Orcas Medical Foundation says goodbye to Dr. Geifer | Letter

The Orcas Medical Foundation (OMF) board of directors wishes to thank Dr. Giefer for all he has done for the Orcas Medical Center and for our community over the past 12 years, and, while we are disappointed to see him leave, we most certainly appreciate all of his wonderful years of service.

There are been some questions from the community that we feel rightfully deserve to be answered and are hoping that we might be able to help by providing some clarification.

Island Hospital’s contract to manage Orcas Medical Center and to employ all of the staff at the clinic was due to expire as of Dec. 31, 2016, just OMF was beginning its negotiations with UW Medicine. Island Hospital agreed to enter into a 6-month extension agreement through June 30, in order to keep the clinic open until UW Medicine was in place. However, the transition has taken a bit longer than originally hoped, and an additional extension agreement was needed. OMF and Island Hospital recently entered into this second extension agreement, which provided for Island Hospital to continue its management of the clinic and its employment of all the staff there for an additional 3-month period from July 1 through September 30. Each employee of the clinic had the opportunity to either sign or not sign his or her extension agreement. Dr. Giefer chose not to sign his extension employment agreement and decided, instead, to retire as of June 30, 2017, when his current contract was due to expire.

The OMF board was hopeful that Dr. Giefer would continue on in his role as Orcas Medical Center’s physician until the UW transition was complete; unfortunately, that is not to be. While Dr. Giefer will no longer be on staff, we would like you to know that Island Hospital is currently assembling a patient care team that will enable the clinic to remain open during the summer and until UW Medicine is in place – currently scheduled for early September. We anticipate a number of familiar faces filling in to provide care for the Orcas community during our busy summer season. The staffing schedule should be available shortly.

OMF always understood that UW Medicine had complete authority to select and hire all the staff at the clinic, but was surprised and saddened to learn that Dr. Giefer’s last day will be June 30. Please know that we wish him the very best, including some much deserved time off and much more time to spend with his family, and especially to enjoy his grandchildren.

Orcas Medical Foundation Board of Directors