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VillageSpeak hosts healthcare forum
Revamping health care reignited a long-standing debate between politicians and providers. But no matter how one stands on the issue, health care is changing in the United States.
Bainbridge Island is ready to talk about it.
VillageSpeak is a local island organization that fosters dialogue in the community. The group has hosted forums on various topics each month ever since its founding in March by islander Ann Warman.
“I watched the city council meetings on television pretty intently and tried to understand the language the city council uses when they discuss issues,” Warman said of part of her inspiration behind starting the organization.
She saw the way contention kept arising, as well as the frustration during public comment sessions.
“It’s like a hot blast of air that does nothing, it seems,” Warman said. “It seemed like we needed a venue on the island that allowed friendly discussion, instead of arguing about pointless things.”
“It’s looking at each other with understanding instead of distance,” she said.
VillageSpeak has hosted topics that are both heavy or light, such as a dispute resolution forum and another that pulled together five generations of graduates of the Bainbridge Island school system for memories about school days.
Warman likens VillageSpeak to the city clubs of Seattle and Portland.
Its next forum at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 will be on local health care. A reception from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. will follow. The discussion is at St. Barnabas Parish Hall on Wyatt Way.
Registration for the event is recommended and tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com. Tickets are $5 until Saturday, Sept. 22, after which they will be $10.
“It’s going to be talking about medical care, and I think the emphasis will be on emergency care,” Warman said.
Warman said the conversation could go any number of ways, but hot topics are certain to arise, from the coming changes to health care put in place by the Obama administration, to concerns over island youth substance abuse.
Warman also noted another topic officials that will be at the forum expressed interest in is the recent trend of senior falls.
Dr. Scott Lindquist, director of the Kitsap Health District, will moderate the panel of local experts that includes Dr. Edwards of Bainbridge Island’s Virginia Mason Medical Center; Chad Solvie, CEO of Martha & Mary a rehabilitation center; Christine Martin, executive director for Airlift Northwest; Rena Beyke, manager of the Bainbridge Island Ambulance Association; and Orlando Boleda, who is on the Arms Around Bainbridge board of directors.
VillageSpeak’s future events and suggested reading lists to prepare for the forum are on its website at www.villagespeak.org.