Contact: Scot Attridge, Chief Executive Officer
Office (360) 642-6300 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Community invited to learn more at two Q&A sessions in July
ILWACO, WA — Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics (OBHMC) is asking voters for a capital facilities bond on the August primary ballot. Below are answers to thoughtful questions OBHMC is hearing from the community. The community is invited to learn more at two question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions this month.
The purpose of the bond is to increase access to and improve health-care services for rural residents. Many people in the community still must travel long distances to get the basic and specialty care they need. Here are answers to questions OBHMC is hearing from the community:
How much is budgeted for each area of improvement?
The project list with cost breakdown is available on OBHMC’s website (www.oceanbeachhospital.com/bond “Proposed Project List for Bond”)
How are the funds managed and who is accountable for these expenditures?
OBHMC has a system in place of checks and balances for transparency and accountability. A strategic planning committee developed the list of capital projects based on community input and the recent Community Health Needs Assessment, which the Board of Commissioners reviewed and approved. These two groups will oversee the implementation of the bond projects. A separate finance committee reviews all expenditures monthly, and then again with the Board of Commissioners at its monthly meeting. These meetings are advertised and open to the public.
As a nonprofit public hospital district, OBHMC’s financial stewardship is mandated under state law, and it has passed all independent financial and accountability audits.
How will OBHMC report back to the community about the bond-funded projects?
OBHMC has several communication outlets to share information, including a newsletter, its Annual Community Benefit report, website, social media channels, and reaching out to local media. The most important communication channel is the monthly Board of Commissioners meeting, which is always open to the public, but seldom well-attended. That is why OBHMC uses these channels and others to remain transparent and accountable to the public.
The ballot language says, “unlimited tax general obligation bond.” Does this mean the funds collected are unlimited?
No. The total amount OBHMC can collect is what voters approve on the ballot measure. The word “unlimited” refers to the projects that are listed given the possibility that costs might change within that scope.
The answers to these questions and more about the bond are available at www.oceanbeachhospital.com/bond or on the OBHMC Facebook page. Another opportunity to learn more about the bond is at a Q&A session this month:
- Wednesday, July 19 at 6 p.m. at Naselle Library, 4 Parpala Road, Naselle
- Saturday, July 22 at 10 a.m. at the Ilwaco Community Room in the Ilwaco Library, 158 First Avenue N.
If approved by voters, the bond will fund:
- A nonprofit Urgent Care Clinic
- Expansion of the Ilwaco Clinic, the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, nurses’ station, and pharmacy
- Renovating patient bathrooms for safety and wheelchair access
- Adding a procedure room to provide gynecological exams and pap smears at the Ocean Park Clinic
- Acquiring or adding space for specialty services such as orthopedics, dermatology, podiatry, urology, behavioral health, and diabetes care. (Right now, OBHMC does not have the physical space to hire specialty providers to provide any additional services at home as opposed to residents having to travel long distances.)
- Upgrading medical equipment
- Improving delivery of in-home nursing care services
The bond is projected to cost $0.17 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The cost would be $5.67 per month or $68 per year for the owner of a $400,000 home. This rate is less than half of what voters approved in the last bond, which was paid off in 2021.
OBHMC asked voters in April to consider a bond to improve access to local health care. The measure required a 60 percent supermajority per state law, and it failed by just five votes (59.93 percent).
Voters should receive their ballots in the mail beginning July 14. Ballots must be postmarked by August 1, 2023, or placed in a ballot box by 8 p.m. on Election Day to count.
Find more information about the bond at www.oceanbeachhospital.com.
Public Hospital District 3 of Pacific County (known as Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics) provides both routine and critical health-care services to residents from Naselle to Ocean Park. Our hospital and clinics ensure continued local access to high-quality health care for rural residents. Our mission is to ease the pain and improve the health of residents and visitors in our care. We are one of the largest employers in Pacific County, providing family-wage jobs to 180 people. More information on Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics can be found on its website at www.oceanbeachhospital.com.