I appreciate the Whidbey News-Times’ coverage of my campaign for commissioner in 2018. However, I want to offer a few clarifications.
While I appreciate the service of the current commissioner for District 3, we have significant differences in our experience and positions. Recently, he offered his support for phasing out our vaccination program, stating WhidbeyHealth should cover this. That clearly indicates a lack of concern for Camano Islanders who do not have access to WhidbeyHealth and a lack of support for prevention. We also have an opportunity to better serve vulnerable residents in Island County as the state and region implements Healthier Washington Transformation. I provided executive management of one of the first of four federally-funded integrated care programs in Washington state, weaving together wellness, medical and mental health care.
I also believe that the voice of the community and the consumer drives better health outcomes.
There has been a failure to fully listen to the concerns on the health and economic impact of the Growlers and while this is a federal issue, we can better consider those concerns and direct residents to where those concerns can be addressed.
We also need to seek stronger funding through public and private collaborations to increase programming and wages through public health and human services. We have lost significant staff that provided critical public health and home visitation and clinical staff in our behavioral health programs. These and other positions have proven challenging to fill in an increasingly competitive healthcare workforce.
In addition, we must work collaboratively with our partners at Skagit and WhidbeyHealth and other providers to recruit and retain doctors, nurses and other professionals to serve on our islands. I will bring experience and relationships in healthcare and with universities to help build bridges to accomplish these goals and serve the people of Island County.
Janet St Clair