Category: Board Updates (Page 1 of 4)

Special Meeting Agenda is Posted

The AGENDA for the March 29th Special Board Meeting is posted. The topics discussed have been modified due to recent actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OIHCD is complying with the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25, which remains in effect until April 6th, and a subsequent waiver to certain requirements of the OPMA. The latter remains in effect until April 23rd.

While the Board is allowed to conduct meetings, we are restricted to taking action on matters that are “necessary and routine or are matters necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and the current public health emergency.”  Important to note the term “action” includes discussion – meaning the intent of the Proclamation is that meetings be short, efficient, and restricted to necessary business.

The Board discussed items on the Special Meeting Agenda with legal counsel to determine what might fall outside of the definition of necessary and routine. While routine is more self-explanatory, necessary items are those where any decision that if not taken prior to April 23, 2020 would have negative impacts on the District or the taxpayers. Guidance suggests that if the matter involves a decision that can be postponed until after April 23, 2020 the items are not considered necessary.

Important to note that items marked as POSTPONED on the Agenda are those that were deemed to fall outside of the parameters as outlined by legal counsel. We appreciate the community’s understanding as we navigate these uncharted, challenging and constantly changes times.




We didn’t make this decision lightly and have only done so after seeking council from various sources. In the end, we felt this was the best decision and appreciate everyone’s understanding of the need to cancel at this time.

We will be back in touch soon with details as to how and when we will reconvene. In the meantime, please know that the Commissioners and Superintendent Presson are working diligently to support the Clinics and our County Emergency Operations Center. Our primary focus is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community.

We will continue to post updates and information on the website. As always, please contact anyone on the Board or the Superintendent with questions/concerns.

Be safe Orcas.


Meeting Materials Posted

The Agenda and materials for the OIHCD March 17th Regular Board Meeting have been posted. The Agenda includes instructions for the conference line to be able to call in to the meeting.

You can access the materials HERE.

Meeting Cancellation

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The March 3rd regularly scheduled meeting of the OIHCD has been CANCELLED. The Board will reconvene on their next regularly scheduled date of March 17th.


Meeting Materials Posted

The Agenda and materials for the February 18th Regular Board meeting have been posted. You may access these items HERE.

Creating the Future Health Care Model for Orcas Island

This article was recently published in Orcas Issues and The Sounder. Due to the importance of the message, we feel it is worth repeating here.

OIHCD was established to ensure the Orcas Island community has access to quality, affordable, primary and urgent health care, as well as access to a provider after-hours when deemed medically appropriate. We (elected Commissioners) have spent much of our time since the District was formed working to understand the existing health care model and discerning how well this model delivers in these areas. We have also worked to comprehend the complex health care reimbursement system and the constraints of delivering care on a rural, remote island.

To date, OIHCD has partnered with the two existing practices, UW Medicine Orcas Clinic who has experience operating primary care clinics, and Orcas Family Health Center with experience operating a rural health care clinic. We worked collaboratively with each practice to ensure that they have the financial resources to meet the needs of the patients they serve. The subsidy provided by OIHCD was effective in stabilizing both practices.

However, the magnitude of increase in the fiscal year 2020 budgets submitted by both practices generated subsidy levels that were unexpected and substantial. As a result, we are compelled to recognize that it is time to acknowledge and concede that the current model of supporting two separate practices is not financially sustainable. Beyond the cost constraints, the current structure doesn’t deliver the full scope of services we deem essential for the ideal island model.

As we look to the future, OIHCD seeks to support a model of care that is appropriate for our population and financially sustainable. We recognize the services people choose to seek on island varies, and we will strive to meet the needs of the entire community. We are convinced that a single clinic model, working collaboratively with other health care stakeholders, is the best approach to meet the community’s needs.

To demonstrate our commitment to a single clinic model, the OIHCD is planning to move to a consolidated funding approach in 2021. Over the next few months, we will continue exploring the options available and work closely with the leadership in the existing practices to help inform and encourage a new model of health care on Orcas. We value the providers and staff in both practices and go about this work with a sensitivity to the complexities and personnel involved.

Throughout this process we also remain committed to hearing from the community and keeping the community informed. We appreciate the confidence and continued support of the community and believe by working together we will be successful in creating the right health care model for Orcas Island.


Meeting Materials Posted

The Agenda and materials for the February 4th Regular meeting of the OIHCD can be accessed HERE.

Meeting Cancellation

Please be advised that the Regularly scheduled Board meeting of December 17th has been cancelled. The Commissioners continue their work group activities, and will bring back findings from those efforts at the January 7, 2020 Regular Board meeting.

Wishing the entire Orcas Island community a very happy and healthy holiday season and New Year!

See the source image

Board Update

The Agenda for the December 10, 2019 Special Meeting has been posted. Click Here to go directly to the Agenda tab.

Please be aware that the meeting is scheduled to start at 9 am and end at 4 pm. There will be a lunch break although the exact time and duration will be determined in the meeting. There is also a possibility the meeting will end before 4 pm if all business has concluded.

We appreciate the public’s participation and flexibility.

Board Update

The Agenda and materials for the December 3rd Regular Meeting of the OIHCD are now posted. Click Here to go directly to the 2019 Meeting Materials tab.

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