News from the senior center.

Important updates from the Orcas Senior Center

  • Fri Oct 23rd, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the Orcas Senior Center.

Orcas Senior Center welcomes new Orcas District Committee members

The Orcas District Committee (the operating committee of the Orcas Senior Center non-profit) is thrilled to welcome six new members. Each one brings a unique set of skills and knowledge that will help us as we to continue to navigate the constantly evolving landscape of these strange times we now live.

Jennifer Hairston is a practicing attorney who is currently acting as a chief deputy at the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Her ability to think through issues from a legal perspective is already providing clarity and consistency to several of our service areas.

Darcey Miller is an environmental consultant specializing in wetland biology. She is also an experienced volunteer coordinator with an interest in community outreach, both highly relevant skills for the Center.

Debra O’Conner is a Registered Nurse and experienced clinician of 45 years. Her passion for excellence in health education and advocacy will serve to strengthen the health and wellness offerings we can provide to our members.

Elsie Pamuk is a PhD demographer whose work has focused on health and nutritional risk factors for chronic disease. Her analytic approach to finding solutions to problems has already proven itself to be of great value to the Center in a wide variety of areas.

With a degree in Economics from Stanford University, Greg Raffelson’s multi-decade career providing business services and financial advice is strengthening the financial management capabilities of the Center.

Allan Rosato has volunteered for the Senior Center in various capacities over several years, and his experience in contracting and property management is helping us better manage our building operations.

Welcome, Jennifer, Darcey, Debra, Elsie, Greg, and Allan to the Orcas Senior Center team!

‘The Virtual Vineyard’

Join Orcas Senior Center and Doe Bay Wine Company’s Cole Sisson in the virtual vineyard for a fun, festive and informative hour of wine tasting and food pairing on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 5 p.m.

You will learn how to pair your favorite wines with foods for the holidays or discover a new wine to pair with your feast. We might even be lucky enough to have a special virtual appearance by the vintners themselves!

To participate, register at by Monday, Nov. 9. Then, purchase and pick up your wine, cheese, and crackers at Doe Bay Wine Company at 109 North Beach Road Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. by Saturday, Nov. 21. (1 bottle wine, cheese, crackers: $30; 2 bottles wine, cheese, crackers: $50; 3 bottles wine, cheese, crackers: $70)

New to Zoom? Learn how to Zoom Like a Pro at

This program is a pilot project for November and December by donation. Thank you for supporting Doe Bay Wine Company – your local wine shop! Please consider a generous donation to Orcas Senior Center to help support more programming like this one.

Future of Hospice of the Northwest Threatened

For decades, Hospice of the Northwest has been a vital resource in San Juan County. Their dedicated staff and volunteers commit to providing exceptional care to people with life-limiting illnesses, their families, and circles of support. That care is now under threat. Two Skagit County public healthcare districts, which own Hospice of the Northwest, are in discussions to sell the non-profit to a private equity-owned organization called Bristol Hospice. Such sales have increased recently. The risk is that companies boost profits by cutting staff, increasing caseloads, and limiting home health care. Services may also be reduced, especially to areas where it is more expensive to operate, such as San Juan County.

If this concerns you and would like to see the non-profit Hospice of the Northwest continue to provide the high quality of care it does, please make your voice heard by sending a letter addressed “Dear Commissioner” to