2017: What a Year, Far and Near

— by Margie Doyle — As the tumultuous year 2017 comes to an end, one of our pleasures is to look back on events as they happened. Our core belief is You can make a difference, and our reports, opinions and comments bear this out. Here for your pleasure is … Continue reading

Orcas Family Health Nears Goal with Matching Grant Donation deadline is Jan. 8

— from Karen J. Key Speck, OFHC Board Secretary — The final push is on! Orcas Family Health Center and all the great staff are excited to see the “thermometer of progress” inching upward. Our fundraising deadline is January 8, 2018 and we are at $120,000 of our $175,000 goal. … Continue reading

Public Hospital Districts: Been There, Done That District commissioners from Mason County and Lopez Island give perspective

— by Susan McBain, Orcas Issues reporter — People who have been involved in existing Public Hospital Districts (PHDs) in Washington were the focus of the Dec. 18 Town Hall on establishment of a PHD on Orcas. The four guests gave short presentations on their experience and then answered many … Continue reading

Free First Day Hikes in State Parks San Juan, Island, Jefferson, Skagit and Whatcom Counties' State Parks listed

— from Washington State Parks — Washington State Parks invites the public to start the new year off with a First Day Hike on Monday, Jan. 1, at more than three dozen state parks across Washington. “First Day Hikes are a fitting way to cap off the holidays and discover … Continue reading

NAS Whidbey Island SAR Transports Lopez Heart Patient

— from Naval Air Station, Whidbey Island — A Search and Rescue (SAR) team of seven from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from Lopez Island Airport, Lopez Island, Wash., to the Skagit Valley Hospital in Mt. Vernon on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. The SAR … Continue reading

Bell-Ringers for Orcas Family Health Center Fund-raising continues through the New Year

— — from Ken Speck OFHC Board President, reprinted from Dec. 2, 2017 — Last month, Orcas Family Health Center (OFHC) began a fundraising campaign to raise $175,000 by November 27, 2017 so we can keep our doors open. The reason for the campaign was because of an overpayment by … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: Both Types of Air Ambulance Insurance Worth It Don't find out the hard way

–by Cathy Ellis — Our San Juan Islands community needs clarification about the different types of air ambulance flight insurance that are available. I found out the expensive way that there are two (non overlapping) types of Medical Flight Evacuation Services/Insurance for the S.J. Islands. Please be aware….. there indeed … Continue reading

Julie Negrin’s Affordable Care Story a Must-hear Sign-up assistance at Medical Center on Thursday

Wednesday, December 13, 6:30 p.m., Eastsound Fire Station — from Brad Brown — “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) saved my life.” That is the message delivered by #SAVEACA activist Julie Negrin as she travels throughout Washington state and the Pacific Northwest describing the effects of “Obamacare” on the macro and … Continue reading

Passing the Torch: Scott Williams Completes His First Year as Fire Chief Chief salutes volunteers

— by Susan McBain, Orcas Issues reporter — Scott Williams, Fire Chief for Orcas Island Fire & Rescue (OIFR), came to Orcas for the same reason many people do: he fell in love with the San Juans on a vacation visit. A long-time kayaker, Scott came out one summer to … Continue reading

Second Town Hall: How a Public Hospital District Works Invitation to Orcas Residents

Monday, December 18, from 5:30- 7 p.m., in the Public High School Cafeteria — from the Coalition for Orcas Healthcare — The Coalition for Orcas Healthcare is pleased to announce its second Town Hall Meeting on Monday, December 18, from 5:30- 7:00 PM, in the Orcas Island Public High School … Continue reading

Town Hall #2: Public Hospital District: How It Works

— from Alison Shaw for the Coalition for Orcas Healthcare — The Coalition for Orcas Healthcare is pleased to announce its second Town Hall Meeting on Monday, December 18, from 5:30- 7:00 PM, in the Orcas Island Public High School Cafeteria. Residents are invited to hear more information and voice … Continue reading

Open Enrollment Assistance for Apple Health Insurance

Thursday, Dec. 14 by appointment — from Brad Brown for Our Revolution of San Juan County —  Our Revolution of San Juan County is sponsoring assistance with enrolling in health insurance for 2018. Residents of San Juan County who need help enrolling in the Apple Health Program (Washington’s expanded Medicaid) or … Continue reading