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Health Care District Welcomes New Commissioner, By Tom Eversole / April 13, 2022

At the April 5 meeting, Orcas Island Health Care District (OIHCD) Commissioners appointed Marie Michnich to serve the remainder of Richard Fralick’s term. Ms. Michnich will serve until the November 2023 elections. By way of introduction, she has shared the following information and insights with me.

“I have spent a lifetime in the field of healthcare. I became one of the first family nurse practitioners in the country, then, after completing a doctorate as a health services researcher at UCLA, I joined the faculty at the University of Washington where I taught health administration. I then was awarded a fellowship to work in Washington DC where I remained in Federal health policy, initially in the United States Senate and later at the National Academy of Medicine. I also served as the Executive Director of the Presidential Commission on health care for America’s Wounded Warriors. I also served on the Board of Providence Hospital in Washington DC and Chaired the Patient Safety and Quality of Care Committee. While I came to Orcas 10 years ago with retirement in mind, I found an amazing local connection that brought me back to my roots in health care delivery at the community level.”

“Our recent public health crisis has challenged all of us to think about and make important decisions concerning what we need to provide care for ourselves, our families, neighbors and our rural island community. Whether we are old or young, rich or poor, introverts or extroverts, we can’t escape the fact that one out of every five dollars in this country is spent on health care. We need to be vigilant stewards of those precious resources because our well-being is at stake. We all have a voice in those decisions, and I will do my best to assure that that voice is heard.”

To learn more about OIHCD Commissioners see: Commissioners – Orcas Island Health Care District ( If you would like to be on the District’s email list, please go to: Enter your name and email address in the “Stay Informed” box.

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