EvergreenHealth and Valley General Hospital Finalize Alliance Agreement

 

Valley General to join the EvergreenHealth system

EvergreenHealth and Valley General Hospital announced today that their respective Boards of Commissioners have voted to approve the third and final phase of an alliance agreement in which Valley General Hospital in Monroe, Washington will become part of the Kirkland-based health care system and managed by EvergreenHealth.

As part of the agreement, Valley General Hospital will change its name to EvergreenHealth Monroe effective March 1, 2015.

Valley General’s Board of Commissioners ratified the agreement on Nov. 13, 2014 by a unanimous vote.  EvergreenHealth and Valley General entered into an affiliation agreement in late 2012 in which EvergreenHealth committed to working more closely with Valley General, locating additional physicians in Monroe and sharing some core services. This latest agreement results in Valley General being fully integrated with EvergreenHealth, including changing its name to EvergreenHealth Monroe.

“We are pleased to have this agreement in place, giving us the opportunity to further improve the breadth and quality of the services we can provide our growing population in east Snohomish County,” said Eric Jensen, CEO of Valley General. “Since our initial agreement in 2012, we’ve made great strides in stabilizing our operations, financial performance and delivering on the promise we made to our community when they enthusiastically approved a small levy increase to help maintain access to 24/7 emergency and trauma care and inpatient services.”

Valley General was recently recognized by the Washington State Hospital Association with an Achieving Best Care award for its efforts to decrease patient harm through its participation in the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide collaborative effort to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

“This is an extraordinarily positive milestone for Valley General and the communities and residents it serves,” said Bob Malte, CEO of EvergreenHealth. “Our two communities have become more intertwined in recent years, and it makes natural sense for us to work together to improve the health and well-being of our communities.”

EvergreenHealth Monroe will be governed by a newly formed, integrated board structure for the 72-bed Monroe-based hospital while being part of the EvergreenHealth system. Under the agreement, the two hospitals will create an Alliance Governance Board (AGB), consisting of two Board members from EvergreenHealth, two Commissioners from Snohomish County Public Hospital District #1 (SCPHD #1), and the CEO of EvergreenHealth. The AGB will govern Valley General Hospital’s operations, while the SCPHD #1 Board will retain specific powers and responsibility for the public hospital district’s health needs.

“I am proud of our organization’s willingness to step up and help create this alliance, which will go a long way in serving those who rely on Valley General Hospital,” said Al DeYoung, chair of EvergreenHealth’s Board of Commissioners.

The financial position of Valley General has improved greatly since the affiliation formed in 2012. The 2015 budget projects a positive net operating income of $1 million, thanks in part to improved management and added tax support approved in 2012.

“I am excited about the potential this affiliation offers, not only to make our hospital and our district stronger, but to provide enhanced medical services in areas that have been underserved in our district,” said Tony Balk, chair of Valley General Board of Commissioners.

In the two years since the affiliation was created, EvergreenHealth has added new primary care, prenatal obstetrics, orthopedic surgery and rehabilitation care to the Monroe community. In the late first quarter of 2015 a new 34-bed psychiatric hospital, operated by Fairfax Behavior Health, will open at Valley General Hospital in space previously occupied by Valley’s psych unit, which closed three years ago due to financial considerations.

“I have been practicing in Monroe since 2007 and I’ve watched this community and its needs evolve,” said Jonathan Borjeson, DO, board-certified general surgeon and president of the medical staff of Valley General. “This agreement means that residents of our growing community will have access to the highest quality care at the best value. It’s rewarding to be part of that growth and continue to provide quality care in a community hospital setting.”

“There is a lot of work in front of us in bringing these two organizations together, but it is work that will result in a much more comprehensive health care system for Monroe and east Snohomish County,” Malte added. “We can count on our highly dedicated professionals at both organizations to come together, creating an even stronger organization that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

EvergreenHealth is the ninth largest hospital in the Puget Sound region, according to Puget Sound Business Journal, and has been named among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation by Healthgrades. Last spring, U.S. News and World Report named EvergreenHealth the top non-academic medical center in the Puget Sound region.

“Valley General will benefit in many ways from an alliance with such a highly regarded health care organization,” said Jensen. “We’ve already made great strides in increasing the access to high-quality care for our community, and enthusiastically take the next step in solidifying a long-term commitment to the residents of east Snohomish County.”

Bottle & Bull Scratch Kitchen and Craft Cocktails to open in Downtown Kirkland Nov. 25

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Bottle & Bull plans to open its doors to the public in Tuesday, November 25th. The long awaited opening of Kirkland's newest eatery is a welcome site. The remodel of the 105 Lake Street S location has been fun to watch and we look forward to opening day!

A HOLIDAY SEASON WITH SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT KIRKLAND PERFORMANCE CENTER

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Kirkland Performance Center (KPC), the Eastside’s premier performance venue, has a holiday season with something for everyone!

Geoffrey Castle’s Celtic Christmas. A wonderful Northwest tradition, Geoffrey Castle’s Celtic Christmas is a high-energy stage show that will bring the magic of the holidays to KPC. Two shows on Friday, December 12, 2014 and Saturday, December 13, 2014, both at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $25for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for youth. 

Verbalists: Nothing But the Truth. Laugh, cry, and cringe along with five of Seattle's best storytellers at Verbalists: Nothing But the Truth, a live music and personal storytelling show that celebrates the highlights and lowlifes of the holiday season accompanied by piano and guitar. If you love The Moth, NPR's This American Life, and David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries, you'll love Verbalists. Not for kids! Experience the holiday edition of Verbalists on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20. 

KPC’s Olde Time Holiday Show. Kids from one to 92, this show is for you! The return of KPC’s Olde Time Holiday Show, a holiday variety show blending singers, dancers, circus performers, illusionists, and Celtic Christmas favorites. Audience participation is part of the show, too, with an interactive reading of the classic The Night Before Christmas. Fun for the whole family. Six opportunities to enjoy KPC’s Olde Time Holiday Show at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm on Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 21. Tickets are $15. 

KPC’s Holiday Late Night Featuring Captain Smartypants, Sensible Shoes, and Arnaldo!Fierce. Fabulous. Festive! This one’s for the grown-ups: KPC’s Holiday Late Night Featuring Captain Smartypants, Sensible Shoes, and Arnaldo!. A night of drag and holiday traditions turned on their heads featuring the fabulous Drag Chanteuse Arnaldo!, the Seattle Men’s Chorus group Captain Smartypants, and the Seattle Women's Chorus group Sensible Shoes; the performers will bring the hilarious campy fun to KPC with satirical versions of your favorite holiday songs. Hosted by David Hunter Koch.  18+ Show. One night only! Friday, December 19, 2014 at 8:00 pm and 10:30 pm. Tickets are $25.

KPC’s Holiday Sing Along Featuring Groove for Thought. Come sing along to holiday tunes atKPC’s Holiday Sing Along Featuring Groove for Thought. For over a decade, the singers of Groove for Thought have been blowing audiences away with their innovative take on musical classics in a jazz style unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Aca-awesome a cappella performers Groove for Thought, Celtic-Japanese musician Hanz Araki, and host David Hunter Koch are comingtogether to create an unforgettable Sing Along for you to enjoy with your whole family on Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $25.

Twisted Flicks: Westworld. Get ready for Twisted Flicks: Westworld, a twisted take on the low-budget science fiction western written and directed by acclaimed novelist Michael Crichton. Jet City Improv’s Twisted Flicks is Seattle’s only live movie re-dubbing show that merges improv comedy with classic B movies for a hilarious cinematic experience like none other.  Starring Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, and Norman Bartold, Westworld (1973) creates a fantasy world for adults inhabited by robots. But the robots take over and mayhem ensues! Celebrate the New Year with KPC on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $15. 

Tickets for all shows are on sale now at www.kpcenter.org, by phone at 425.893.9900, or at the Box Office at 350 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland WA, 98033.

Antique Mall lot in heart of downtown Kirkland for sale

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The downtown Kirkland property commonly known as the Antique Mall lot is for sale. Kidder Mathews announced on its website that it has been retained by the ownership of 113 3rd Street, Kirkland, to market the property for sale. The 41,994 square foot site, with a 9,261 square foot former retail building (currently unoccupied and the lot is used for paid parking) is located in the heart of Kirkland’s Central Business District.

The property, adjacent to the Heathman Hotel which also recently went on the market, is in the heart of downtown.  

The following is from the listing agent website: 

113 3rd Street is located two blocks easterly of Kirkland’s vibrant waterfront on the shores of Lake Washington with an unparalleled blend of outdoor recreation, art, dining and boutique shopping. Kirkland is accessible from Seattle via the SR 520 floating bridge or further south via the Interstate 90 floating bridge. Kirkland is located about 10 minutes north of the City of Bellevue’s CBD and Microsoft’s central campus in the Overlake District of Bellevue, both via Interstate 405.

113 3rd offers one of the few remaining opportunities to develop multifamily, office, retail and senior housing elements in the center of Kirkland’s Central Business District.

The property is zoned CBD-1B in the City of Kirkland and includes a 55’ height limit. 

Volunteers Needed: Kirkland Downtown Christmas Decorating (Winterfest)

The KDA (Kirkland Downtown Association) is coordinating several volunteer events that will take place in downtown  November 16 through 30. Decorating consists of hanging garland and lights across downtown merchant storefronts.  Merchants purchase the garland and lights and volunteers hang it for them. 

Please go to www.eventbrite.com and search for "Kirkland Winterfest" or contact Barbie Young at barbiey@kirklanddowntown.org for more information. 

LETTER: Review of Path America’s Potala Village Is Delayed with No Reschedule Date

Dear Editor:

Path America and Dargey Development had submitted their design options for review nearly a month ago.  Citizens were feverishly preparing to give the Design review board extensive feedback on each of the PotalaVillage proposals.  

SO WHY THE SUDDEN DELAY BY THE DEVELOPER?  WHY NO RESCHEDULE DATE?

Potala Village EIS VERSION Proposed:  Citizens believe that one of the proposed options went through the EIS process.  They believe it is the version that some called “the Green Monster.”  (Due to EIS choice of color and the MASSIVE monstrous size. EIS consultants clearly stated this version was not in character with the surrounding neighborhood.

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Potala Village OPTION 3 Proposed:  Another option proposed for design review actually seemed to provide more generous courtyard and setback from the street. Upon first glance, this seemed to be one of the first movesin the right direction…  But then… the discovery that the building had grown TALLER! The added height seems sure to increase the impact of the oversized building.  Additionally, the extra feet do not appear to be consistent with the zoning code, or within the laws of our city.  

You may recall the extensive work done by the City Planning Commission and the City Council to revamp the rules that regulate ALL Neighborhood Business Zones.  Their work impacts several neighborhoods (BN-Moss Bay, BN1-Rose Hill, MSC2 – Market St, and BNA – Newly Annexed Area).  During work sessions, planning commission meetings and City Council approval, it was suggested that if ground floor commercial were to have a 13 foot height there could be difficulty getting 3 stories and a builder would likely only be able to build two.  The 3 additional feet were to be allowed, when necessary to provide the more desirable 13 foot ground floor without loss of the 3rd story.  This provision is obviously not necessary in the Potala Village proposal that appears to have a 19 foot ground floor!! It appears also to be four stories and not 3!!!  Neighbors were quick to notice claims that the two levels of parking would be above grade and that two levels of residences would be above that.  2 + 2 = 4.

BEHIND THE SCENES??

So what could be going on???  Neighbors were ready to review the packet of materials fully prepared by the applicant’s Architect Caron.  Many had cleared their calendars and made travel arrangements to ensure that they could participate in the established process for review.  Some are now stating fears that the developer may be trying to negotiate with the city without the citizen involvement that happens during Design Review.

Could this be the reason that PathAmerica and Dargey Development delayed the review of their proposals? We simply do not know.

By Karen Levenson

1st Annual Awareness Project Concert: November 15th

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There are those who see a need and act on it.  Teresa Valley and Kalika Curry are two of those people.  Teresa runs a nonprofit Girls Giving Back and Kalika works with youth at the Kirkland Teen Union Building (KTUB).  In collaboration with the sponsors listed below, Teresa and Kalika are launching a new program entitled “The Awareness Project”.    

Kalika and Teresa regularly talk with youth or parents of youth who are struggling with addiction, depression, social issues or suicidal ideation who do not know where to turn for assistance.  The Awareness Project is a 3-prong program which includes online forums, educational workshops and personalized connections to an expansive network of resources. Kalika states, "Working at a teen center I often see a lot of youth and parents who are unaware of the amazing resources we have in our community.  Teresa Valley, President of Girls Giving Back, and I are launching the Awareness Project to bridge the gap between our community and the resources they need!"  The Awareness Project will begin their 2015 Workshop series in January covering topics chosen by youth and adults from the community.  Some of the topics covered will be homelessness, healthcare resources, beauty and identity, substance and chemical abuse, and career resources.

To launch this project there will be a 1st Annual Awareness Project Concert and Fundraiser at KTUB at 6:00 p.m. on November 15th, with live musical performances by Maya Ohayon, Amanda Markley, Matt Bacnis Band, and Special Guest, Tayla Lynn, Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter. There will also be an art sale featuring youth art from the Girls Give Back “Paint for a Cause” workshop and an active community art project “Awareness Is”.  Food and beverages will be served as well.

If you are interested in learning more about this project or becoming involved in this worthwhile cause, please join The Awareness Project on November 15th at 6:00 p.m. for an evening filled with joy, hope and community at the Kirkland Teen Union Building, located at 348 Kirkland Avenue, Kirkland, WA 98033, or go to http://www.girlsgivingback.org/ for more information.

The Awareness Project would like to extend their gratitude to their sponsors: Carstar, Lady Yum, Performance Mechanical Group, Me! Me! Baby Cakes, Dawn’s Candy & Cake, The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland, Kirkland ParkplaceCinema, Bellevue Zip Tour, and Novilhos Brazilian Steakhouse.  

Written by Kat Cannon

Kirkland Resident’s Story shows that Lung Cancer Needs Our Awareness, Too


Peg Witham figured it was just a cough, the result of frequent air travel and its germy, recycled air. When weeks of self-medication didn’t work, her primary care physician ordered a chest X-ray that confirmed pneumonia, but also a suspicious mass: Peg had lung cancer, and they had to plot a course of action right away. Her care was moved to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at Evergreen Health and she started chemo and radiation treatments shortly thereafter. They had to move quickly; lung cancer doesn’t wait until it’s convenient.

In fact, lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer of men and women and takes more lives than breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer combined. Its five-year survival rates are dismal; just 4% for the unlucky patients- the majority- diagnosed after the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body. For those who find the cancer in its early stages, five-year survival shoots up past 50%, and our goal now is to raise awareness- the kind of awareness that gets high-risk people screened today, before they have Stage IV cancer and limited options. 

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Peg, a lung cancer patient advocate, in my role as CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific. Peg is one of the lucky ones. She was diagnosed at Stage III, before her cancer had the chance to spread to other parts of her body and further complicate treatment.

Now more than two years since her last treatment, she feels healthy and vibrant once more. She wants to help raise awareness about lung cancer so others at high risk know about screening technology, and so our society will stop playing the blame game with lung cancer. Stigma can keep patients from seeking social support they need, and reinforces the idea in society that lung cancer is just a “smoker’s problem.” No one deserves lung cancer, and just by having lungs, we’re ALL at risk for this insidious disease.

“I wish I knew that even though I stopped smoking17 years prior, that there was still an opportunity for the cancer to develop,” she says. “I had taken up running. I was healthy. I had no idea that I was at risk.” The American Lung Association has developed a quick quiz to help people determine if they qualify as high-risk and should seek out early detection. Visitwww.lungcancerscreeningsaveslives.org and in under a minute you’ll see where you stand.

We know more about lung cancer than ever before, and with advanced tumor testing and research into targeted therapies, there is real hope on the horizon. We also know that less than 1/3 of patients diagnosed with lung cancer are smokers- the other 2/3 have already quit or never touched a tobacco product in their life. You do not need to have smoked to get lung cancer- you just need a pair of lungs.

Renee Klein

President & CEO

American Lung Association of the Mountain Pacific