Petition for public hospital district to go before council

The petition to place the formation of a Public Hospital District for Orcas Island on the April 2018 ballot has been certified by the San Juan County Auditor with 606 signatures. The petition has been forwarded to the County Council for review at their regular meeting on Oct. 31, at 10:30 a.m., at the Eastsound Fire Station. The Coalition for Orcas Health Care (COHC) will present the results of the petition and the desirability for a hospital district to the council and answer any questions the Council members may have. If approved by the council, the county will prepare the measure for the April 2018 ballot. In early February, the county will accept candidate filings for the five, at-large district commissioner positions.

The Coalition for Orcas Health Care will be presenting information to the community about the proposed hospital district. (According to RCW 70.44, Public Hospital District is also known as a Public Health Care Services District – a hospital is neither required nor intended).

“We look forward to getting out into the community to explain what a hospital district is, how it works, and how it can support reliable and sustainable health care for our entire community,” said BJ Arnold, COHC founding member.

The COHC expects that there are many questions and concerns about how a hospital district can support access to primary and urgent medical care on island, whenever it is needed. The COHC wants to hear questions and concerns from any interested party. A group or individual with an interest in learning more can browse the website, or contact the COHC directly at