The Commissioners are committed to actively engaging with the community and strive to provide information in a timely and transparent manner. They encourage the public to attend all Board meetings, and they provide time on every Agenda for public comments at the start and end of Regular Board meetings.
The meeting materials are posted at least 24 hours in advance. Any meeting cancellations will be posted online at least 24 hours in advance of the cancellation.
Terms & Positions
The District Commissioners and their terms of office are as follows:
Seat 1; Term ends 2023
I have spent a lifetime in the field of healthcare. I became one of the first family nurse practitioners in the country, then, after completing a doctorate as a health services researcher at UCLA, I joined the faculty at the University of Washington where I taught health administration. I then was awarded a fellowship to work in Washington DC where I remained in Federal health policy, initially in the United States Senate and later at the National Academy of Medicine. I also served as the Executive Director of the Presidential Commission on health care for America’s Wounded Warriors. I also served on the Board of Providence Hospital in Washington DC and Chaired the Patient Safety and Quality of Care Committee. While I came to Orcas 10 years ago with retirement in mind, I found an amazing local connection that brought me back to my roots in health care delivery at the community level.
Our recent public health crisis has challenged all of us to think about and make important decisions concerning what we need to provide care for ourselves, our families, neighbors and our rural island community. Whether we are old or young, rich or poor, introverts or extroverts, we can’t escape the fact that one out of every five dollars in this country is spent on health care. We need to be vigilant stewards of those precious resources because our well-being is at stake. We all have a voice in those decisions, and I will do my best to assure that that voice is heard.
Pegi Groundwater, President
Seat 2; Re-elected 2021, Term ends 2027
My passion for ensuring that we have excellent healthcare on Orcas that is financially sustainable arose from my volunteer work and personal experience. Ten years ago, I became a SHIBA volunteer helping people understand their Medicare insurance options, an activity I continue to pursue. When Obamacare was enacted, I also became a Navigator to help people sign up for insurance through that program. The people I have met and the problems I have helped them deal with have opened my eyes to the importance of a robust healthcare system for a small remote community like ours. I came to appreciate that first hand when my medically fragile mother came to live with me for the last years of her life.
My background includes attending UC Berkeley as an undergrad and for law school and practicing business law in CA and OR. Along the way, I collected my MBA from the University of Oregon, owned several businesses, and served as the COO of a small security equipment company. Shortly before retiring from Intel’s legal department in early 2006, my husband, Michael Moss, and I moved to the islands where we eased into retirement by designing and constructing our island home on Orcas. Once construction was completed, I became active in the Master Gardeners program and served as Treasurer of the Master Gardeners Foundation, served as a docent at the Historical Museum and as a member of its Board of Directors and became a trustee for OPAL.
Seat 3; Appointed 2022, Term ends 2023
I started coming to Orcas Island in 2006 when my husband and I bought land and started camping, and then building in 2010. I moved full time to Orcas in 2014 after retiring as a Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Midwife with Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon where I delivered babies in the Kaiser Hospital and had a clinic practice in maternity care and women’s health. Since retiring, I have served on San Juan County’s Human Services Advisory Board, the Orcas Medical Foundation Board, and the Board of the Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC) where I served as President. I also had the pleasure to train and serve as an EMT at Orcas Fire and Rescue until OCRC’s work took precedence. The provision of health care on Orcas is very important to me and to all of us and I am honored to serve as a Commissioner.
Diane Boteler, MD
Seat 4; Re-elected 2019, Term ends 2025
I am a family physician and 24 year Orcas resident. I studied at Harvard, the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine. I landed on Orcas in 1997 to work at the Orcas Medical Center after 6 years with the US Indian Health Service on the Navajo Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. I stepped away from the Orcas clinic in 2003 to pursue a degree in Tropical Medicine in London though I have returned to work as a fill-in physician here several times. I currently work primarily as a hospitalist at Peacehealth St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham.
I was the first Commissioner to run for reelection (unopposed as it turned out), and I remain keenly interested in continuing to work towards an excellent health care system that truly meets our needs. I look forward to continuing to partner with my fellow Commissioners, our new Island Hospital partners and the clinicians to shape our clinic into a model for a rural island health care system.
I have also worked as a volunteer physician in Zambia and Honduras, and I remain passionately interested in tropical and travel medicine. In my spare time, I hike, backpack, kayak, ski, garden and play my ukulele.
Seat 5; Term ends 2027
I was raised in southern Indiana and graduated from a small liberal arts college near the banks of the Ohio River. After working four summers on Lopez, I moved to Orcas in 1973. I joined the Fire Department in 1982 as an EMT and became a paramedic in 1984. That became my full time job both in Skagit County and on Orcas where I was the supervisor for EMS for many years. I met my wife, Melinda, on the island and we have two grown sons. We have embarrassed them both by performing with the Olga Symphony and in local theater.
I cannot imagine a better career for me than the work as a medic: I had the good fortune to work with many caring doctors, nurses, medics and EMTs during those years, and am proud of the system that we helped to create. Now, with the advent of the Health Care District, I see a path to create a stable medical center responsive to the needs of our rural island life. I'm joining a dedicated group of commissioners who share a passion for the community and excellent health care for everyone on the island.