Island Primary Care – Orcas Update from First Month

The new Clinic under Island Hospital’s leadership started seeing patients on Monday, April 5th. Over the first month, the team provided 930 patient care visits. The types of services delivered included:

  • 629 provider visits
  • 152 lab visits
  • 143 nurse visits
  • 6 in person after hours emergent visits

In addition to the activity within the Clinic, Island Hospital’s  Call Center team in Anacortes has been handling a large volume of calls from the Orcas community. The number of daily calls has consistently exceeded 150  – way beyond what was anticipated. As a result, we have seen the usually brief wait times increase significantly. Island Hospital’s leadership takes this very seriously and has been working diligently to improve the call center experience.

The following actions are underway to mitigate long wait times:

  • Added 4 new staff members and new positions to support call center
  • Redirected administrative staff on Anacortes campus to support calls
  • Redesigned message path to reduce time required to navigate the system
  • Revised the Call Back setup to prompt this option sooner
  • Created an Orcas specific option within the phone routing process

A clinic transition of this magnitude involves a lot of moving parts and parties, and the entire team has done an exceptional job in working to minimize the disruption to patients and patient care. While the vast majority of interactions have gone very well, we realize that has not been everyone’s experience.

In any change there are going to be bumps along the way. Organizations should be judged on how quickly they take ownership of a problem, and their response when faced with challenges. We have been impressed by the speed at which the Island Hospital leadership has worked to resolve a variety of unexpected issues that they have identified through the first month of operations. That said, not every solution can happen quickly, and fully resolving the Call Center challenges is something that will take a bit of time. We recognize that in the interim patients might continue to experience service levels that are not where we all want them to be, and I want to assure the community that everyone is focused on expediting improvements.

I would also like to ask that the community maintain confidence in, and respect for our very hard working health care team. The Clinic Manager, Aaimee Johnson, and I are always available to assist in resolving problems and receiving feedback. I encourage community members to utilize those channels to share your experiences and ask for help in resolving your customer service issues. That is always the most effective and efficient way to get resolution and serves us all well.

Warmest regards.

Superintendent Anne Presson

Celebrating National Nurses Week 2021

As today marks the start of National Nurses Week 2021, the OIHCD would like to recognize the incredible work of the Island Primary Care – Orcas clinical support team. This includes not only the Registered Nurses (RN) but the Medical Assistants (MA) and Phlebotomist.

We are very fortunate to have such a strong and dedicated team. Thank you to the individuals listed below for your commitment to excellent patient care and for the hard work you do each and every day to support the Orcas community.

RNs: Jessica Haug, Lynda Sheldahl, Susan Newkumet, and Valentina Rivera     

MAs: Alex Stephenson, Joie Lucas, Tai Carson, and Wendy Wooding

Phlebotomist: Eber Lucas

May 4th Agenda is Posted

The Agenda for the May 4th Regular Meeting of the OIHCD Board of Commissioners is now posted. To access the Board Packet you can go directly to the meeting folder HERE.

The meeting starts at 5 pm and continues to be held in a virtual format. Details to access the meeting are summarized on the Agenda and below.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 891 8278 3395
Passcode: 928825

Dial by Phone:  +1 253 215 8782

One tap mobile


April 20th Agenda is Posted

The Agenda and materials for the April 20th Regular meeting of the OIHCD Board of Commissioners can be found HERE.

Meetings continue to be held via Zoom and the link to join is below. You will also find the Zoom details on the Agenda and the Calendar tab of the website. The meeting begins at 5 pm and is scheduled for two hours.

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial by Phone:   +1 253 215 8782

Meeting ID: 832 0834 5736
Passcode: 785323

One tap mobile
+12532158782,,83208345736#,,,,*785323# US (Tacoma)

Agenda is Posted

The Agenda and materials for the April 6th Regular meeting of the OIHCD Board of Commissioners can be found HERE. Meetings continue to be held via Zoom and the link to join is below. You will also find the Zoom details on the Agenda and the Calendar tab of the website.

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial by Phone: +1 253 215 8782

Meeting ID: 851 7549 3955
Passcode: 165262

Congratulations to the Island Hospital leadership, staff and providers as the Island Primary Care – Orcas Clinic begins the first day of seeing patients!

Clinic Transition & Ribbon Cutting Event

As of April 1st the transition to Island Hospital will be official and the Clinic will now be called Island Primary Care – Orcas.

On Monday, April 12th, there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating this achievement and recognizing the staff who are part of the new Clinic. Due to COVID-19 safety measures, attendance at the event will be limited to: Island Hospital leadership and local Clinic staff,  Orcas Island Health Care District Board members, the Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce, key community partners, and local media. While we are sorry the current restrictions won’t allow community members to attend in person, we will be posting photos and videos following the event.

In other important updates, Island Hospital has revised the Patient Checklist to help you navigate the next few days until the Clinic begins seeing patients on Monday, April 5th. The Checklist also provides reminders on how to transition your care to Island Primary Care – Orcas. You can access the Checklist HERE.

The OIHCD appreciates the continued support of our community. As always, we encourage anyone with questions specific to our work to contact any one of the five Commissioners or Superintendent Anne Presson.  Contact information can be found on the Contact Us page of the website.


March 18th Community Briefing – Recording is Available

We would like to thank all of the community members who spent part of your Thursday evening learning about the clinic transition. A copy of Island Hospital’s presentation can be found HERE, and the recording is available on Island Hospital’s website. You can go directly to the Orcas Clinic page on the website by clicking HERE.

In addition to the recording, be sure to review the updated Frequently Asked Questions document that can be found if you scroll down the Orcas Clinic page.

We look forward to the opening of the Island Primary Care – Orcas Clinic on Monday, April 5th!

See the source image

REMINDER: Register for the March 18th Community Briefing!

Orcas Island Community Briefing
Thursday, March 18 from 5 – 6 p.m.

Please join leaders from Island Hospital and the Island Primary Care – Orcas Clinic as they share the latest on how the transition is going, what to expect as far as staffing and appointments, and how to access after-hours care as we prepare for the clinic opening April 5, 2021.

This meeting is a virtual event and will be held via Webex. Registration is required so please RSVP below. You will receive login information via email upon registration.  Click WebEx Tips & Pointers if this will be your first time using Webex.

Register for the Orcas Island Community Briefing | Island Hospital

For questions or concerns, please contact:

OIHCD Regular Meeting

The Agenda and materials for the March 16th meeting of the OIHCD Board of Commissioners are now available. You can access the Board materials HERE.

The meeting begins at 5 pm and will be held via Zoom. Details on how to access the remote meeting are on the Agenda and can also be found on the Meetings Calendar tab on the website. Representatives from Island Hospital will be participating to update the Board on activities related to the clinic transition.

New Vaccine Registration Window: MONDAY MARCH 15th @ 9AM

San Juan County Health and Community Services will be opening registration for first dose vaccine appointments on Monday March 15th at 9:00am.

To read the full Press Release, which includes information on eligibility and registration, please click HERE.

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