Tour Passage Point residences at opening ceremony Thursday

July 6, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. July 6, 2011

Before the first residents make Passage Point their new home this summer, the YWCA invites the public to view the facility during its grand opening Thursday.

YWCA Passage Point is a residential community near Issaquah for single parents emerging from the corrections system. With its 46 housing units and comprehensive services, Passage Point will empower residents, mostly mothers, to reunite with their children in a stable environment, helping them along a path toward self sufficiency.

“I honestly do not know where my daughter and I would be if not for YWCA Passage Point,” Cynthia Liggett, a Passage Point reunification program participant, said in a news release. “Through this program, I have learned how to become more confident in my parenting skills and know I can use my past experience as a stepping stone to success.”

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Port Blakely announces partner to develop highlands retail

July 6, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. July 6, 2011

Issaquah Highlands developer Port Blakely Communities and a Florida-based developer have teamed up to revive stalled commercial development in the neighborhood.

Port Blakely and Jacksonville-based Regency Centers announced the agreement Wednesday morning.

Under the agreement, Regency Centers, a real estate investment trust, is due to purchase about 14 acres of highlands land and build a 175,000-square-foot neighborhood retail center along Northeast High Street and Northeast Park Drive.

Regency Centers also plans to acquire a 39,000-square-foot mixed-use retail and office building along Northeast Park Drive.

The companies did not disclose terms of the transaction. No tenants have been announced for the proposed retail center.

Craig Ramey, senior vice president and senior market officer for Regency Centers, said the company intends to pursue a grocer, retailers, restaurants and service providers for the complex.

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King County executive plans upgrade to online services

July 6, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. July 6, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine intends to increase accessibility to county services online.

The proposal outlines priorities to automate the property tax appeals process, enhance the county website to provide better access to services, expand public alert capabilities, create a location-based service directory and improve accessibility of public criminal case statuses.

Constantine sent the legislation to the County Council on June 29.

“In a tech-savvy region like the Pacific Northwest, we are always pursuing ways to allow government to communicate with people using digital formats,” he said in a news release. “We can offer exceptional customer service by making our online services more accessible.”

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Swedish/Issaquah commemorative section

July 5, 2011

 

Open publication – Free publishing

Hospital names ‘dynamic leader’ as chief of staff

July 5, 2011

Dr. Lily JungHenson (left) and Anna Jung, 86, arrive at Swedish/Issaquah on June 30 so the chief of staff’s proud mother can visit her daughter’s new office. By Greg Farrar

Dr. Lily JungHenson built a national reputation as a multiple sclerosis expert as innovations in treatment transformed the disease from a death sentence to a more manageable condition.

The longtime neurologist chose the specialty due in part to the challenge as neurology and treatments evolve. Now, JungHenson is about to embark on another challenge as chief of staff at Swedish/Issaquah.

“I’m a big fan of Swedish. It’s evolved into a health-care system that really cares about patients. It’s not just lip service,” she said. “There are a lot of people in leadership positions who want to do the right thing and who are very motivated.”

JungHenson, a Mercer Island resident, is responsible for leading the 200-member medical staff. The chief of staff is responsible for procedures, such as credentialing — evaluating qualifications and practice history — for medical staff members, and ensuring physicians and other health-care professionals gel as a team. (The staff is expected to include about 200 physicians after the entire hospital comes online in November.)

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Issaquah community members influence hospital design

July 5, 2011

Judd Kirk, of Port Blakely Communities, Mayor Ava Frisinger, Swedish CEO Dr. Rod Hochman and Gov. Chris Gregoire (from left) chat after the Swedish/Issaquah groundbreaking ceremony in October 2009. By Greg Farrar

Long before dignitaries gathered on windswept Grand Ridge on a cold October day to dip shovels into soil for a Swedish Medical Center campus in Issaquah, hospital executives asked community members to shape the facility.

The hospital system turned to a former Issaquah School District superintendent to lead the group, and enlisted a community cross section — 20 or so medical professionals, elected officials, community leaders, senior citizens and young parents — to serve.

The group shaped the hospital in the months before the October 2009 groundbreaking ceremony and continues to advise executives about Swedish/Issaquah.

“We were clearly looking for people who were not afraid to express their opinion, who were not afraid to tell us we were all wet and wrong,” said Dr. John Milne, vice president of medical affairs for Swedish/Issaquah and the emergency and ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek. “We didn’t handpick people because they were going to be yes people.”

Former Superintendent Janet Barry, a Sammamish resident and Community Advisory Committee leader, said the group tackled a paramount question early on: “How do people fit into this building?”

Members emphasized modern technology for the hospital, but also advocated for softer touches, such as ample artwork and natural light. (Both features factor prominently into the completed hospital campus.)

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Hospital artwork is designed to heal, nurture

July 5, 2011

‘Anahit’ by Julie Speidel. Contributed

Committee worked to find local artists of all ages for collection

Swedish/Issaquah will continue the medical center’s lauded promotion of healing through art. The new hospital features approximately 200 pieces by more than 60 Northwest artists — several of them from the Eastside — in the medical office building and emergency room.

“When patients become absorbed in a work of art, their bodies’ physiology actually changes, moving from sensations of stress and fear to feelings of relaxation and hope,” according to Swedish/Issaquah’s website.

“It’s pretty simple — art does heal,” volunteer chairwoman of the Art Committee Joyce Turner said. “It humanizes what could be a dehumanizing environment.”

A history and culture of art

Swedish Medical Center has embodied that philosophy since the 1960s, when then-Surgeon Medical Director and CEO Allan Lobb decided to incorporate art into the culture of the hospital.

Turner assumed Lobb’s artistic role when he retired in 1988. She has been adorning the walls and spaces of Swedish facilities ever since. The medical center’s art portfolio now numbers in the 2,000s.

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Health education for community is a priority

July 5, 2011

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.

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Philanthropy to play key role in Swedish/Issaquah patient services

July 5, 2011

From left, Tucker Wehrman, 6, Finley Wehrman, 3, Skylar Shetterly, 8, Connor Shetterly, 12, and Logan Wehrman, 10, sell snacks to benefit the Swedish/Issaquah Pediatric Guild. Contributed

As the lights come on at Swedish/Issaquah and the hospital comes to life, the facility will begin working toward its true purpose: serving patients. However, for the nonprofit Swedish Medical Center, some of the most revered services to be offered in Issaquah will rely on donor and volunteer support.

Swedish has collected more than $900,000 in donations for the Issaquah hospital, and the money collected will fund services within the Swedish Cancer Institute, Women & Children Services — including labor and delivery — and pediatrics. Donations are also used to cover miscellaneous needs throughout the hospital.

“Where philanthropy is going to be really important is supporting aspects of the patient experience,” said Maggie Angle, Swedish director of major gifts. “We call it the margin of excellence. The hospital operates at an excellent level on its own, but when philanthropy comes in, it makes it extraordinary.”

The Cancer Institute — on the ground floor of the facility — is an outpatient clinic. Funds from the campaign will provide patients with access to social workers, an education resource center and other support systems.

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Childbirth center offers ‘welcoming, homelike atmosphere’

July 5, 2011

Little fingers and little toes will soon be a common sight at Swedish/Issaquah hospital.

The new childbirth center will have eight labor, delivery and recovery rooms, each with its own Jacuzzi and foldout couch for napping partners.

Two operating rooms are available in the labor, delivery and recovery section in case the mother needs a Caesarean section.

Once a baby is born, the mother and infant will be taken across the window-filled hallway to the postpartum unit, where she and her partner will learn about baby behavior, such as feeding cues, and have the opportunity to ask nurses questions about the newest member of the family.

Having a childbirth center is integral to any hospital, according to Penny Simkin, physical therapist, doula, Seattle childbirth educator and author.

“I think that from a business point of view it makes a lot of sense for a hospital to have a birthing center,” Simkin said. “It’s the first association that healthy young people have with a hospital when they’re giving birth, and if it’s a positive experience they’ll go back there in other realms.”

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