The next online meeting about the merger is scheduled for March 18.

Clinic merger | What you need to know

Orcas Island is inching closer to a combined medical clinic.

Since an agreement was reached last summer, Orcas Island Health Care District and Island Hospital have been overseeing the integration of UW Medicine Orcas Island Clinic and Orcas Family Health Center. On April 5, Island Primary Care — Orcas will begin serving patients in the medical center building at 7 Deye Lane in Eastsound.

“It’s been a great collaboration, as I expected,” said District Superintendent Anne Presson. “I got a lot of positive feedback after the community briefing (in February). Working with Island Hospital is a joy.”

IH will provide primary care that includes after-hours care, patient care coordination, family medicine, pediatrics, telemedicine, laboratory and x-ray services. The clinic will have same-day appointments available for acute needs.

The next community meeting will be on March 18, 5-6 p.m, to share more information about the transition and the after-hours care model. Community questions will also be taken. This virtual session will be held via Webex. Registration is required; RSVP at www.islandhospital.org/event/orcas-island-community-briefing-3/.

The last day of patient care at the UW clinic will be Friday, March 26. From March 27 to April 4, UW Medicine will offer telehealth appointments and OFHC will provide same-day or after-hours for anyone needing to see a provider. During that week, Island Hospital will be implementing new employee orientation, provider and staff training and IT install and set up. On April 5, in-person visits for Island Primary Care will begin.

“It’s going well. It’s busy but things are going as planned for the most part. The team on Orcas has been wonderful to work with and our team here has been putting a lot of effort into it,” said IH Director of Family Care Clinics Patricia Codd. “Everyone is working really hard to make this goes as well as possible.”

The hospital has also been focusing on obtaining more COVID-19 vaccines for local residents.

“We are asking anyone who will listen, from the mayor’s office to the governor’s office, advocating for vaccines in our community — and that includes San Juan County,” said Codd. “We have been overlooked for allocation in the last few weeks.”

Island Primary Care — Orcas checklist

• Beginning March 15, patients will be able to schedule appointments by calling 360-293-3101. Patient appointments will be scheduled for April 5 and beyond.

• Patients will initially see an Island Hospital transition provider until they can establish care with a permanent Island Primary Care provider.

• As Island Hospital builds the provider team, patients who are ill or who need to manage chronic conditions will be given priority. As such, Island Hospital will be limiting well visits and annual physicals to ensure patients with the greatest need receive priority.

• Patients already established with Island Hospital may use the portal to request an appointment beginning March 15.

• Following their first appointment, patients will have access to myIslandHealth portal to view medication lists, immunization records, lab results and more.

• Those who are currently patients of UW Medicine or Orcas Family Health Center will be required to complete a medical records release form to transition their care to the new clinic. The form is available at www.islandhospital.org/orcas/. They are also available for pick up at either Orcas clinic.