I attended the Evergreen Hospital Expansion Certificate of Need (CON) meeting in Kirkland last Friday to find out how that expansion would affect us getting our hospital here in Issaquah. The Department of Health (DOH) representative explained that if 80 more beds for Evergreen would be approved, it would take away 80 beds from us here in Issaquah and Sammamish. With the rapid expansion in the population in the northern Eastside areas, I have no problem with Evergreen getting what they need, but I object to us not getting what we need here in this area of the Eastside. Everyone complains about traffic, gas prices and increased smog, yet they fight about giving us healthcare right here in our own area, where it is bitterly needed. As residents of this area, we need to let the DOH know that our need here is not any less important than that of the people in the northern part of the Eastside. If the taxpayers in that area want to spend more money for the healthcare they need, that is their decision. The proposed facility for us here does not depend on our tax dollars, and that is a very important consideration. We need to be aware that the proposed facility here is not a done deal because there continue to be people and organizations that don’t want us to have our own easily accessible healthcare. We cannot just sit back and let others make decisions for our healthcare needs.