Submitted by Kevin Ranker
Now is not the time to stand on the sidelines and wait for another solution. Now is the time for us to stand on the right side of history and vote yes for the Public Hospital District.
Like all of us, I fully appreciate the efforts of so many to maintain access to affordable health care on our island. We have been lucky to have some wonderful physicians serving our community for years. But what will we do in five years? Ten years? The vote before us is about the future. Every island resident must now unite to create a reliable and publicly accountable solution to our health care needs. This is bigger than any of our individual needs. It is about our community’s needs and future …and more importantly, our children’s future. So that our children know an island healthcare system that meets the needs of each and every citizen from children to seniors.
I will be the first to admit there have been challenges with the transition to the University of Washington at one of our clinics. However, the opportunity to have one of the greatest medical providers in the country on Orcas, will not only meet all of our needs but the needs of our island’s children and grandchildren. Unlike one wonderful physician who serves our community today, this is an opportunity to have an incredible institution serving our community for generations. An institution that is publically owned and, if we vote yes, answers to us.
Our current primary care providers and EMS professionals have all affirmed that the current approach to providing health care will not be sufficient in the very near future. As 54 other communities throughout Washington, including San Juan and Lopez, have determined, a public hospital district is the best way for us to provide long-term health care for each of our citizens, regardless of income or age.
In the end, we are a community that cares for one another and is motivated by kindness. Each of us collectively investing in the health of our community strongly reflects the core values of our community. Please join me in voting YES to support the creation of a public hospital district for Orcas Island.