Letter: Protect Hospice Care in San Juans

Posted October 29, 2020 at 4:30 am by

By Marie-Luz Vil­la MD AGSF, Main Oper­a­tions Man­ag­er, Hos­pice of San Juan

San Juan Coun­ty, being rel­a­tive­ly tiny in the eyes of Medicare, receives insur­ance-fund­ed hos­pice care under the umbrel­la of Hos­pice of the North­west (HNW), which is based in Skag­it County.

Although both San Juan Island and Lopez Island have all-vol­un­teer hos­pice orga­ni­za­tions to com­ple­ment the nurs­ing care avail­able from HNW, around-the-clock access to nurs­ing sup­port and oth­er crit­i­cal resources for end-of-life care is pro­vid­ed by HNW alone.

This cur­rent­ly is under threat.

Were you aware that Hos­pice of the North­west is under con­sid­er­a­tion for sale to Bris­tol Man­age­ment Team, a for-prof­it hos­pice com­pa­ny that is part of Web­ster Equi­ty Part­ners, based in Massachusetts?

For-prof­it hos­pices do not have a good track record. San Juan Coun­ty, which is part of the HNW Cer­tifi­cate of Need, has not been includ­ed in requests for pub­lic comment.

Is there any­thing this com­mu­ni­ty could do to help pro­tect hos­pice care to vul­ner­a­ble adults in our county?

Please con­tact your coun­ty coun­cil rep and your island’s pub­lic hos­pi­tal dis­trict right away to urge inter­ven­tion in this poten­tial­ly dis­as­trous sale!



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Categories: Letters


  1. Dear Mar­iluz,
    Thank you for who you are and all you do to serve the com­mu­ni­ty. We very much appre­ci­ate you.

    Comment by Jim Petkiewicz on October 29, 2020 at 8:42 am
  2. Also … please send let­ters to the edi­tor to Skag­it Val­ley Her­ald and the Com­mis­sion­ers of Skag­it PHD #1 and #304 — the co-own­ers of HNW. There has been a huge com­mu­ni­ty and staff out-cry and the Com­mis­sion­er are hear­ing us … but, we need to con­tin­ue to send them a mes­sage that this is not OK.

    Comment by Kathryn L Clary on October 30, 2020 at 8:38 pm

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