Groundbreaking for Jefferson Healthcare’s new facility highlights community benefits

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Healthcare’s new Emergency and Special Services building is part of a community wide face-lift and will impact more than just local health care, according to the hospital’s CEO.

“What is quietly happening in our community is a massive investment in education, health and wellness, health care and many other social services important to our quality of life,” Mike Glenn said during a ceremonial groundbreaking for the new facility Monday.

“While this building is a huge deal for Jefferson Healthcare, it’s just part of the picture for Jefferson County, and we need to keep focused on all the other pieces until our work is done.” Continue reading

Snoqualmie Valley Hospital gets fresh start

The new, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital is officially open, as of Wednesday, May 6. Hospital CEO Rodger McCollum described the move-in as “flawlessly executed,” during the Thursday, May 7, hospital board meeting at Snoqualmie City Hall.

McCollum took the time to thank the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Auxiliary club before opening up the floor to hospital COO Tom Parker.

“I’m happy to report to you that we are in the hospital,” Parker began, “as you know, but I just had to say those words.”

Parker said that despite the labor-intensive workload, the number-one goal was always patient and staff safety during the move.

“I’m pleased to report we were able to achieve that,” he continued.

Parker thanked the numerous moving committees who were “engaged in every detail,” including the Snoqualmie Fire Department for volunteering with sensitive equipment transportation, Tri-Med Ambulance for volunteering to move patients to the new facility, the hard work of the hired moving company Commercial Office Interiors and Jill Green, the hospital’s marketing and communications director. Continue reading

Senate Hearing Provides Template for Rural Health Advocacy

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2015

There is no new news about rural healthcare’s plight. If citizens, media, and legislators don’t get it, rural healthcare leaders are at fault.

Testimony at a U.S. Senate subcommittee last week provides an excellent template for anyone concerned about rural healthcare.

There wasn’t much actual news to contemplate during the May 7 hearing before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies, but it was still worth noting.

In a nutshell, the hearing provided rural healthcare providers with a soapbox to spell out the unique challenges facing those who deliver healthcare to the 51 million generally older, sicker, and less affluent Americans who live in about 80% of the nation’s land mass. Continue reading

Welcome Geri Forbes to the Washington Rural Health Collaborative Board

Geri Forbes. — Image Credit: Michelle Beahm / Whidbey News Group

Geri Forbes. — Image Credit: Michelle Beahm / Whidbey News Group

The Washington Rural Health Collaborative would like to welcome Geri Forbes, new CEO at Whidbey General Hospital to the Board of Directors! Geri Forbes hails from Doctors Memorial Hospital, a 49 bed rural hospital in Perry, FL, where she has been the CEO since Sept. 2012. Forbes is a seasoned leader in healthcare operations, strategic planning and performance improvement. Her career has evolved over the years from a leader on the physician practice management side of healthcare to a senior leader in the hospital continuum of care environment. She has worked as a Hospital Service Line Design and Development Administrator and as a Senior Consultant with General Electric Medical Systems, in their Leadership Development Division. Geri joined Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare in 2004 as Administrator of Medicine Services and served in this role for 6 years, after which she assumed the role of Regional Administrator at TMH, with a focus on Population Health and Regional Development. In 2011 Geri co-developed the TMH Transition Center. The Transition Center is a short term multi-disciplinary outpatient Medical Home for patients without an established primary care physician. Geri has Masters is in Healthcare Administration, with a concentration in Rural Health and Telemedicine.

Two months away: New Snoqualmie Valley Hospital 
slated to open in May

snoqualmie_valleyby ALLYCE ANDREW,  Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter

The new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital is rising at a rapid rate and doors are slated to open for patients on Wednesday, May 6.

Rodger McCollum, District CEO, laid out the hospital’s vision from its inception to the freshly painted walls of its current incarnation. The staff started dreaming of renovations nearly a decade ago, but began construction after a groundbreaking ceremony in September 2013.

“About seven or eight years ago, we looked at expanding the old hospital because we were too full then,” McCollum explained. “We only have 14 patient rooms in the old hospital, so it really is very small in today’s world. The board looked at a lot of different alternatives and decided that it probably made sense to start over.”

The hospital bought the land for $5 million and the construction was a guaranteed $38.5 million ($500 per square foot) maximum price. The development is paid for by hospital revenue. The new facility has 25 beds and an intentional amount of extra storage, restrooms and parking.

Continue reading

Summit Pacific pushes forward with annexation plans despite proposed hospital district

By David Haerle
The Vidette

Should Grays Harbor Community Hospital’s hurried effort to form a wide-ranging public hospital district fail at the ballot box come August, the county’s only current hospital district is ready to pounce on the opportunity.

The hospital district commissioners representing Summit Pacific approved their own annexation resolution during a three-hour meeting May 22 that would bring in the areas of Montesano, Brady, Black Creek and Melbourne into Summit Pacific Medical Center’s coverage and taxing sphere in a November election.

The competing ballot measures come about as the county’s two hospitals follow up on plans that have been in place for months. Community Hospital boosters pushed forward on their own hospital district plans without ever conferring with the neighboring hospital district on its plans. Continue reading

Summit Pacific may build new clinic in McCleary

By Steven Friederich – The Vidette
summitpacific

Steven Friederich | The Vidette Flowers are in bloom outside of the old Mark Reed Hospital, which still serves as home to the McCleary clinic.

Administrators at Summit Pacific Medical Center are trying to figure out whether it may make sense to build a brand new health clinic in McCleary or renovate the old, existing one in the former Mark Reed Hospital.

Chief Financial Officer Will Callicoat reports that despite opening the new hospital in Elma, people of McCleary are still using the clinic. In fact, Callicoat’s findings suggest that an additional health provider may be needed in McCleary by 2018 after a doctor will likely retire. There are five providers in McCleary today, accounting for about the equivalent of three full-time providers — two doctors and three nurse practitioners that split their time between other locations. All are currently accepting patients and accept Medicare and Medicaid. Continue reading

SVHD provided support for over 1,000 community members

Teresa McClain helps community members enroll in health care coverage at the HBE Office in North Bend.

More than 1,000 uninsured community members received help enrolling in health coverage through Washington’s online enrollment center at the Health Benefit Exchange Office in North Bend. Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District provided free in-person assistance during the open enrollment period from Oct. 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Teresa McClain, Certified Assister/Navigator for Washington Health Benefit Exchange and Clinic Admin. for SVH, helped community members navigate the Washington Healthplanfinder website and enroll in coverage every Monday through Thursday. Continue reading

Announcement of Change of Business Name and Contact Information

Effective immediately, the Western Washington Rural Health Care Collaborative new legal name is Washington Rural Health Collaborative (the Collaborative).   In the last year the Collaborative has grown from 10 to 13 member hospitals and covers several areas in Eastern Washington as well as Western Washington.  The name change more clearly reflects our expanded membership.  Continue reading