Election Questionnaire: Public Hospital District 2, Position 1


MORAYA WILSON

Moraya Wilson, of Montesano, and her husband own and operate two “environmental companies” in the Grays Harbor area. She has chaired the Montesano Festival of Lights committee for the past four years, has been a board member of the Montesano Chamber of Commerce, has been a board member of the Grays Harbor Lodging and Tax Advisory Council and the president of the Montesano Parent Teacher Organization. She has three children between the ages of 5 and 12.

Some Grays Harbor citizens have argued that parts of the county — such as Ocean Shores — are under-served by Grays Harbor Community Hospital. Do you see that as a problem? How would you fix that issue?

I believe that areas such as Ocean Shores are under utilized currently. Once we become a public hospital we can start addressing the financial issues that have been hurting the success and marketability of the hospital. Once we get past those humps, I would love to see an urgent care facility owned and operated by the hospital to address the under utilization of the outer lying communities.

Will becoming a public hospital district do enough to stabilize the hospital’s finances? Does more need to be done?

Becoming a public hospital is the first step in the process of stabilizing the hospitals finances. Like any business, it’s never a one step solution, however you have to have a starting point going in the right direction, and voting yes to the hospital proposition is that first step.

Many Grays Harbor citizens believe that there is a shortage of healthcare providers in the community. As a commissioner, how would you change the situation?

There is a shortage of providers in Grays Harbor, there’s no doubt about that, voting no will make that list even smaller. Bringing more providers to our area will rely on a marketing campaign that focuses on a growing community with a hospital that has the community in full support, a community that recognizes that cutting edge procedures are as important as maintaining the family friendly, small town cohesiveness. Marketing is simply appealing and enticing a targeted niche. We must entice more providers to be a part of our community, a part of our hospital.

MARYANN WELCH

Vesta resident Maryann Welch spent 25 years working in public health and social services, serving as the director of both the Grays Harbor County Public Health department and Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services after two departments merged. After retiring, she joined the Grays Harbor Community Foundation and has served as the organization’s board president for two years. Welch has served on the hospital Board of Directors since 2009. Welch has a husband, Jim Welch, and two children.

Some Grays Harbor citizens have argued that parts of the county — such as Ocean Shores — are under-served by Grays Harbor Community Hospital. Do you see that as a problem? How would you fix that issue?

It is not financially feasible to have full hospital services located in every corner of the county. However, primary care ideally should be available in every geographic sector of the Harbor. Currently the entire county is suffering for a lack of primary care providers. The hospital has taken the lead to recruit providers and I fully support enhancing those efforts. When recruiting for primary care is successful I will push for the establishment of clinics in outlying areas if such services can be financially viable.

Will becoming a public hospital district do enough to stabilize the hospital’s finances? Does more need to be done?

The increase in Medicaid reimbursement will go a long way toward covering the full costs. Tax revenue will ensure that the hospital can invest in preserving facilities and assets in to the future. I am comfortable that the increase in reimbursement, sole community hospital funding and the tax revenue will suffice to put the hospital on a stable financial footing.

Many Grays Harbor citizens believe that there is a shortage of healthcare providers in the community. As a commissioner, how would you change the situation?

For many years there has been a clear shortage of providers across the healthcare spectrum here. Recruitment is difficult given that we are competing with other areas with a higher insured population. Having a healthy stable hospital is one of the keys to attracting new providers. A more robust local economy would be helpful as well and any reduction in hospital services would jeopardize both recruitment and economic development efforts.

 

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