Healthcare

In honor of its 100th year of nonprofit service, Swedish Medical Center wants to recognize some of its patients through a search for photos of babies born at any birthing center now part of Swedish Health Services, including Swedish Hospital (Swedish First Hill, Swedish Ballard and Swedish Cherry Hill), Doctors Hospital, Seattle General Hospital, Ballard General Hospital, Ballard Community Hospital and Providence Seattle Medical Center.

Since opening its doors in 1910, more than 200,000 babies have been born at Swedish Medical Center. Last year alone, there were more than 7,400 babies born at Swedish’s First Hill and Ballard campuses.

“Swedish is iconic in the community as a place to have your baby,” Cal Knight, president and chief operating officer at Swedish Medical Center, said in a press release. “We often meet people in the community who are proud to tell us they were born at Swedish or had their children here.”

How to Enter the “I’m a Swedish Baby” Photo Contest

Entries for the cutest Swedish baby photo contest will be accepted online through June 1.

04/11/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne
New $60 million facility will open officially Apr. 13; Public celebration is Apr. 10

Workers were putting the finishing touches on the new Emergency Room and Patient Care Center at Highline Medical Center in Burien on April 8th during a media walking tour. The contrast from the current cramped and outdated Emergency Room was dramatic. The new ER opens officially April 13th. Emergency Dr. Sue O'Brien provided the explanations of what the new facilities will offer including:
• 32 large, private treatment rooms with space for family members to stay with the patient, each room universally equipped to handle any emergency
• Three rooms where patients can be triaged and taken directly to a private treatment room with admitting handled at bedside
• Triage and admitting areas designed to offer privacy and to protect the confidentiality of patient information
• Two large adjoining trauma rooms with state-of-the-art equipment on moveable, overhead systems
• Three nurses’ stations placed throughout the ER for more efficient patient monitoring
• A private room for consultations and family meetings
• A separate family waiting area to create a more comfortable environment for kids and adults alike

04/08/2010
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Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Dr. Sue O'Brien demonstrates some equipment in of the resuscitation rooms that are part of soon to open ER and patient care wings of Highline Medical Center in Burien. The news media was given a tour of the new facilities on April 8.

New $60 million facility will open officially Apr. 13; Public celebration is Apr. 10

Workers were putting the finishing touches on the new Emergency Room and Patient Care Center at Highline Medical Center in Burien on April 8th during a media walking tour. The contrast from the current cramped and outdated Emergency Room was dramatic.

With the potential for traffic problems looming for downtown access from West Seattle in the next few years, the new facilities in Burien take on greater importance. For your reference the Highline Medical Group West Seattle Walk-In Clinic is located at 4744 41st Avenue SW, Suite 101.

The new ER opens officially April 13th, but a public celebration is being held this Saturday, the 10th of April.

Emergency Dr. Sue O'Brien provided the explanations of what the new facilities will offer including:
• 32 large, private treatment rooms with space for family members to stay with the patient, each room universally equipped to handle any emergency
• Three rooms where patients can be triaged and taken directly to a private treatment room with admitting handled at bedside
• Triage and admitting areas designed to offer privacy and to protect the confidentiality of patient information

04/08/2010
HighlineHospitalTour.jpg
Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Dr. Sue O'Brien demonstrates some equipment in of the resuscitation rooms that are part of soon to open ER and patient care wings of Highline Medical Center in Burien. The news media was given a tour of the new facilities on April 8.

According to a new press release:

The Seattle City Council and City Attorney Pete Holmes took a united stand today opposing Attorney General Rob McKenna’s participation in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the historic national legislation that will dramatically reform health care in the United States.

Seattle’s elected officials oppose McKenna’s involvement as contrary to the interest of the people of Washington State and the City of Seattle.

This afternoon the Seattle City Council passed Resolution 31196 supporting enactment of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for health care reform.

The City’s resolution also urges the State Legislature to restrict the Attorney General’s budget authority to prevent any state funds from being spent opposing federal health care reform.

The united front in Seattle supports the strong stance taken by Governor Christine Gregoire, who has made it clear that she will actively oppose the lawsuit filed in Florida.

03/24/2010
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Photo credit: 
Rob McKenna website

Attorney General Rob Mckenna is participating in a lawsuit to block aspects of the new health care legislation. The City of Seattle is uniting to block him.

In January, Swedish Medical Center announced its search for the "oldest baby" born at Swedish in celebration of its 100th anniversary. On March 8, Ballard resident Virginia McCutchon, 96, took the prize.

McCutchon was born at Swedish on May 27, 1914 and grew up in the Ballard/Greenwood area, attending Ballard High School. She then designed and built her own home in the neighborhood.

At age 3, McCutchon was diagnosed with polio and suffered paralyzation in her legs. Today, she is one of the oldest polio survivors in the country.

McCutchon has a passion for art and returned to school late in life, graduating at age 60 from the University of Washington as a Lambda Rho Art Honorary student.

Her other passion is Seattle and its natural beauty. Her favorite sights are the water of Puget Sound and Hood Canal, the snow-covered Olympic Mountains and the grandeur of Mount Rainier.

McCutchon passed her love of Seattle on to her family. Her two children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren live in the city.

As the oldest person born at Swedish, McCutchon will receive a prize package from Hotel 1000.

03/09/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

While the federal government has spent months proposing, discussing and debating healthcare reform, there is one group of Ballardites who have been getting free, safe, confidential primary care, regardless of insurance, for eight years.

The Teen Health Center at Ballard High School, started in partnership with Swedish Medical Center in 2002 as part of a citywide program, acts as a primary care clinic for students.

"It's more like a doctor's office than a school nurse," said Sara Rigel, manager of Patient/Family Education and Community Health at Swedish.

By providing services at no cost to students, some of whom have no insurance or are under-insured, the benefits of the Teen Health Center are huge, Rigel said.

"It's an opportunity to contribute to the greater well-being of our youth and community," she said.

The center is jointly funded by Swedish Medical Center and King County Public Health trough the Family and Education Levy.

In addition to sports physicals and vaccinations, the center provides mental health counseling and sexual health and family planning care.

03/05/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Ballard High School sophomore Jhamante Jefferson makes small talk with Kathy Soliz, patient care coordinator at the Ballard Teen Health Center, which has been providing free healthcare to students since 2002.

“How can you know what is right for the world? By knowing what is right for your own life.” – Tao Teh Ching

If you or a loved one experience feelings of depression for short or long periods of time, you are familiar with its oppressively heavy cloak.

Studies show that 9.5 percent of Americans 18 and older are diagnosed with depression and 27 million are prescribed medication for their symptoms.
These medications for depression are, by design, short-term remedies which mask – not cure – symptoms, create dependency, withdrawal symptoms, adverse side effects, new illnesses and have an 80 percent relapse rate.

Add to this the fact that depression often goes undiagnosed in a culture where a state of discontent is often the accepted norm, and we start to see that it is time to look at other ways to understand and treat depression.

As a practitioner who sees clients with symptoms of depression, it would not be my wish to take the medications away.
However, I see them as a crutch, and we don’t want to walk with a crutch for the rest of our lives. What we want is for our broken parts to be mended so we can stand on our own two feet.

02/08/2010

By Sarah Gardner

“How can you know what is right for the world?
By knowing what is right for your own life.” – Tao Teh Ching

If you or a loved one experience feelings of depression for short or long periods of time, you are familiar with its oppressively heavy cloak.

Studies show that 9.5 percent of Americans 18 and older are diagnosed with depression and 27 million are prescribed medication for their symptoms.

These medications for depression are, by design, short-term remedies which mask – not cure – symptoms, create dependency, withdrawal symptoms, adverse side effects, new illnesses and have an 80 percent relapse rate.

Add to this the fact that depression often goes undiagnosed in a culture where a state of discontent is often the accepted norm, and we start to see that it is time to look at other ways to understand and treat depression.

As a practitioner who sees clients with symptoms of depression, it would not be my wish to take the medications away.

02/04/2010

The CEO of Ballard's A Helping Hand, which provides personalized care management for seniors, has been donating his time and expertise pro bono to cases that would otherwise be neglected.

Several weeks ago, Steven Jungk gave 40 to 50 hours of his time, normally charged at a rate of $100 an hour, to a case which involved an elderly woman living alone with multiple sclerosis and a 2007 hip replacement.

The woman, who Jungk said is fiercely independent and initially resisted hospitalization, was wheelchair bound and had exhausted her family support system.

A Helping Hand was notified of the woman’s case and stepped in to offer support free of charge.

She was eventually admitted to Swedish Hospital then discharged to a skilled nursing facility.

A Helping Hand is continuing to assist her with developing a power of attorney, a living will and an application for Medicaid.

Jungk said the advantage of working with A Helping Hand was the woman’s ability to truly collaborate in choosing her course of care, rather than being involuntarily admitted to a hospital, a course of action he said would have gone poorly.

01/29/2010
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Photo credit: 
Emily Dreisbach

CEO Steven Jungk (left), with A Helping Hand employees Kathleen Garcia, Alison Doyle and Tyler Heyamoto, has been donating his services to seniors in need.

A West Seattle woman's battle with hypochondria

She’s not a medical doctor-she doesn’t even work in the field but 28-year-old “Jenny” from West Seattle can tell you the signs and symptoms of countless cancers, disorders, rashes, and deadly infections.

She is obsessed with researching her endless and rotating list of medical anxieties.

"My symptoms change from day to day and might stick around for awhile, like now I have: a nagging cough (cancer, emphysema), pain in my hands and arms (arthritis, carpal tunnel), shooting pain in my left breast that comes and goes (breast cancer), tooth ache (root canal, major infection, heart problems). I sort of could go on and on here” Jenny states.

It prevents her from enjoying basic aspects of everyday life, like cooking a simple meal, because she’s constantly distracted by her worries. “I want to join a yoga class, but I stop myself because think my life has to be in better order before I start something new.”

She says her distrust in mental health professionals holds her back from getting formally diagnosed as a hypochondriac.

01/25/2010
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