Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics to explore affiliation with PeaceHealth

Ocean Beach Hospital

OBH serves many of Washington’s coastal communities, including Ilwaco, Naselle, Long Beach, Ocean Park, and Oysterville.

ILWACO, Wash. – The Board of Commissioners of Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics – also known as Public Hospital District #3 of Pacific County – voted Jan. 28 to enter into formal affiliation discussions with PeaceHealth.

The Vancouver-based health care system already provides Ocean Beach Hospital with management and support services, including executive leadership. It is likely to take several months of work before the nature of the affiliation will be finalized.

“PeaceHealth has been good for Ocean Beach and our community, and this is a natural step in the evolution of the relationship,” said Darren Thorsen, chair of the Board of Commissioners of Pacific County Public Hospital District 3, which also serves as the hospital board. “It’s harder than ever before for independent community hospitals to thrive without strong affiliations.”

PeaceHealth, which serves patients in Washington, Oregon and Alaska, has experience serving other Washington public hospital districts. This includes an agreement with San Juan County Public Hospital District 1 to provide health care at Peace Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor, and with Public Hospital District 304 at United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley. Skagit County Public Hospital District 1 and Snohomish County Public Hospital District 3 also have approved letters of intent to negotiate affiliations between PeaceHealth and Skagit Regional Health and Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics, respectively.

“The changing nature of health care continues to increase financial pressures on rural hospitals,” said Sy Johnson, CEO of PeaceHealth’s Columbia Network. “PeaceHealth believes it is vitally important that coastal patients and families continue to have access to quality, local health care. Now we are excited by the opportunity to consider strengthening our affiliation.”

Since the summer of 2012, Ocean Beach Hospital has been led by PeaceHealth’s Kendall Sawa, an Alaska native who has quickly grown to love his new home.

“It rains less here than in Alaska,” the Ocean Beach CEO said with a laugh. “This community is very special. The people have a lot of pride in their coastal traditions, and truly care for one another. It’s a privilege to be able to work hard to make sure these families will always have a high quality local hospital ready for them when they need care.”

Alan Yordy, PeaceHealth President and Chief Mission Officer, said he is proud of the organization’s track record of working effectively with public hospital districts to serve patients.

“Throughout PeaceHealth’s 125 years in the Pacific Northwest, we have answered the call from communities who seek our help in providing high-quality health care,” said Alan Yordy, PeaceHealth President and Chief Mission Officer. “We consider it an honor to be invited to discuss options for securing access to quality local care for coastal residents.”

About Ocean Beach Hospital:
Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics is an integrated healthcare organization committed to providing high quality, patient-focused care, offering a wide range of medical services from 24-hour emergency care and wellness programs to orthopedic surgery and cardiac rehabilitation. Founded in 1934, Ocean Beach has grown into one of the largest employers in South Pacific County. With 15 licensed beds, the hospital averages nearly 500 patients admissions per year, along with an additional 30,000 outpatient visits. Ocean Beach is governed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Hospital District #3 of Pacific County.

About PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. PeaceHealth has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a multi-specialty medical group practice with more than 800 physicians and providers, a comprehensive laboratory system, and nine medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of its founding Sisters and continues to serve communities when invited to do so with a spirit of collaboration and stewardship. This is The Spirit of Healing—The Spirit of PeaceHealth.


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