San Juan County organization receives $750,000 grant for long-term care

This grant is intended to put in place a care coordination model for seniors

Submitted by the San Juan County LTC Care Coordination Network.

The San Juan County LTC Care Coordination Network is pleased to announce a $750,000 three-year grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration for the purpose of implementing a suite of solutions for long-term care in San Juan County.

This grant is intended to put in place a care coordination model for seniors that will meet the immediate and future needs of the high-risk elderly in our rural island communities.

When the only nursing home in San Juan County closed in 2017, a task force met over eight months in 2018 to discuss and develop the next steps. The Inter-Island Healthcare Foundation, then raised $50,000 for a feasibility study as the first step to apply for federal grant monies and fund a survey of county residents’ long-term care needs.

“Public-private partnerships have proven very fruitful in the past, such as in the construction of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, and we believe it can be again,” Dr. J. Michael Edwards, chair of the IIHF and former hospital district commission chair said. “The fact that we received one of only eight grants given nationwide validates the importance of our community’s elderly needs. It’s very exciting to see this coming together.”

The Network includes the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts, the Inter-Island Healthcare Foundation, PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1. The grant specifies time frames, objectives, and responsibilities of each of these four partners and, as this project expands, other partners across the county will be added.

“Bringing health to the communities in which we serve is a tenet of PeaceHealth’s mission and values,” Beth Williams-Gieger from PIMC said. “The innovative solutions outlined in this grant will bring us and our partners that much closer to providing an equitable distribution of health care resources to our rural island communities.”

As this innovative approach may require legislative changes and it is hoped to be a useful model across the state, the AWPHD will be an essential asset.

“It is our core belief that we must seek out these opportunities to deliver innovative care solutions to the most unique areas of Washington; San Juan County is such a place,” AWPHD Executive Director Matthew Ellsworth said.

Evan Perrollaz serves as the Project manager and will be responsible for its implementation and for assuring it progresses on time and on-budget. Perrollaz is the current administrator of the Village at the Harbour, the only assisted living facility in the county, and has 20 years of experience in the management of assisted living communities. He commented, “This is beyond exciting. The grant provides a platform for innovation and delivery of much-needed services for our vulnerable population. I am delighted to be working with such a fantastic group of people who have been so dedicated to the creation and establishment of new pathways for our county.”

SJCPHD#1 Superintendent Pamela Hutchins added, “This is the sort of thing that requires collaboration to accomplish. There are so many moving parts. We’re thrilled to work with our partners on this. More details to come!”