who represents Central Whidbey on the board, spoke about Whidbey General’s history and evolution, and acknowledged the families who worked on establishing the hospital in 1970.


CEO Geri Forbes also talked about the building project and addressed how emerging trends in healthcare could impact Whidbey Island.


“The healthcare in this country has changed more rapidly in the past one to three years than I’ve seen it change in the 35 years of my career in this business,” Forbes said.


“Today we are being told by the federal government that we are responsible for the population we serve,” she continued. “That means keeping up with changes in care, updating the payer system, dealing with aging facilities and other changes, all while continuing to provide you with the care you need in the most cost effective way we can.”


General surgeon Dr. John Hassapis and orthopedic surgeons Dr. Kipley Siggard and Dr. Fred Wilson talked about why it’s important to hone the surgical care that allows residents to remain on-island for certain procedures. The surgeons also spoke about why they enjoy practicing on Whidbey.


“It is the exactly the right place to do certain things that a Critical Access Hospital and its clinics are meant to do,” Wilson said. “I applaud Geri who has the foresight and wisdom to know that we can make this a better place.”


Keith Mack, director of Marketing and Community Relations, gave a presentation on why Whidbey General will adopt “WhidbeyHealth” as the umbrella name for all locations and services later this spring.


The question-and-answer period lasted about an hour. Attendees had questions or comments on the building project, the name change and various healthcare services.


Some in the crowd opposed the name change, but others spoke up and applauded the reasoning behind it.


One participant said that the presentation clarified why the name change would help community members better navigate their care among the hospital and all its clinics.


“Thank you for that explanation. I came here unconvinced, but I get it now,” she said. “It will always be the hospital to me and Miriam’s will always be Miriam’s, but I get it.”


The Coupeville gathering was the best attended of the three talks held by the hospital in 2016. Similar talks took place in Langley in January and in Oak Harbor last month.


More town hall-style talks will be scheduled for later this year.


Posted by WhidbeyLocal
Saturday, 26th March 2016, 05:40pm.
Comments (0)
Popular Articles
View More

Upcoming Events

View More

You also might be interested in

I’ve always loved to fly. I grew up in a family of pilots – my dad was a bush pilot in Alaska and his brother, my uncle Don, retired as a 747 pilot. They built kit planes growing up, and I inherited that same fascination with flying.

Whidbey Buzz

Puget Sound Energy Sponsors Free, Family-Friendly Safety Fair at Greenbank Farm  June 14th, 2015 Safety Fair at Greenbank Farm Sponsored by Puget Sound Energy 12 Noon – 3pm / Free and Family-Friendly Step right up! On June 14th, 2015 from Noon-3pm, Greenbank Farm will host Central Whidbey’s first Safety Fair, generously Sponsored by Puget Sound Energy.

Whidbey Buzz

Holiday fireworks and other fanfare are often frightful experiences for pets. The loud noises can hurt their sensitive ears.

Whidbey Buzz

EXCITING NEWS – The Slow Food USA Ark of Taste has added another one of Whidbey Island’s treasures to their stock of seeds.  The Rockwell Beans have now officially been added and can be found on the Ark of Taste page of Slow Food USA.  The Rockwell Bean is currently grown by only four farmers, who are the descendents of Ebey's Prairie pioneer families: Georgie Smith of Willowood Farm, Wilbur Purdue of Prairie Bottom Farm, Wilbur Bishop of Ebey Road Farm, and Vin Sherman.

Whidbey Buzz

Winter is just around the corner, and it’s time to think about cold weather safety; specifically hypothermia. Hypothermia is a dangerous drop in body temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.

Whidbey Buzz