A Letter of Appreciation

To UW Medicine Lopez Clinic, Lopez Island Physical Therapy, and all the partners who work to manage the COVID-19 pandemic (published in the Islands’ Weekly July 21, 2020)

Even before the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in San Juan County on March 20, 2020, Lopez Island health care providers were working tirelessly to offer services to protect our community from this pandemic. “Thank you” seems inadequate, but we want to express our gratitude for all those who have, and continue to provide the care we need. In particular, we offer our deep thanks to the two entities the Hospital District helps support financially—UW Medicine Lopez Clinic and Lopez Island Physical Therapy.

We’ve watched the staff at the Clinic implement many new practices to prevent the spread of illness and to diagnose and treat: heightened sanitation and separation; increased use of technology such as tele-medicine to provide care while decreasing exposure to patients and staff; wearing masks and increasing the use of other personal protective equipment; implementing safe COVID-19 testing procedures; and attending countless meetings to stay current on ever-changing requirements and recommendations. We know that the stress added to the Clinic’s always-demanding work takes a toll, and we applaud and appreciate your dedication; it’s what has made it possible to keep the Clinic open.

The pandemic has taken a toll on the fledgling Lopez Island Physical Therapy (LIPT) practice as well. Just as LIPT had made great progress to stabilize its services, the pandemic forced its closure. Once again, the LIPT staff used creativity and commitment to meet patient needs during a time of crisis. They quickly implemented virtual care delivery until they were able to resume face-to-face services. The team’s efforts made all the difference for people with chronic conditions and those who were in the midst of rehabilitation. You also helped protect the entire community by making it possible for patients to receive care without traveling to communities with higher COVID rates.

We’re well aware of the important role of other providers and organizations in caring for the Lopez community under these extraordinary circumstances. The following truly are partners with the Clinic and LIPT and show the same level of dedication and professionalism to promote health and prevent and treat illness on Lopez: Lopez Island Fire and EMS, Lopez Island Pharmacy, the Lopez Island Family Resource Center, the Catherine Washburn Medical Association, and San Juan County Health and Community Services.

Please accept our sincere thanks for your efforts and partnership.