Evergreen Hospital Medical Center needs our help getting a state license for 80 more beds. As a long time Sammamish resident and a volunteer community advisor for Evergreen, I worked to get bonds passed to build and support the hospital. This is my hospital of choice.
I worked at Evergreen from 1996-2000 before I became a stay-at-home mother. I became an Evergreen Healthcare volunteer because of the superb quality of the hospital and staff.
We already have the space. Foresighted voters recognized the population boom in the hospital district and in 2004 gave a 66 percent approval rating to the bond to build the bed tower. With our large service area and the rapidly growing population not just in Sammamish but in the entire northeast King County, it is time the Department of Health approves the licenses for additional beds.
I don’t want to drive to Seattle’s Pill Hill for care when we have great hospitals on the Eastside. We’re being shortchanged if we can’t choose a local hospital.
Evergreen has exceeded the optimal level of bed occupancy and with current growth, will reach crisis levels by 2009. Since Evergreen is publicly funded, we must meet the needs of the community. Without the additional licenses for beds, families may be turned away from their preferred hospital.
The increase will require no new taxes. The majority of the new beds will be set up in patient rooms vacated when the new inpatient tower opened in 2007. Using existing space means the first 48 new beds will be available next year at a cost of $1.6 million. The remaining 32 beds, costing $13.2 million, would go in the inpatient tower in 2013. All additional beds will be funded through patient care revenue.
I’m urging the Washington Department of Health to increase Evergreen Hospital Medical Center’s bed capacity from 227 to 307. A formal request was filed with the Department of Health’s Certificate of Need Office May 9, 2008.
Your letters of support can be sent to the Certificate of Need Program, Mail Stop 47852, Olympia, WA. 98504-7852.
We as a community provide the hospital, and now we must have the beds to meet our needs.