An Update on Pediatric Specialty on Lopez Island 

Through contracts with Lopez Island Hospital District (LIHD) and Catherine Washburn Medical Association (CWMA), UW Medicine operates the Lopez Island Primary Care Clinic. Although this Clinic does not have a specialist in pediatrics, the Clinic does provide full family care to patients of any age, including well-child exams, immunizations, sports physicals, illness care and telehealth appointments.  

The recent search for a pediatrician came at the initiative of Lopez Community for Health Care (LCHC) to supplement the services of the Lopez Clinic. LCHC communicated directly to pediatrician Evan Buxbaum MD, MPh, who is an employee of Island Health at the Orcas Island Primary Care Clinic. Dr Buxbaum offered a proposal to provide pediatric services on Lopez Island 2 days per month, with the potential for telehealth visits using remote equipment stationed at facilities of the Lopez Island School District (LISD). This proposal was presented to LIHD at a Special Meeting of the Board in January 2024 but was unfortunately not previously approved by representatives of Island Health nor by the LISD administration.   

After further research and discussion by LIHD, Marcy Shimada (Island Health Director of Practice Administration), LISD, and LCHC, it has been determined that Island Health could not support this proposal, and the facilities at LISD are not adequate at this time.  

Any Lopez family can receive pediatric care by making an appointment with Dr Buxbaum through the Orcas Clinic, which does include telehealth options when appropriate. These appointments can be scheduled through the Island Health online portal or by calling 360-376-2561. On San Juan Island, there are private practice pediatricians and pediatric care through Peace Health Island Medical Center. 

LIHD will continue to explore options for pediatric care via an established healthcare workgroup. This workgroup contains representatives from LCHC, CWMA, and UW Medicine, and has plans to expand over time to include Lopez Fire & EMS and other healthcare providers. We are seeking a moderator for the workgroup to create agendas, give structure to our discussions, and take minutes. If this sounds interesting to you or you have additional healthcare concerns to discuss, please email