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WhidbeyHealth Announces Primary Care Clinic Re-Opening in Freeland

11.18.2022

Whidbey Island Public Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth), announces the re-opening of the Primary Care Freeland office on December 1, 2022. The office will open initially with one primary care provider with two additional providers to join the practice in January 2023.

WhidbeyHealth is excited to announce the grand re-opening of Primary Care Freeland for our South Whidbey residents and visitors. Nurse Practitioner Alison Katus will care for patients from the Freeland primary care clinic. Joining NP Katus in January will be Dr. Teresa Murphy and Nurse Practitioner Kristina Katarina Johnstone at: 5486 S. Harbor Ave, Freeland, WA 98249.

“We are very excited to be able to return Primary Care services to our community in Freeland,” remarked Dr. Garth Miller, COO. “The re-opening will allow greater flexibility for our patients and provide an additional primary care clinic for those on the south-end of our island.”

At WhidbeyHealth we believe everyone on Whidbey Island deserves local access to high-quality healthcare. WhidbeyHealth provides progressive, patient centric healthcare, a safety net when emergencies happen, and peace of mind, knowing our team is standing by 24/7 to respond to the needs of Whidbey Island residents and visitors. WhidbeyHealth is comprised of the Medical Center in Coupeville, and nine (9) outpatient clinics across Whidbey Island.

Stay connected with us for current information at https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth

MARK YOUR CALANDARS!

The WhidbeyHealth Foundation is excited to host the Tour de Whidbey in 2023!

August 19, 2023

Known as one of the most beautiful bike rides in the Pacific Northwest, the Tour de Whidbey draws hundreds of riders from across the country. Ride routes range from our flat 10-mile Family Route to our Perimeter of Whidbey Endurance Route (POWER), a 162-mile route with over 10,000 feet of total elevation.

Tour de Whidbey is a fantastic event that brings locals and visitors together who share a passion to ride for a cause!

Take in the breathtaking views from the “back roads” or ocean vistas from the waters’ edge. Leisurely ride or push yourself to the limit. This one-day event is not a race – riders start and finish at their own pace. It’s a ride for the fun, for the challenge, for your health, and for the impact!

Pick the route that fits your skills and fuels your passion to ride. Every route has fully stocked hospitality break stations every 10-18 miles:

  • POWER (Perimeter of Whidbey Endurance Route) – 162 mile routes around the perimeter of our beautiful island
  • Century – 100 mile route through North and South Whidbey
  • Metric Century Plus – 68 mile routes through South Whidbey
  • Half Century – 50 mile routes through North and Central Whidbey
  • Metric Half Century – 33 mile routes through North Whidbey
  • Family – 10 mile route winds through the areas in and around Coupeville with a break station at the 5-mile mark

2023 Tour de Whidbey proceeds support the purchase of vital equipment for the WhidbeyHealth Medical Center and Clinics.

The mission of the WhidbeyHealth Foundation is to make sure WhidbeyHealth has the resources needed to provide patient-centered quality care for Whidbey residents and visitors alike. Together, we’re keeping Whidbey Island safe and healthy.

For additional information and to register, please visit: www.tourdewhidbey.org

The WhidbeyHealth Wire 3

The ‘Boarder’ Crisis

July 18, 2022

Hospitals throughout Washington state are facing unprecedented capacity challenges and those challenges have made their way to Whidbey Island.

Hospitals are operating above their capacity, impacting their ability to provide timely care to all people who urgently need it. As larger urban hospitals reach capacity, smaller rural hospitals are caring for more complex patients that normally would be transferred. The downstream effect is reduced access to OUR Emergency Department and acute inpatient care.

The biggest factor impacting capacity is patients awaiting discharge to nursing homes, behavioral health facilities or other similar settings. Statewide, between 10 and 20% of hospital beds are occupied by patients who are awaiting discharge to one of these settings. In July, WhidbeyHealth has averaged 8 patients per day, without options for safe discharge to an appropriate care setting. Many for days, weeks, and in some cases, a month.

WhidbeyHealth’s Emergency Department has 13 patient rooms. Earlier this week, our ED had 10 patients “boarding” while awaiting discharge to another facility. With the ED operating with only 3 rooms – only 3 patients could be seen at a time, including anyone brought in by ambulance. When patients are held in our ED, it causes delays for patients seeking emergency treatment. WhidbeyHealth is not alone in this struggle.

“There are no easy answers for this challenge. Answers will come through improved guardianship rules, state funding for more psychiatric beds, and additional utilization of our Walk-In clinics.” Mike Layfield, WhidbeyHealth CEO continues, “Washington has the lowest number of hospital beds per capita in the US. This position is untenable for staff and the patients we care for. It’s increasingly challenging for our patients, many of which only have WhidbeyHealth as an option for care.”

How can we fix this on our island and across the state?

Patients are stuck in hospital beds due to inadequate state funding and slow state approval of long-term care placement – all while hospitals and health systems in Washington are struggling financially.

  • The last federal COVID dollars were provided before the Delta and Omicron COVID surge.
  • Costs for supplies and staff have skyrocketed while reimbursement remains stagnant.
  • Most hospitals in Washington have not had a Medicaid rate increase in 20 years.
  • There continues to be a staffing shortage across the health care industry and in hospitals.
  • Hospital staff have also been hit hard by the most recent wave of COVID, with staff who test positive unable to work for 5-10 days.

Rural hospitals like ours are the first line of care for heart attacks, strokes, trauma, and other emergency and acute care needs. People are now waiting longer for care, putting them at higher risk.

WhidbeyHealth is working with our partners in Olympia to enact change:

  • End discriminatory practices towards Medicaid patients by requiring unnecessary guardianships.
  • Fund bed readiness programs at acute care hospitals.
  • Maintain and expand programs to stabilize long-term care facilities and behavioral health.
  • Expand child and adult respite capacity to prevent inappropriate hospitalization of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

WhidbeyHealth is fighting every day for our community’s health. We appreciate the grace and understanding that you have all shown as we navigate the current health care climate.

Board of Commissioners Applications Open

July 11, 2022

Any persons interested in appointment to the Whidbey Island Public Hospital District’s Board of Commissioners must submit a written letter of interest as well as a professional resume.

The Board of Commissioners has five (5) seats, representing the population of Whidbey Island. Board members are considered “at large” so they are accessible to the full community and do not represent any specific geographic location. Board of Commissioner candidates can reside anywhere on Whidbey Island (within the hospital district).

For the Commissioner Application information, please visit our Board of Commissioner’s page: https://whidbeyhealth.org/about-us/board-of-commissioners.

APPLICANT DEADLINE: Thursday, September 1, 2022 @ 5:00pm PST

The WhidbeyHealth Wire 2

June 21, 2022

Change is always interesting. There are many different kinds of change and many different perspectives on what result that change will leave. Ideally, change brings with it something improved, repaired or redirected. Through a different lens it can bring turmoil. For the past several years, WhidbeyHealth has been in financial and medical staff turmoil. Important for our future, those struggles are now in the rear view. Through the challenges though, one this has remained constant – the quality of care.

The last few years have been fraught with fear, uncertainty and isolation. What we don’t speak enough about are the hundreds of compassionate, empathetic and dedicated individuals who have been committed to providing our island community with nothing but the best health care possible.

Our quality has never wavered.

Did you know WhidbeyHealth is an accredited Critical Access hospital? Did you know that our HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores are higher than Washington state average… higher than the national average? Did you know we have nationally accredited Cancer Care and Oncology services? Did you know we have nationally accredited Laboratory Care? Did you know we have not had a reportable surgical site infection in over a year, or any device associated infections in nearly three years? Did you know WhidbeyHealth provides training and operational best practices to other regional hospitals on effective antimicrobial practices? We are neighbors helping neighbors and following through on the tenets this hospital was founded upon.

The community asked; WhidbeyHealth delivered. The quality care we provide was confirmed with our inaugural NIAHO (National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations) accreditation survey. We selected DNV to be our accrediting body, knowing they audit the whole continuum of care. Aside from validating Medicare requirements, we’re leveraging best practices from CMS, Brain Attack Coalition, American Heart Association, International Organization of Standardization, and the World Health Organization to bring Whidbey Island the best care possible.

The HCAHPS are the nationally standardized, publicly reported survey of a patient’s perspective of the care they received. Did you know that our patients rate the quality of care they received from WhidbeyHealth higher than the state’s average? Higher than the national average? With an overall patient score of 4 of 5 stars, we’re bringing exceptional care to our island.

WhidbeyHealth was rated in the top 10 healthcare institutions in Washington for nursing care and communication in 2021 (HCAHPS). That places us above most of our neighbors along the I-5 corridor, and alongside the likes of UW Medical Center and Virginia Mason Medical Center.

A small, rural hospital, on an island in the Puget Sound, doesn’t sound like a recipe for great healthcare. Despite that, our care is world class. We are here for you, our community, standing by to provide the highest quality care.

-Conor O’Brien, Marketing & Community Relations Manager

Sources:

DNV: https://www.dnv.com/services/hospital-accreditation-7516

HCAHPS: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/HospitalQualityInits/HospitalHCAHPS

The WhidbeyHealth Wire

May 24, 2022

A two-plus year pandemic. Years of financial distress. A vote of no confidence from the medical staff. Near financial collapse. WhidbeyHealth has come a long way in recent months, surviving and working towards sustaining.

In March, the hospital district’s Board of Commissioners selected HealthTechS3 to provide experienced leadership that would help the hospital district improve its financial position quickly and efficiently – the first phase of stabilization. Hospital leadership is working to repair the communication and relationship with the medical staff. The two have agreed to collaborate alongside the district’s Board to improve hospital operations and community wellness as one team.

We’ve had many successes of late, widely discussed in the Whidbey News Times & South Whidbey Record. We’ve identified financial improvement measures that better our position by $8 million this year and $12 million next year. We’ve been able to improve our cash liquidity from 10 days of operating cash on hand to over 30 in two short months.

WhidbeyHealth has been busy. It’s the community, the compassion and the care that drives us. It’s what continues to drive us as we transition into the next phase of stabilization. With that, we would like to share some breaking news:

An element of annual healthcare finance auditing is the evaluation of an institution’s “credit” and the likelihood of timely repayment on loans, etc. We’ve fixed elements of our finances that have updated our rating. We have now been re-audited and the “growing concern” tag that was attached to our rating, has been removed. What does this mean? It means WhidbeyHealth now has the credit stability needed to secure the financing we need to support our sustainability goals. This is a big win and a corner turned.

In other news:

  • We have a new Medical Director of Women’s Health and OB/GYN Care. She will be joining us in September.
  • We have another OB/GYN that we believe will join our team in September as well.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation Care has resumed after a staffing-related hiatus.
  • We are renegotiating an equipment contract, resulting in less expenses and access to a new CT scanner.
  • Fluoroscopy services are expected to resume later this year.
  • Moody’s Investor Service reassessed our financial position and believed us to be solvent in the short term and will reassess a third time as additional improvement measures are implemented.

WhidbeyHealth is very excited to share some positive news with our community. There is renewed hope for our future as we work to gain community confidence in WhidbeyHealth and all the care services we provide. We appreciate the opportunity Sound Publishing and WNT/SWR have provided us.

-Mike Layfield, Interim CEO

Moody’s Updated Position on WhidbeyHealth Finances

05.17.2022

The Whidbey Island Public Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth) has received an update to their annual analysis from Moody’s Investor Service. Moody’s has adjusted their initial assessment to reflect its belief that the district is now positioned to avoid default on its $6.8 million bond anticipation notes (BANS) due January 1, 2022, but now extended ninety (90) days to September 1. Repayment terms with Heritage Bank are under discussion.

Moody’s reassessment confirmed their belief that the district’s weak financial position has uncertain long-term prospects of repaying unlimited tax general obligation (GOULT) bonds of $44.9 million and $12.3 million of the limited tax general obligation (GOLT) bonds. The GOULT rating was downgraded one notch to Ba3, while the GOLT rating remained unchanged.

“We are pleased to receive the latest release from Moody’s today,” stated Jim Childers, Interim CFO. “Moody’s reassessment confirms the beneficial work towards long-term financial sustainability that the district’s leadership has been working towards and acknowledges the improvements in cash flow through year end 2022.”

The current belief by Moody’s is attributed to a new management company and management team, as well as significant updates to the district’s strategic plan for meaningful budgetary realignments, cost controls and revenue growth. Moody’s may opt to revisit the district’s rating infrastructure as WhidbeyHealth continues to implement their financial turnaround measures – demonstrating timely repayment of outstanding debt, stabilizing and improving cash flow, improving financial reporting practices, and improving medical staff relations.

Moody’s Investor Service (MIS) is a global provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis. A rating from Moody’s enables issuers to create go-to market debt strategies with the ability to capture wider investor focus and provides investors with a comprehensive view of global debt markets through ratings and research.

Media inquiries: Conor O’Brien at obrienc@conorobrien

Stay connected with us for current information at our website: https://whidbeyhealth.org/ or on social media at: https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth.

Introducing: the Swing Bed program at WhidbeyHealth

04.21.2022

WhidbeyHealth is happy to announce the formal start to our Swing Bed program, providing specialized inpatient recovery and care to the residents of Whidbey Island.

Swing Bed services are a stop for the patient between hospital and home, where patients receive the continued care they need for an optimal recovery from illness, injury or surgery. Residents receiving care from other health care providers no longer need to stay far away from home for the duration of their recovery. With Swing Bed care available at WhidbeyHealth, you can be treated elsewhere but recover close to family and home.

WhidbeyHealth is proud to bring this level of care to our community – letting patients heal close to home, while the family has piece of mind and comfort knowing their loved one is receiving the help they need to get back to their best.

For additional information on WhidbeyHealth’s Swing Bed program, you can learn more: here.

Obstetrics and Women’s Care at WhidbeyHealth

03.25.2022

As we (WhidbeyHealth) work towards our strategic organizational recovery, rumors have been circulating throughout the Whidbey Island community that we would like to address head-on. WhidbeyHealth has made the decision to reinvest in our obstetric and gynecological programs. These programs will not be terminated.

Women’s health and maternal services are critical services for our community. WhidbeyHealth looks forward to continuing to provide women’s health and maternal services for many years to come. We are grateful for the outpouring of community support that we have received for our staff, providers, and Women’s Health programs.

Community questions are welcomed while the hospital district navigates its financial recovery. Please direct any community or media inquiries to the Marketing and Community Relations Manager, Conor O’Brien at obrienc@whidbeyhealth.org.

Media inquiries: Conor O’Brien at obrienc@conorobrien

Stay connected with us for current information at our website: https://whidbeyhealth.org/ or on social media at: https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth.

WhidbeyHealth Announces Primary Care Clinic Relocation to Clinton

03.15.2022

Whidbey Island Public Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth), announces the relocation of the Primary Care Freeland office to the Walk-In Clinic Clinton location on April 19, 2022.

WhidbeyHealth is excited to announce the upcoming combination of Primary Care and Walk-In Care clinics or South Whidbey residents and visitors. The new practice model increases community access to health care services that would otherwise only be available at a different location. Starting April 19, 2022, patients seen at our Primary and Walk-In Care Clinic Clinton, will have access to primary care, walk-in care, laboratory and diagnostic imaging (including women’s care imaging) at: 11245 State route 525, Clinton, WA 98236.

“The relocation of primary care services in Freeland to our Clinton clinic provides greater access to important services, like lab, imaging and walk-in care,” commented Dr. Garth Miller, COO. “Primary Care patients will no longer need to travel to a different clinic for tests, draws or imaging prior to their appointments. This move will increase the coverage and accessibility to care in our community.”

At WhidbeyHealth we believe everyone on Whidbey Island deserves local access to high-quality healthcare. WhidbeyHealth provides progressive, patient centric healthcare, a safety net when emergencies happen, and peace of mind knowing our team is standing by 24/7 to respond to the needs of Whidbey Island residents and visitors. WhidbeyHealth is comprised of the Medical Center in Coupeville, and nine (9) outpatient clinics across Whidbey Island.

Stay connected with us for current information at https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth

Interim CEO Begins Turnaround Work at WhidbeyHealth

March 7, 2022

Whidbey Island Public Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Layfield as Interim CEO. Layfield, positioned by HealthTechS3, the district’s partnered management services provider, will guide the district’s needed financial turnaround to ensure the sustainability of healthcare on Whidbey Island.

Layfield, a seasoned hospital CEO, has spent the last 15 years working in small-town, 25-bed critical access hospitals. He is a leader who champions innovation and health reform, leading multiple hospital turnarounds. Mr. Layfield earned his B.S. in Management from Columbus State University and is a graduate of Duke University’s Health Management Improvement Program.

“The Board and I are confident that HealthTechS3 is the right partnership to help turn around the district’s financial position,” remarked Ron Wallin, hospital district Board President. “[HealthTechS3 and Layfield] have a track record of successfully integrating critical access health care systems, while ensuring strategic goals and patient experience needs are met.”

HealthTechS3 Management was selected as the district’s partnered management services provider at the February 23, 2022 Board Meeting. The WhidbeyHealth Board of Commissioners made the selection in collaboration with WhidbeyHealth finance, plant & infrastructure, and nursing leadership, as well as representation from the Medical Staff.

Open Letter to our Whidbey Island Community

From: WhidbeyHealth Board of Commissioners – Ron Wallin, Grethe Cammermeyer, Nancy Fey, Eric Anderson, James Golder

March 3, 2022

Over recent weeks there have been major upheavals within the WhidbeyHealth system, including sweeping changes in senior leadership and identification of a severe financial shortfall which was reported to the community at the February 17th meeting of the Board.

The purpose of this letter is to bring everyone up to speed on how we have approached these two challenges thus far.

When the Board terminated the prior CEO, we considered several options to recruit a suitable replacement. Our priority is to find a strong healthcare leader with a history of success at ‘turning around’ financially troubled hospitals like ours.

On two prior occasions, the Board has promoted candidates from within the staff organization. We have also used professional recruiters (‘headhunters’) to conduct a national search.

We felt neither of these was the best approach given our urgent need to high-impact leadership and the skills needed to restore financial stability. Like many hospitals in the United States have done, we decided to engage the support of a specialized hospital management firm and solicited proposals from two qualified organizations.

There are many benefits to this approach, not the least of which is access to subject matter expertise in areas including finance, healthcare technology, clinical quality, and other areas of performance improvement such as purchasing and supply chain and optimizing reimbursement from insurance companies.

After entertaining proposals from two specialized hospital management firms, and with input from administration and the clinical side of the hospital, the Board selected HealthTechS3 (HTS3) as our Management team with Mr. Mike Layfield as Interim CEO for WhidbeyHealth. We are confident that Mike’s decades of positive experience of turning around at least 15 hospitals will help us now as we move forward. Ultimately, we will be hiring a full time CEO through HealthTechS3. HTS3 will also assist us in identifying a full time CFO to continue the adjustments we will need to make to improve our fiscal health.

Throughout the process, we have received hundreds of comments and opinions from island residents, each were taken into consideration by the Commissioners. We are very grateful for the effort our neighbors have put into connecting with us, and we hope you will continue to give us your thoughts as we move through this transition to a vibrant, sustainable health system.

Many major achievements have been realized in the last few years. WhidbeyHealth is now a DNV Accredited Hospital and recently received acknowledgement by Becker’s Hospital Review for excellence in Nursing Care. Our Cancer Center – MAC Clinic – is nationally accredited. We have recently opened the Community Pharmacy in Coupeville and Walk-In Clinics in Clinton and Oak Harbor have been opened to meet the requests and needs of the community. The Covid-19 response was extraordinary and volunteers from the community made possible what was unavailable to many communities elsewhere in the United States.

We live here, too and like you – we care, value and are excited about the future of WhidbeyHealth as we move forward. We hope you will continue to connect with us during this transformation.

Thank you for your support,

Ron Wallin, President

Nancyjean Fey, Secretary

Grethe Cammermeyer

Eric Anderson

James Golder

Letter from Michael Layfield to Whidbey Island Community

2.28.2022

After reading and reviewing the Whidbey News-Times article entitled “Hospital to hire management firm, interim CEO” (https://www.whidbeynewstimes.com/news/hospital-to-hire-management-firm-interim-ceo/) dated 2/25/2022, I would like to provide clarity to the questions posed about my tenure in the health care industry. Of the eighteen hospitals I have been associated with during my career, the Whidbey News-Times focused on two where they stated there were controversies and financial woes. I would like to provide you with information about my tenure at these two hospitals. I have also provided information regarding Perry Community Hospital in Linden, Tennessee.

I started my health career out in 1974 at Duke University Hospital, where I held the position of Assistant Administrator. During my forty-eight years in the healthcare space as Assistant Administrator and CEO, I have successfully led approximately eighteen hospitals. Every hospital I was called to lead and serve had multiple challenges, including political, medical staff, clinical, community perceptions, culture, volume, financial, staffing, quality, or customer service.

I am battle-tested with a wealth of hospital turnaround experience. HealthTechS3 and I are well prepared to lead WhidbeyHealth back to prominence in all aspects of its operations, delivering excellent health care services to the citizens and visitors to Whidbey Island. I would be proud to serve as your interim CEO.

Monticello Arkansas

First, I was not CEO at a hospital in Monticello, Arizona, as stated by the Whidbey News-Times. I did work as CEO at Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Arkansas, from October 2008 to November 2013. The Hospital had several challenges when I arrived in areas of quality and finance, to name a few. I led a turnaround with the following successes:

  • Quality turnaround gaining the prestigious Governor’s Quality Award and surgical site information and inpatient award.
  • Financial turnaround moving the hospital from a loss of $300k in 2007 to a yearly average gain of over $1.5 million over five years.
  • Moved cash in the bank from $1 million in 2007 to over $10 million by the time I left in 2013.
  • Developed and completed a $14 million construction project.

I resigned in 2013, signing a nondisclosure agreement between myself, the medical staff, and the governing board. Without violating the agreement, I can say that the medical staff and I disagreed on who would be responsible for certain areas of the hospital. After a series of discussions and finding no middle ground or compromise, I resigned rather than sacrificing my principles and creating further distractions for the Hospital. When I left the Hospital was in excellent financial condition and a leader in quality care with a bright future.

Lauderdale Community Hospital

I was the CEO at Lauderdale Community Hospital, under the ownership of National Health Care, Kansas, their flagship hospital, from April 2016 to March of 2019.

Lauderdale Hospital was financially and operationally sound. I implemented modern technology including telehealth, expanded outpatient services, and recruited new medical staff.

Two years after I started, in 2018, Jorge Perez, who owned a company called Empower, purchased ten hospitals from National Health Care, including Lauderdale Community Hospital.

Over the next two years, most of the hospitals owned by Empower except for Lauderdale Community Hospital experienced financial issues and government investigations from Empower’s lab business.

Empower drained Lauderdale’s cash balances, including AR collections, cost reports and grants sending Lauderdale’s cash to support the other system hospitals.

In late 2018 and early 2019, the Hospital fell into serious operational issues, including closing and reopening the ER due to payroll and supply issues. When payroll and accounts payable could not be met, I went without being paid so that the line employees could be paid. I was never paid for the last three months I worked there. It was not about the money. It was about saving the Hospital, saving jobs, and providing health care services for the community.

During the last 4 or 5 months at the Hospital, I worked tirelessly with government officials (including the state attorney general and CMS) to obtain a court-appointed receiver appointed to take control from Empower. Together, we took control of over $5 million in cost report money, allowing the Hospital to go into bankruptcy but to remain open.

Today Lauderdale Community Hospital is the only hospital of the original ten that remains open.

Perry Community Hospital

Another hospital I worked with was Perry Community Hospital in Linden, Tennessee. Although it wasn’t referenced in the newspaper article, I felt in the interest of transparency to include information about my tenure there.

I worked as the interim CEO from November 2020 through March 2021. HealthTechS3 provided an interim CEO and limited consulting services.

Perry Community Hospital was a privately owned hospital that was financially challenged with one week of payroll in the bank and minimal accounts receivable. The Hospital was closed on November 27, 2020. I remained on site exploring options to generate cash to reopen the hospital for three more months, including:

  • Filed an interim Medicare cost report rate review which generated $250,000.
  • Received a grant to move the hospital status from PPS to critical access.
  • Developed a financially feasibility plan and strategic plan to reopen.

The hospital had accrued a vast accounts payable balance of over $2 million, including employee back pay, and several liens were filed. The hospital needed approximately $5 million to reopen. Since we could not find financing or show a reasonable ability to pay back a loan, HealthTechS3 terminated the engagement. The hospital remains closed.

Michael G. Layfield

WhidbeyHealth Board Selects Interim CEO

2.25.2022

The Whidbey Island Public Hospital District (WhidbeyHealth) Board of Commissioners announced Wednesday, February 23rd that they have selected HealthTechS3 Management as the district’s partnered management services provider. Pending Board appointment, HealthTechS3 will position seasoned CEO, Michael Layfield as the district’s interim Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Ron Telles. Mr. Layfield will tentatively begin work at the district next week. The Board elected to end its contract with Mr. Telles, who agreed to remain acting CEO until an interim replacement has been identified.

Mr. Layfield is a Hospital CEO with over thirty-five (35) years of experience in the Health Care Industry. He has worked in for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals as Regional Vice President, CEO and CFO, focusing on quality care, patient experience, employee culture, provider engagement, and financial results. He is a leader and champion of innovation and health reform, leading three (3) hospital turnarounds, and has spent the last fifteen (15) years in critical access hospitals.

“The Board and I are confident that HealthTech is the right partnership to help turn around the district’s financial position,” remarked Ron Wallin, Board President. “They have a track record of successfully supporting integrated critical access health care systems, while ensuring strategic goals and patient experience needs are met.” The Board conducted management service provider interviews during the February 23rd Special Board Meeting. The Board was joined by Chief of Staff, Dr. Lemme, Interim Chief Financial Officer, Jim Childers, Executive Director of Facilities and Plant Engineering, Tim Waldner, and Executive Director of Nursing, Curtis Shumate, who participated in the interview process.

The Whidbey Island Public Hospital District’s Board of Commissioners is comprised of five (5) elected officials, representing the different geographic areas of Whidbey Island, WA. The Board is responsible for strategic direction and financial oversight of the district. They meeting monthly and act as liaisons between the hospital and the community.

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Stay connected with us for current information at: https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyHealth

Community Update 02.23.2022: Abbott Nutrition Recalls Certain Baby Formulas

2.23.2022

WhidbeyHealth has received notice from Abbott Nutrition regarding an Urgent Voluntary Product Recall on certain powdered formulas.

The message from Abbott Nutrition is as follows:

Abbott is initiating a proactive, voluntary product recall of certain powder formulas (Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare) manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan, one of the company’s manufacturing facilities.

Abbott is voluntarily recalling these products after four consumer complaints related to Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport in infants who had consumed powder formula manufactured in our Sturgis, Michigan facility. Additionally, as part of Abbott’s quality process, we conduct routine testing for Cronobacter sakazakii and other pathogens in our manufacturing facilities. During testing in our Sturgis, Michigan facility, we found evidence of Cronobacter sakazakii in the plant in non-product contact areas. We found no evidence of Salmonella Newport.

Importantly, no distributed product has tested positive for the presence of either of these bacteria. Abbott conducts extensive quality checks on each completed batch of powder formula, including microbiological analysis prior to release. All infant formula powder finished products are tested for Cronobacter sakazakii, Salmonella Newport and other pathogens and they must test negative before any product is released.

While Abbott’s testing of finished product detected no pathogens, we are taking action by recalling the powder formula manufactured in this facility with an expiration date of April 1, 2022 or later. No Abbott liquid formulas are impacted by this recall, including 2oz ready-to-feed. Additionally, no powder formulas or nutrition products produced in any other facility are impacted by the recall.

  • To find out if a product is included in this recall, visit similacrecall.com and type in the code on the bottom of the package, or call +1-800-986-8540 (U.S.) and follow the instructions provided. No action is needed for previously consumed product.
  • If caregivers have questions about feeding their child, they have been instructed to contact their healthcare professional.
  • The products under recall have a multidigit number on the bottom of the container starting with the first two digits 22 through 37, contains K8, SH or Z2 nd with an expiration date of April 1, 2022, or after.

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