LWVSJ Observer Corps summary of San Juan County JC Public Hospital District #1, September 27, 2023 meeting.
PHD Supervisor/EMS Chief Nathan Butler reported that finances are in good order, with additional tax funds coming in two months. The administration team is working to complete the transition from County financial control to PHD in January. With PHD control, paychecks will be issued twice monthly.
There is a vacancy for a finance specialist with the resignation of Oswyn Eshelman. The EMS is facing two vacancies in full time EMT positions, and paramedic retirements in the next five years. Summer activity was 4-5% above 2022. The Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office’s new boats offer improved services to outer islands.
PHD Deputy Supervisor Evan Perrollaz reported that Ingrid Gabriel was hired as the new Director of Home Care Services. In the works are skills training, including a CNA program. Peace Health is interested in providing hands-on skills training.
Rezoning the Village to commercial looks favorable. The current Village renovation, with new carpet, paint and furniture, is nearing completion. Village Director Tina Smith is doing Medicaid preparation work and she said staff retention has improved. There will be a sale of old furniture at the end of October. Kelsey Lynch RN described her work on Village quality control programs, including pharmacy and operational software.
The Medicaid application committee is meeting this week, with Medicaid beds coming to the Village.
The Commissioners approved a letter to WSF regarding the impact of unreliable ferry operations on islanders with mainland medical needs; they received 74 responses from the public on this issue. The letter will be sent to multiple stakeholders.
The 2024 Budget will be presented at the October 25 regular meeting, with a November 15 deadline for submission. The Commissioners approved streamlined operations reporting at meetings for Village operations, EMS operations, and Home Care/Expansion. They approved $40,000 for solar installations on the EMS and Village buildings, using a solar grant obtained by Finance Director Wambsganss.
The Commissioners approved proposed updates to Policies and Procedures that 1) increase in carryover PTO for EMS personnel to 180 hours; 2) set a consistent pay scale for Village employees; 3) benefit awards for longevity for administrative and leadership team employees. Commissioner Loring partially dissented.
During public comment, Dr. Loren Johnson, retired ER physician, thanked the board for their work in the past several years, and advocated disaster preparedness. Earthquake activity in the region could knock out ferry service indefinitely.
*The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization, encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to promote public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.