Letters to the Editor

Clinic would be jeopardized without Franciscan help | Letter to the Editor

I read with interest an article published in The Seattle Times on Sunday, April 28. The article concerned hospitals affiliating with Catholic-run systems. That article, together with comments that I have heard in our community have prompted me to write this letter.

There are ongoing discussions regarding faith-based restrictions on reproductive care and end-of-life decisions. However, there is another picture to be looked at in these discussions. Setting the religious and/or moral issues aside, we should be looking at the bigger picture. The bottom-line issue here on Vashon is the need for medical facilities.

I am under the impression that our clinic operates at a loss of approximately $250,000 per year. What is the economic impact of our island if the Franciscan Health System feels that they are not welcome here? Is there the possibility that the Franciscan system would simply close the facility? Are we then to have another ongoing annual fundraising effort, as we do with many organizations on this island, to try to operate the clinic without the support, powerful electronic systems, purchasing power and access to specialty care that we would have with the Franciscan system?

Having been active in the real estate business for many years, I can tell you that the first question that is asked by families considering a move to the island is about health care and medical facilities. If the Franciscan System decides to rid itself of the burden of operating our clinic, there will be many seniors who will be leaving the island in order to be near medical facilities. There would also be many families who will decide that life on the island does not offer services to fit their needs. What would the economic fallout be to our community?

Consider the economic impact if the Franciscan system thinks that they are not really wanted on Vashon and drop their support of the Vashon clinic. A saying that has persevered over the years in our family household is “be careful what you ask for, you may just get it.”


— Dick Bianchi


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