Health care 'task force' to meet


TONASKET – North Valley Hospital CEO Linda Michel shared with the NVH Board of Commissioners that she and others who attended a county-wide hospital/health care confab at the behest of the Okanogan County Commissioners a couple of months ago have been asked to attend another hospital committee meeting on April 30.

“The items on the agenda are to identify what we can do as three hospitals, what do we want to accomplish, how do we engage the public and is a survey needed,, Michel said. “We’re going to set monthly meeting times and at the bottom they have asked if anyone has evey done a study considering combining all three hospitals, if so bring to the meeting.”

Michel also mentioned media reports that architectural plans already exist for a new $80 million hospital in Omak.

“Who paid for these plans,” asked Commissioner Dick Larson. “That is significant … divide the number of taxpayers (in the county) into 80 million and see what you come up with.”

Michel said she had been researching hospital collaborative work since the last meeting, particularly work being done by a far-flung group of west-side hospitals that mostly involves sharing some administrative and grant-writing tasks.

“I am anxious to go down on the 30th,” she said. “Right now I’m (also) taking the population of each county, how many hospitals, how many Critical Access Hospitals, how many general hospitals, and how many beds they have. I’m hoping to extract something from that that is meaningful once I get it all together.”

The memo listed a number of suggested committee members, including hospital leadership, officials from Lifeline, EMS Fire District, Public Health District, doctors, the public, and Okanogan County Commissioner Shelah Kennedy.

The April 30 meeting will be held in the County Commissioners Hearing Room, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Organ/tissue donations

Emily Gotti of LifeCenter Northwest and Mike Meyer of Sightlife presented information about issues involved with donating organs, tissue and (in Meyer’s case) corneas, primarily in ensuring that there is adequate communication with family members regarding one’s wishes.

Gotti said those interested in making a such a donation should make sure that their families are aware of their wishes. More information, as well as the ability to register as a donor, can be found online at

Other notes

* As of the Thursday meeting, the hospital warrants (loan debt to Okanogan County) stood at $466,222.

* The hospital district will be hosting a surplus sale Thursday, April 24, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the McDaniel storage facility behind the Tonasket Rodeo Grounds south of town.

* North Valley Hospital will be among a number of public safety entities participating in a disaster drill centered around a Tonasket School District mock-up of an incident on April 29.

The Board of Commissioners next meets on Thursday, April 24.