Orcas Family Health Center joins the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA)

Northwest Regional Primary Care Association (NWRPCA) welcomes Orcas Family Health Center, Eastsound, Washington, as its newest member organization.

NWRPCA is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 membership association that works to ensure equal access, regardless of one’s financial or insurance status, to primary and preventive health care for all residents living in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. To do this, NWRPCA leverages its regional power to support and advocate for community-based health centers at the national level, and to provide training and workforce development support, helping them to become model “professional homes” to their staff and board members.

Currently 80 health centers in the Northwest rely on NWRPCA to provide clinician recruitment services, staff training and development opportunities, and assistance with networking, partnering and federal administrative advocacy.

According to David Shinstrom, MD, the medical director of Orcas Family Health Center, “Our practice on Orcas, this 53-square-mile island, is roughly 40% Medicare, 30% commercial insurance and 30% uninsured.” The health center, staffed by Dr. Shinstrom, nurse practitioner Phoebe Hershenow, and a support staff of seven, offers full-service primary care, including immunizations, screenings, pediatric and adult medicine, laboratory services, surgery, OB/GYN support, mental health care, and emergency services. Consistent with federal guidelines, OFHC offers all of its services on a sliding fee scale, making it possible for every member of the community to receive primary care.

OFHC has an active patient base of 2500, with over 5500 patient encounters last year. The health center provides resources and access to primary care through direct support and grant funding. Some of the organizations served include: DVSAS Orcas Island, United Way of San Juan County, North Cascade Cardiology, Orcas Island Physical Therapy, Island Hospital Home Health, Island Convalescent Center, Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, OPALCO (local power co-op), Orcas Fire Department and EMS, David Russell M.D., Stephen Bailey DDS, Compass Health, YMCA Camp Orkila, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Funhouse, Orcas Island Prevention Partnership, Orcas Family Connections, Orcas Senior Center, Kaleidoscope-Orcas Day Care, the Orcas Island Community Foundation, and Camp Four Winds-Westward Ho!

Shinstrom sees the relationship with NWRPCA as a natural. “We chose to join our regional primary care association, NWRPCA, because their mission is about healthcare justice for all. We have taken advantage of their educational conferences in the past, and our operations manager has earned medical coding certification through NWRPCA as well as valuable medical accounting, human resource, and management training. It just made sense for us to join a regional member association that shares our mission.”