Health education for community is a priority

July 5, 2011

By Laura Geggel

How should teenagers educate themselves about babysitting? What facts should people know about joint replacement surgery?

The Swedish/Issaquah hospital staff will answer these questions and more through the programming at its new education center.

The new hospital has several conference rooms available not only for community education but also for community group use.

All of the conference rooms at Swedish/Issaquah are audio and video ready with presentation tools including projectors, screens and sound systems. The rooms will not have computers available for public use until Phase 2 opens Nov. 1.

Historically, Swedish offered its community education classes — some of them free, others with a fee for instruction and materials — at its Sammamish campus near Pine Lake.

“We are expanding those services based on space and community need,” said Sara Rigel, Swedish manager of patient education and community health.

What to know

  • Register for classes online at Click on “complete listing of classes” and then select “Eastside.” Or call the James Douglas Health Education Center at First Hill at 206-386-2502. Some classes are free; others have a nominal fee.
  • Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter HealthWatch by emailing and asking for the Eastside edition.

Classes will span every age and include topics such as baby sign language; growing up male and growing up female puberty; getting rid of back pain; and what’s new in treating heart problems.

While some classes last only one day, such as the $40 “Safe Sitter” class offered at Swedish/Issaquah on Aug. 10, other classes last several weeks, such as the $147, four-session “Hop to Signaroo Baby Sign Language” class starting Aug. 2.

Community members can also find listings of the classes in Swedish’s quarterly newsletter, HealthWatch.

Once the hospital is running smoothly, administrators plan to start a yoga studio in Swedish/Issaquah’s flex space, Rigel said.

All of the classes allow the public to use Swedish as a resource.

“The focus is community health education,” Rigel said. “It’s to help people learn more about their health and health care, to prevent disease and live a healthier life, and manage those conditions that they have.”

Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext, 241, or Comment at

Bookmark and Share
Other Stories of Interest: ,


Got something to say?

Before you comment, please note:

  • These comments are moderated.
  • Comments should be relevant to the topic at hand and contribute to its discussion.
  • Personal attacks and/or excessive profanity will not be tolerated and such comments will not be approved.
  • This is not your personal chat room or forum, so please stay on topic.