Community Hospital Committee and PeaceHealth begin feasibility assessment

The San Juan Community Hospital Committee and PeaceHealth, a not-for-profit healthcare system with hospitals and medical centers throughout the Northwest, announced this month that they will study possible partnership opportunities to expand the provision of healthcare services to the residents of San Juan Island.

Both organizations emphasized that discussions are at a fact-finding and exploratory stage only at this point in time.

The two organizations will spend the next four months identifying and analyzing potential healthcare service expansion opportunities, including the addition of a small, state-of-the-art Critical Access Hospital that would be located in Friday Harbor.

The Committee will provide periodic updates to the San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 (SJCPHD#1) Board of Commissioners and to the community through public meetings, the Committee’s website and periodic news releases.

“By May 2008, we will provide an informed recommendation to the SJCPHD#1 Board regarding the feasibility of this potential partnership,” said Tom Cable, Co-Chair of the San Juan Community Hospital Committee. “We welcome working with PeaceHealth on this assessment. They bring a strong reputation as a compassionate, community-based healthcare provider that delivers high-quality, patient-centric services and care. And that’s our ultimate goal — expanding the range of and access to quality, on-island healthcare services.”

Inter Island Medical Center currently offers basic diagnostic equipment and services, but must send many patients off-island for additional diagnosis, testing and procedures. On-island services are provided in a 34-year-old facility with a diminishing ability to serve a rapidly growing population and no additional capacity for expansion or in-patient care.

The San Juan Community Hospital Committee is a group of concerned islanders working with skilled, experienced consultants, residents and potential partners, in an advisory capacity to the SJCPHD#1 Board, to determine how the growing Island population could sustain and expand on-island access to high quality, cost-effective medical care. For more information, visit