The latest news

Your officers have been hard at work lately with meetings with management and dealing with various topics that have come up. Here’s what is in this newsletter.


  1. Local Unit Meeting
  2. New Staffing Law
  3. Workplace Violence Committee
  4. BioVigil update
  5. New IV Access devices update
  6. COVID, Flu and RSV

Local Unit Meeting

Your officers are hosting a local unit meeting and inviting all nurses at PeaceHealth PeaceIsland to come by! This will be a drop in type of meeting from 6 pm-8 pm with some food and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Please read the information on the new staffing law! We need help with this committee and need someone from each department represented at the table! This includes CLINIC! If we do not have representation, please know that management and co-workers who do not work in your department will be tasked with approving your staffing plan!

Attend the local unit meeting to find out more.

Date: Wednesday February 28, 2024
Time: 1800 – 2000 hours
Location: PIMC Conference Room, Hospital Main Floor

Staffing Law

Did you know there is a new staffing law that went into effect January 1, 2024? This law gives additional instructions and mandates actions on the part of the hospital. It also ensures that nurses have an equal voice at the staffing committee meetings. The committee is now named HOSPITAL STAFFING COMMITTEE (HSC for short). We need representatives from every department to be at the table. We are actively looking for people to participate on this committee and currently require nurses from the PMG clinic as well as the Emergency Department. This will also include non-RN staff like aides or techs or MA’s. If you know of someone who fits this category that would be agreeable to join, please extend the invite and have them contact me directly on my cell phone or email (see below).

This committee is tasked with creating and approving a unit staffing plan and addressing every staffing concern form that is submitted. These and other items require a 50% + 1 vote to pass and there must be equal numbers of management and nurses represented at the table who are eligible to vote. Other committee members will attend but may not vote as it is limited due to the low number of managers who can vote at your facility. Including clinics, we need 4 nurses and 4 alternates to vote.

The new law has many timelines and changes that will be coming. Complete training and ongoing training is provided. It should also be noted that this is PAID TIME, and your manager is responsible for finding your coverage so that you may attend the meetings. We also offer virtual attendance via TEAMS platform on a computer or smart phone.

Workplace Violence Committee

This committee is set up for virtual meetings and deals with anything that threatens the safety and wellbeing of both patients and caregivers. You will recall an incident in December where there was an attempted break-in with damage sustained to the building. The report from management is that this will be spearheaded out of St. Joe’s Bellingham with participation from Security and director level management. However, these individuals no matter how committed they are to Peace Island, do not have the innate understanding of the facility and what you all face daily.

If you want representation on this committee, please contact Sue Dunlap with this information. They are in the process of setting up membership and need to have members’ names. If you are comfortable with others who live OFF island making decisions for you and your co-workers, then you need not participate. But if you feel that a voice at the table who works in the environment and understands how things work at your facility is necessary before making change, then please consider volunteering for this committee and advocate for your co-workers.

December Incident

It should be noted that there have been improvements made since that incident described. The outdoor lights have been upgraded at the front on the walkway. Management is working on upgrading badge access to departments and hospital areas. They have the quotes already and are waiting for approval before moving forward.

Security is onsite and is currently contracted with two regular employees and 2 per diem employees. The security cameras have been adjusted to provide the maximum view possible. The main elevator now will be placed in fire watch mode at night which moves the elevator to the bottom floor and locks it to prevent anyone from using it after hours.

The local sheriff department is doing more patrols and going around the building. Also, management is looking to see what other lights need to be upgraded on the building and discussing the benefit of window tinting or window film on the windows. All in all, they are taking this seriously and putting in improvements to improve safety at work.


The notorious BioVigil hand sanitizer monitoring devices are going to be removed! The BioVigil program will sunset in approximately three (3) months. Until that time, please continue to follow the practice as provided to you as the hospital must report on monitoring and compliance. It is our understanding that management will be moving to an observer process, but additional details will follow as they are not anticipating this taking place for another three to four (3-4) months.

New IV Access Devices

We have heard from other PeaceHealth facilities of problems with the new trial IV access devices being trialed. Some reported issues include leaking from the catheter and having to do repeated attempts to gain access in others. Corporate sent out a survey on the new devices to your work email – please complete this as this feedback helps to determine what product PeaceHealth decides to move forward with.

COVID, Flu and RSV

Cases are on the increase, and we are aware that the islands tend to lag a bit behind the other bigger mainland hospitals. Please take care of yourself and your family! Follow the directions of your employee health. There are no vaccine clinics at the PMG clinic any longer so you may have to research the Friday Harbor Drug and/or your public Health Department if you want to obtain any vaccinations.

In solidarity,
Julie Bielau - Chair
Kate Roberts – Secretary
Zanna Cochran - Treasurer
Chris Wachholz - Grievance Officer

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Sue Dunlap at sdunlap@wsna.org.