Date: August 30, 2022
Contact: Scot Attridge, Chief Executive Officer
Office (360) 642-6300 | firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO says local residents deserve the same quality and access to health care as those in urban areas
ILWACO, WA—Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics (OBHMC) is starting its annual budget process. A preliminary draft will be presented in September with a final budget considered by the Board of Commissioners during their October meeting.
Public hospital districts like OBHMC are primarily funded through patient revenue and an operations levy paid through property taxes. (OBHMC’s operations levy is $0.47 per $1,000 of assessed value.) Some revenue comes from grants and donations; this is not enough to fund daily operations or capital projects.
Voter-approved bonds, on the other hand, fund capital projects, such as renovating and maintaining facilities and replacing medical equipment. Voters last approved a bond of $0.35 per $1,000, which was paid off in 2021. The Board of Commissioners is considering asking voters for a replacement bond of $0.17 per $1,000 sometime in 2023. There will be a public process before a final decision is made, and the community is encouraged to participate in these discussions.
Historically, residents in rural communities have struggled to receive high-quality health care and nonprofit Urgent Care services compared to their urban counterparts. Public hospital districts are not-for-profit, funded by property tax revenue and help narrow the rural-urban divide. OBHMC provides access to quality health care and some specialty services locally.
“The rural-urban divide is real. We see it in health care, technology, like internet and cell phone service, and paying more for basic things like groceries,” said OBHMC CEO Scot Attridge. “Equal access to health care is important regardless of where one lives. Our mission at OBHMC is to deliver quality health care for rural residents here at home.”
In 2021, OBHMC served over 28,970 outpatient visits, handled approximately 7,000 emergency room visits, and performed nearly 1,100 surgical procedures. As a Critical Access Hospital, OBHMC serves a vital role in a rural community that would otherwise lack access to medical services.
Public hospital districts also provide family-wage jobs for rural residents and income for local businesses. OBHMC is one of the largest employers in Pacific County, employing 180 people. In addition, the hospital district uses the services of approximately 50 local businesses on the peninsula in areas such as construction, hardware, banking, and many others.
OBHMC has a Strategic Plan in place to increase space to attract more primary care and specialty providers, as well as create space for a nonprofit Urgent Care Center in the next few years. It also plans to replace critical medical equipment, which may include a Spectral CT or Photon CT. Imaging equipment for its Ocean Park Clinic, a C-arm machine for surgeries and an MRI also are on the list. These types of capital project items are typically funded by a voter-approved bond.
As a public hospital district, OBHMC is regularly audited for its financial practices and has passed all its independent audits by the state.
Pacific County Public Hospital District 3 (known as Ocean Beach Hospital & 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 & Medical Clinics can be found on its website at www.oceanbeachhospital.com.