When we moved here 20 years ago this month, we fell in love with Whidbey Island. We loved it so much, we started telling everyone we knew how wonderful it was.
Pretty soon, a few of the locals sidled up to us and asked, “Do you know why we tell people it always rains in Seattle?”
We got it.
For years, we heard negative comments about then-Whidbey General Hospital. However, having recently experienced it for myself, We’ve concluded that the locals were trying to keep it secret too.
A recent three-day stay at WhidbeyHealth included a precision, dedicated staff of well- trained and managed caregivers. Our hospitalist gathered records from as far away as a hospital in Florida, from our local primary care doctor and from our specialists on the other side. She compiled a thorough case study and wrote us a discharge pathway to recovery.
Much of our follow-up care will be at WhidbeyHealth, saving many ferry fares and harrowing drives to and in downtown Seattle.
Can you say parking space?
As we know, rural hospitals are closing all over the country, mostly due to lack of money, not to lack of high quality, caring health professionals. Lack of money is a solvable problem, and if Whidbey residents know what is good for us, we will do what it takes to keep an on-island hospital.
The politics of a hospital are not the same as the care at a hospital. What we wish for WhidbeyHealth is to add departments so folks here could have cradle to grave care, a place where everybody knows your name and the first form you fill out is the last form you fill out.
Actually, we thought long and hard before we wrote this letter, because, if truth be known, we would prefer to keep this secret to ourselves.
In the meantime, let’s all show up at the commissioners meeting, 7 a.m. May 13 in the Robert and June Sebo Health Education Center in the new wing of WhidbeyHealth and find out what we can do to help.
Donna and Maury Hood