The impressive voter turnout and overwhelming support for Proposition 1 has Wrangell residents on the cusp of creating a sustainable, quality, healthcare solution.
More than 40 percent of registered voters showed up to the polls on Tuesday, October 2nd. Ninety-four percent of those casting ballots filled in the circle next to YES on Prop 1, ratifying Ordinance 948, which approved the transaction of WMC by SEARHC.
“Tuesday’s vote was a clear message that Wrangell residents understand the importance and value of expanding and improving access to quality healthcare services for our community," said Borough Manager Lisa Von Bargen. “We are elated to have the opportunity to move forward in our relationship with SEARHC on behalf of the community."
SEARHC will operate WMC at its current location, while constructing a new healthcare campus adjacent to the AICS Clinic. The joint campus will include a critical access hospital and long-term care facility, in addition to existing clinic services.
“Working with CBW and WMC to create excellent and accessible services for the long term is in concert with SEARHC’s mission," said SEARHC President & CEO Charles Clement. “The health of our patients and community is vital, and by building a comprehensive campus, expanded services will be available to respond to their changing healthcare needs."
The City and Borough of Wrangell, WMC and SEARHC have been working together this last year to identify options for a community healthcare solution. The SEARHC Board of Directors is scheduled to vote on the transaction on October 26th, with November 1st scheduled to be the day in which WMC employees become SEARHC employees.
“Wrangell voters have taken their healthcare future into their own hands by voting in support of WMC merging with SEARHC," stated Clement. "“We are energized by the overwhelming support of Wrangell voters.”