Give UW Med a second chance | Letters

I was recently contacted by Jay Priebe, director of Rural Primary Care Operations for the UW Medicine in response to my comments that were published by the Sounder regarding the medical center transition on Orcas. I became frustrated by a process that I believed to be more inconvenient and time-consuming than it should have been. Disappointment followed when the realization was made that even though a local number was dialed here on Orcas, the person on the other end of the phone was in a call center somewhere on the mainland. Having only lived here on the Island for nine years, I suppose I should not have made this assumption but I have become happy to appreciate and expect my “smaller” life of interacting with other islanders.

My other concern was lack of clear communication during the turnover. Without mentioning or disparaging any other entities, I propose that ownership of any perceived or real lack of communication during the transition might be best considered to be a shared responsibility, and water under the bridge. However now that UW is here, we are being encouraged to reach out to the UW Orcas Island clinic manager on site or to Mr. Priebe directly to get our issues heard and resolved. The conversation we had seems to very much support this and offer realistic solutions.

I commend and thank Mr. Priebe for making the effort and taking the time to call me. He was respectful, thorough, and not at all defensive as he offered a lot of useful information. After we spoke, I possess a better understanding of what the particulars of the changeover actually entail and what occurred during my own attempt to access the new system.

This is still a work in progress but I also now feel confident that there are qualified, caring and hard-working people who are doing everything in their power to offer Orcas Islanders a state of the art medical center through UW. I’m planning on giving them the chance to do just that.

Clarissa Liening