Seventh Generation Supper
Tuesday, February 25, 5:45 pm Anacortes Senior Center
Evening presentation: Island Hospital - Looking Ahead
Sommer Carter, new TF&F Board member, emceed the evening with an energized and fun leadership style that all seemed to enjoy. Music was provided by Kevin Summers on the sax. Attendance was 62. Sommer started the evening by reviewing the status of the Vision 2030 document that we began with a visioning session in April 2013. Two sections, Food & Economy were reviewed this evening:
- Vision 2030: Food - Sylvia Cooper summarized that we need to localize our food system (minimize fossil-fuel inputs) and increase food production (more food, fewer lawns), support pollinators, consider creating a seed bank and a possible Co-Op, to include a local kitchen.
- Vision 2030 - Economy - Jan Woodruff mentioned three basic features of this section: (1) Create a sustainable economic plan; (2) Transform our town to a vibrant waterfront community; (3) Recruit triple-bottom-line (Profits - People - Planet) businesses that focus on industries such as clean energy, green marine development, and sustainable tourism.
- Ed Gastellum asked for volunteers to emcee the TF&F meetings in the future and passed around a sign-up sheet.
- Sommer noted that although anyone and everyone is welcome at Transition suppers and events, membership dues help to support TF&F's programs and she invited interested folks to become members. (Annual dues are $20 individual/$30 family and can be mailed to PO Box 62, Anacortes or paid via Paypal at transitionfidalgo.org.)
- Jan Woodruff passed around Initiative #1329 to reverse the Supreme Court decision treating corporations as people - there was strong interest in signing this document.
- Eric Shen asked for $5 donations to help pay for the publication of our Vision 2030 document. Those that donated received a very nice thank-you present: choice of a reusable shopping bag handmade (and donated) by Daphne Ghan, or another reusable bag that could be folded to fit in a pocket.
- Sequoia Ferrel is looking for a farm partner for 2014. She has a survey available for Gaia Rising Farm to obtain info regarding possible crops people would like the farm to grow in the future. She hopes to make the form available soon at gaiarisingfarm.com. She also stressed that Anacortes needs a food co-op and she would be interested in helping to start one. She can be reached at email@example.com
- Heather Burke asked how many people would like to have organic food served? About 75% raised their hands. Then, how many people would be willing to pay a little more? About 50% raised their hands.
- Gabriel Olmstead of the Home Trust of Skagit - a community land trust serving Skagit County - will hold its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 25th @ Anacortes Library at 6pm. Included will be a presentation by Dana Brandt of Bellingham discussing affordable solar power. Home Trust of Skagit works to provide perpetually affordable home ownership to working families.
- Gael Varsi announced that the TimeBank is thriving and thanks to Mary Beth Conlee, we now have a streamlined application process online. You can also renew your membership online. Go to www.fidalgoandfriends.timebanks.org
- Visitors were introduced and welcomed.
Vince Oliver, CEO of Island Hospital, discussed the challenges small community hospitals face today, including collaborations and partnerships, the cost of independence, financial status and projections, campus growth, and the hospital's focus on sustainability and conservation of resources.
Island Hospital, authorized as Skagit County Public Hospital District #2, has grown under Oliver's leadership during the past 14 years from 19 patients a day to about 30. ER visits have increased from 5,000 to 14,000 and births from 220 per year to 400. The hospital has about 100 physicians on staff. Most significant, the payment for services has changed from a fee-for-service system to a global fee given to provide service. However, costs are going up and patients are going down - this is a formula for problems. Charitable care from 2007 until 2011 has risen from $1million to $1.8million & bad debts from 2007 until 2013 have risen from $1miillion to $3.9million. Expenses are 55% for staff salaries; other major expenses are medical supplies, drugs, physicians' fees, and capital expansion. Island Hospital is a 43-bed facility with about 30 beds occupied on the average. There are 726 direct employees.
Island Hospital is reviewing "collaboration." This concept can be anything from a loose partnership, a shared services concept, or a full partnership with "tight" control by the partner. This issue is being reviewed for the need of efficiency and green opportunities.
After the presentation, questions from the floor focused on: nutrition and food, will the Affordable Care Act reduce costs, aligning with PeaceHealth, reducing bad debts, the importance of volunteers (now there are 130 volunteers), can equipment be sterilized to re-use, why are there fewer patients now in an aging community, the IS Resource Center, will IH raise its funding by special levies, will IH use physician's assistants and nurse practitioners more, what is the IH 5-year plan?
Adjourned at 7:42 pm.
The presentation at the March 25th Supper will be how honeybees model sustainability by Daniel Najera, professor at Green River Community College.
Bud Anderson, Secretary