I am writing in response to Sheri Reder’s Sept. 12 commentary opposing the formation of a hospital district. Based upon my long career as an administrative leader with several well-known medical groups, I strongly support the creation of a hospital district. Ms. Reder makes several good points, noting the goal is to provide accessible health care for island residents, the need for clarity on the problem we are trying to solve and the importance of innovation — what she misses is that Vashon does not have an island-wide framework for action and that the formation of a hospital district will provide the best tool and basis to address community need.
Puget Sound has an amazing set of health care providers and a very capable emergency management system. However, health care delivery and insurance systems are broken, and primary care is in a crisis in most communities due to an under supply of professionals and unsustainable practice conditions. While telemedicine and other innovations are helpful measures, these are insufficient attempts to patch together a reliable health care system. If Vashon residents are committed to ensuring access to basic medical care for individuals and to creating a healthy community, we must take ownership of the problems we face, accept our unique situation and create an accountable framework. The hospital district provides this very structure with the election of community leaders and the provision of modest resources to advance the best interest of this community. I urge the election of district commissioners who are innovative, understand the need for integrated solutions and have the integrity to act transparently for the public good.
— Alan Aman