PeaceHealth to open new hospital in Friday Harbor

PeaceHealth is set to open its newest critical access hospital.

The PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, located at 1117 Spring St. in Friday Harbor, will hold its official ribbon cutting at 11:17 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The medical center will operate as part of the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, which is based in Bellingham.

In addition to the ceremony, the hospital will offer self-guided tours on Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The facility will officially open on Monday, Nov. 26.

PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center—the result of a collaboration between the San Juan County Hospital District No. 1 and PeaceHealth—is a 10-bed critical access hospital that includes an expanded primary care and specialty clinic, cancer center, diagnostic and treatment services, an operating suite for outpatient procedures and a 24-hour emergency department with five beds.

Its design is the result of a collaborative process involving the Island community, PeaceHealth and the facility’s architectural firm, Mahlum. Construction was completed by Howard S. Wright Constructors.

“The new medical center is stunning—inside and outside,” Peace Island Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer Jim Barnhart said, in a press release. “The island-led design team has worked tirelessly to create a facility that will include state of the art technology within a healing environment that fits beautifully within its natural surroundings.

“The Nov. 17 open house will be a wonderful opportunity for visitors and community members to come get an up-close and personal look at the technology, services and structure of their new medical center,” Barnhart said.

The Peace Island Medical Center project incorporates many Island touches.

More than 140 pieces of original art, nearly all by Island artists, have been donated to the facility.

The capstone piece is a 60-foot multi-piece mural by Annie Adams of San Juan Island, which depicts the history of local health care beginning with doctors moving about the island by horse and buggy in the 1800s and local nurses training after the turn of the century at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham.

The new facility incorporates the latest environmentally sensitive and sustainable design and construction concepts. It features natural ventilation, a ground-source heat pump system, carbon neutrality and extensive day lighting.

Rain gardens are used to treat storm water on site. And, according to Mahlum, the facility will use much less energy than a typical Northwest hospital, with a goal of becoming the most energy-efficient hospital in the country.

Friday Harbor’s InterIsland Medical Center staff, including all physicians, will transition to Peace Island Medical Center when it opens.

At that time, the total number of physicians, including part-time visiting specialists, serving the hospital district will nearly double.

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