Often members of our communities have questions about health care or wellness, but they don’t know whom to ask. This is where Washington State’s hospitals and health systems come in, offering forums and resources to help the community stay informed and healthy. At PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center in Friday Harbor, this takes the form of a unique series of fireside chats connecting residents of the island community to health care experts.
Now in its second year, the medical center literally hosts the chats beside the fireplace in its lobby, where visitors are greeted by high ceilings and local artwork. The chats are held monthly and run in stretches of several months at a time during the fall and winter, when the active community isn’t as focused on outdoor recreation. There is no charge to attend, and all are welcome.
The topics have included advance directives, support for death and dying, suicide prevention, and caring for caregivers. In addition to connecting residents with experts and helpful resources, the medical center wants to let residents know it is there as a resource for wellness, and that it is not just a place to go when one is acutely ill.
The most recent fireside chat took place in December, covering how to manage stress during the holidays. The medical center is spending January planning its upcoming series of chats, which will run from February through April, likely covering topics including behavioral health and taking good care of yourself.
Peace Island’s fireside chat series is a great example of how even small hospitals can offer first-rate resources to their communities. Click here to learn more about the fireside chats, and check back for more fireside chat dates as they are added. (Tim Pfarr)