Community should have quality health care

It is unfortunate that candidates for the hospital district cannot specify what services would be provided, because the district is not yet approved and they are not yet elected. But with no inside knowledge, and no guarantee of reliability, I offer a prediction about those services.

My perspective is that of a former Vashon resident who recently moved to a Seattle retirement community. I was a patient at the Vashon Health Center under the care of the wonderful Dr. Gary Koch. I was also a University of Washington pediatric faculty member based for 18 years at Seattle Children’s Hospital and 30 years at Harborview Medical Center.

I envision the operation being similar to that of the Lopez Island Hospital District. Specifically, an attractive facility that provides primary care for adults and children, care of acute illness and minor trauma, integrated behavioral health, IV infusions, digital imaging and laboratory testing. Chronic disease management would be an important component, too. Specialists — like cardiologists, rheumatologists, oncologists, dermatologists and neurologists — would make regular visits to the clinic, lessening the need for island residents to get on the ferry, find parking and wait in Seattle or Tacoma offices.

Living on Vashon is a privilege. It makes no sense for the community not to have a quality health center that provides the above services.

— Abe Bergman, MD




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