VASHON HEALTH CARE DISTRICT RESPONSE TO NEIGHBORCARE HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENT of 5/8/20
The District appreciates Neighborcare Health’s announcement that it will not continue to operate the clinic at Sunrise Ridge long-term. The announcement provides clarity for the District as it seeks other providers to serve Vashon’s health-care needs.
Neighborcare agreed to come to Vashon in 2016, after CHI Franciscan announced it would close the clinic, when no other health-care system would. For that we remain grateful. Over time, however it became increasingly evident that Neighborcare’s business and service model was not a sustainable fit for the island. From that standpoint, Neighborcare’s announcement comes as no surprise.
Much has changed since 2016. Most notably, last November Vashon voters addressed the question of sustainability of care by overwhelmingly approving formation of the Health Care District, which can offer financial support to chosen providers.
The District already is well on its way toward finding a successor to Neighborcare. On May 6 commissioners approved a Request for Proposal (RFP) for primary care and related services. The RFP was sent to regional health systems May 8. The District hopes to identify a new provider this summer, and work with Neighborcare on a seamless transition. Importantly, the RFP is focusing on a delivery model that will appeal to all residents of Vashon, and should therefore be more sustainable.
The health-care providers at the Sunrise Ridge clinic have many loyal patients. The transition surely will be challenging for these providers, and it is the District’s hope that they may have an opportunity to continue to practice on the island with a new provider system.
The District wishes to thank Neighborcare for its service to the island. Health care on Vashon has undergone many changes over the years; this is simply the most recent. The District is working to make sure the next iteration of island health care is both successful and long-lasting