As incoming chief of staff for WhidbeyHealth for the 2019-20 period, and as a resident and physician on Whidbey Island for a little more than 28 years, I read with interest the letter to the editor of Oct. 30 by former hospital commissioner Kristy Lang Miller.
I had the pleasure of working with Ms. Miller when I previously served as chief of staff and on the medical executive committee in the late 1990s, and I want to thank her for her years of service to our community.
And while I will acknowledge that there have certainly been some bumps along the way as I have worked on our medical staff for more than a generation, I believe that our current leadership — doctors, nurses, employees, administrators and commissioners — have done a tremendous job in modernizing our Coupeville medical campus, while expanding out to the island community, both north and south, with our WhidbeyHealth Primary Care clinics.
In the spirit of a team-based approach, I would like to respond to several of Ms. Miller’s concerns.
Drug samples, while in the short term a benefit to a small percentage of our patients, create a liability in our clinics because of monitoring and expiration issues; additionally, they drive up the cost of health care for all of us with increased premiums, because they encourage providers to prescribe more costly and often less proven regimens.
Monday morning board meetings are well attended by citizens and hospital employees, and the timing of these meetings allows all involved to act on concerns immediately and get things done.
The vitally necessary modernization of our Critical Access Hospital has allowed us to treat patients safely in up-to-date single rooms.
The goal is to make a stay at the hospital comfortable, safe and a rare occurrence, as we promote preventive health in our rural health care clinics.
Our first responders and emergency medical services on Whidbey Island have always been, and continue to be, first rate, while I have had the privilege to live here. We vote for these levies because we know we are taken care of by our great team — in the ER and in the ambulances!
As I enjoy the honor of serving as chief of staff for a third time, I can promise that I will serve with the interests of Whidbey Island citizens at the top of my list. My door is open, and my agenda is as transparent as a clear November sky, with Mount Rainier in full view from our island.
I’m in this for a lifetime of superior medical services on Whidbey Island. If you have a question or a concern, I’m here to help.
Douglas G. Langrock, M.D.