New Owner for San Juan Healthcare
Story by Louise Dustrude…
Dr. Burk Gossom has found “the right person for the position” in his words and will actually be retiring sometime after the first of the year.
He and Will House, M.D., have “a gentleman’s agreement” for transfer of San Juan Healthcare and will be working out details of transfer of license, credentialing, licensing – “a whole lot of moving pieces” — between now and then.
Dr. House has given notice in his current position as a family physician in Rockport, Maine.
Both men are board-certified in family medicine.
Dr. House and his family are looking forward to living here, and in fact have been trying for some years to move to the San Juan Islands. His wife Sherrie is a math teacher. They visited San Juan County about 17 years ago with their daughter Jackie, who was then one year old. Jackie plans to attend the University of Washington after living here for a year to gain residency. Their daughter Savannah, who is 10, will attend public school here; her parents checked out the schools and were “very impressed.”
He had an earlier career in software engineering before going to med school at Tulane University in New Orleans, graduating in 2015.
He and his wife lived for many years in Boulder, Colorado, where both girls were born, and all four enjoy hiking, boating, reading, great food, and spending time with their dog, Hooper.
He says in a brief bio for Dr. Gossom’s patients: “I’m very interested in chronic disease management and reversal. I believe in being a good steward of medications and only use them sparingly. I think dietary modification is one of our best and most untapped sources of wellness. I also enjoy helping those who are challenged with substance abuse.”
“I believe very strongly in helping patients to understand and participate fully in their health issues and treatments.”
Dr. Mark Fishaut, and Heather Christensen, ARNP, and Caroline Hansen, ARNP, and the rest of the staff are all planning to remain (except Carla Frentz, who had already made plans to leave).
Dr. House is committed to accepting all of Dr. Gossom’s patients, including those covered by Medicaid. Dr. Gossom has sent him a detailed email outlining some of the challenges here.
Dr. Gossom came here in 1980, three months before Dr. Bob Carlisle. He came here from Portland where he did his family practice residency. The Emergency Medical Service (EMS) “was just getting started when I took it over.” He also helped to start the local volunteer Hospice group and helped start the Public Hospital District. He was the first medical director for what is now Compass Health, wrote the grant for the first mammogram unit here, and was the medical director for the convalescent center from 1980 until it closed.
He looks forward to having more time for family, for travel and for fly fishing. He is not making any major commitments before June, so that he can be available as necessary.