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C1 • A Commemorative Newspaper Section

The Issaquah Press

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Welcome, [



Discover features for health and wellness, learning opportunities and community philanthropy: C2: Local artists’ works adorn hospital walls Hospital prepares to welcome bundles of joy C3: Fundraising effort enlists community’s help Community can learn tips for a healthier life C4: Track Swedish/Issaquah’s construction in photos C8: Residents shape hospital’s amenities

Swedish/Issaquah Swedish/Issaquah opens July 14 after 22 months of construction and $365 million. Swedish Medical Center, a 101-year-old nonprofit hospital system, is preparing to cut the ribbon on the Eastside’s first new hospital since 1972. Community members can peek inside Swedish/Issaquah at a public celebration and open house July 9.


Hospital names ‘dynamic leader’ as chief of staff By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter 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.) Dr. John Milne, vice president of medical affairs for Swedish/Issaquah and the emergency and ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek, said leaders chose JungHenson because she has exceptional people skills. “Lily, from my perspective, is a passion-


Ava Frisinger

Dr. Kristen Austin

Dr. Kristen Austin, a longtime obstetrician-gynecologist, specializes in urogynecology — a surgical subspecialty of urology and gynecology — and receives a boost from robots to perform some procedures. Austin is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Alexis Falicov is proficient in English, Spanish, French, Chinese and American Sign Language, but at Swedish Medical Center, the board-certified orthopedic surgeon is known for proficiency in spinerelated issues.

Dr.Alexis Falicov BY GREG FARRAR

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. ate, dynamic leader, and is really someone who has the ability to engage, inspire and energize staff,” he said. The modern hospital, much like MS treatments, has evolved since JungHenson started practicing medicine. For patients, earlier MS diagnoses lead to improved outcomes for patients. Swedish/Issaquah, hospital executives said in introducing the facility to the com-

munity, is meant to do the same for health care. “It’s about efficiency. It’s about my patients not having to go halfway across town to access the care that they need. I can just walk down the hall and say, ‘Hey, Dr. Soand-so, would you mind seeing my paSee CHIEF, Page C7

Dr. Howard Lewis

Dr. Howard Lewis serves as the executive director at the Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute. The interventional cardiologist specializes in treating cardiovascular disease. Lewis is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology.


Swedish Medical Center: A great fit for Issaquah


s the entire region will soon enjoy the expanded medical care offered by Swedish/Issaquah, our city has much more to celebrate: a great fit with this community. Some benefits are obvious. We now have a state-of-the-art hospital and medical campus that offers emergency services, a highly advanced cancer center and an impressive list of specialtycare services — all here in our backyard. Swedish, however, provides plenty of additional perks for Issaquah. The

healthcare provider consistently advocates for healthier lifestyles, which fits well with our active, outdoor-oriented community. The nonprofit organization is also very much in sync with Public Health – Seattle & King County. Both organizations aim to educate the public that “health” is not merely the absence of illness, but is rather a longer, more enjoyable life. Look soon for Swedish’s great variety of free or low-cost classes regarding vital health topics here in Issaquah. Swedish/Issaquah is also the most en-

ergy-efficient medical complex in the region. Such a commitment to sustainability mirrors the city’s efforts to spearhead several ultra-“green” projects, including the zero-energy zHome and the Maple Street Fire Station. In addition, the medical campus will undoubtedly boost our economic vitality. A new café, pharmacy and retail shops are all located on site. In total, more than 900 employees from Swedish and its affiliates will soon be a part of the growing Issaquah Highlands workforce by the end of the year. Even our art community will benefit

from the new campus. A large collection is featured on site, including several works that depict Issaquah themes. As Swedish advocates: “art heals.” The healthcare provider is also a proven community partner. Swedish is already a sponsor of several events and organizations, including Salmon Days, the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Issaquah Schools Foundation, Friends of Youth and the Rotary Club of Issaquah. Welcome, Swedish. You’ve found a great home here in Issaquah. Ava Frisinger is the mayor of Issaquah.

C2 • Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Issaquah Press

Hospital artwork is designed to heal, nurture Committee worked to find local artists of all ages for collection By Emily Baer Issaquah Press intern wedish/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. The search for the Issaquah campus’s collection began with an art committee of 15 hospital staff and community members,

Turner said. They were charged with supporting an environment associated with the hospital’s overarching theme of “nature, nurture and community.” The committee structure was key to creating a collection with a personality that befits the community in which the hospital is situated. From there, members of the committee visited galleries seeking the works of Northwest artists that reflected the “nature, nurture and community” theme. These art lovers and connoisseurs brought their chosen pieces of art to the entire group for review. The result is what Turner calls “an eclectic collection” of sculpture, metal and wood, oil and caustic paintings, watercolor and fine prints. “Some people will hate some of it, some people will love it all,” Turner said. “When you have a large committee you do have people with different tastes, but it kind of all balances out.” Healing, engagement and distraction That’s the beauty of art, she said. One piece may spark a host of opinions, but each piece is meant to provoke thought in all its viewers. “It’s all about healing and an engagement,” she said. “And a distraction for people.” The Swedish/Issaquah collection will also incorporate 17 works by 34 children and young adults from the Eastside. The art committee communicated a request for young artists from the Issaquah School District and recruited Brooke Kempner to create final products out of the students’ work. A great example of Kempner’s and the children’s work is “Horse Joy,” a collage of eight students’ drawings of a horse. Swedish’s extensive art collection is financed by donations, gifts to the Art Endowment Fund and 1 percent of all construction costs. According to the Washington State Arts Commission website, the state enacted a law in 1974 requiring 0.5 percent of construction costs for any public place to pay for the acquisition of art. King County, in fact, had established a similar ordinance the year before that required 1 percent of public place construction costs to be set aside for art. Swedish had been including art into its building costs since the 1960s. “Swedish kind of made incorporating art the norm,” Turner said. “After the state policy was passed, other private nonprofits began following suit.” The Swedish/Issaquah art committee collaborated with artEAST, a nonprofit visual arts organization with the mission of supporting the community’s artists, to find local artists to contribute to the collection. “Our role was to gather portfolios for Swedish to introduce them to additional Issaquah/Sammamish and area artists they might not otherwise be familiar with,” artEAST Executive Director Karen Abel said. “ArtEAST membership consists of 200 artists and art supporters, so we had a wider contact list than they did.” Pieces are life-affirming, an escape Several of the local artists Swedish/Issaquah features are passionate about the role of art in public spaces and its healing power in a medical setting. Dixie Parker-Fairbanks, an acrylic painter based in Issaquah, knows the value of art in

hospital settings well. She spent the last seven months of her husband’s life in the University of Washington hospital. Richard Fairbanks was a well-known potter who had dedicated his life to creating art. “One of the things we did in the evening was take him around to look at the artwork, to get out of the sterile room,” Parker-Fairbanks said. “I hung one of my flower paintings in his room and the doctors all came and looked at it. It gave them a pause from their work.” Her piece, “Bucharest Bouquet,” of a blueand-white vase holding pale yellow sunflowers on a multishaded blue background has been moved from the Lake Sammamish Swedish campus to the new Issaquah campus. Redmond painter Susan Melrath, an artist who Swedish Art Program Manager Nancy Stoaks called an exciting new addition to the collection, was surprised by the hospital’s choice of her work. “I heard that hospitals didn’t buy pieces with red in them,” she said. The art committee purchased Melrath’s “Crimson Kiss,” a large flower of myriad brilliant reds. “I asked them why they bought that piece,” Melrath said. “They said it’s life affirming. I think that’s true about my work.” Another Issaquah artist Stoaks said she is looking forward to featuring, Ricco di Stefano, said he creates paintings of “nondescript locations that people can project their own places onto.” Di Stefano’s depiction of a nonspecific farm, “Morning Mist,” is an expression of a memory of a feeling he had. “People seem to go home in my paintings,” di Stefano said. “They find a place that makes them happy. They escape.”


“It’s pretty simple — art does heal. It humanizes what could be a dehumanizing environment.” JOYCE TURNER Art Committee volunteer chairwoman


‘Art is a bare necessity’ Paul Vexler, a Snohomish artist whose “Big Suspended Six Inch Closed Knot” is on display in the atrium entry of the hospital, spoke about the importance of art in public places. “I think that it’s a reminder that, well, buildings are more than places to work in, to get well in, to live in,” he said. “There is more to life than the bare necessities, or maybe art is a bare necessity.” Sammamish artist and framer David Allison said his Swedish pieces, “Monument,” “Plowing at Dawn” and “Summer Green,” speak to the area, its farms and its natural history. “I think art can have a healing presence,” Allison said. “People come through hospitals needing health and needing peace. Art supplies a lot of that.” Vashon Island sculptor Julie Speidel’s blue copper, almost Picasso-esque sculpture “Anahit” is in one of the hospital’s courtyards. In all her work, Speidel captures the beautiful and the mysterious. She referenced an Albert Einstein quote to explain her proclivity for mystery — “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.” “Art is powerful and mysterious,” she added. “ It’s wonderful if you can feel that going into a hospital. I think that art allows you to tap into beauty and beauty is healing.” Emily Baer: 392-6434, or Comment at

At left: ‘Anahit’ by Julie Speidel. Top right: ‘Horse Joy’ compiled by Brooke Kempner, from youth artists Emma Brenchley, Quinn Burford, Gage Hawkins, Megan Namba, Mallory Pare, Katie Pippel, Benjamin Vandehey and Chirag Vedullapalli. Middle right: ‘Bucharest Bouquet’ by Dixie Parker-Fairbanks. Bottom right: ‘Crimson Kiss’ by Susan Melrath

Childbirth center offers ‘welcoming, homelike atmosphere’ By Laura Geggel Issaquah Press reporter 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 be-

havior, 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.” When an expecting mother first comes into Swedish/Issaquah,

hospital staff members will direct her to a triage bed. Medical professionals will examine the mother-to-be, and move her to a labor, delivery and recovery room if she is in labor. The rooms are 471 square feet, including the bathroom. “We want it to be a very warm and welcoming homelike atmosphere where patients and families can be as comfortable as possible, but still have the technology available if they are experiencing any kind of complications,” Wendy Colgan, inpatient nurse manager of obstetrics and pediatrics, said. Some childbirth centers have Jacuzzi tubs in the bathroom, but Swedish/Issaquah put the tubs in

the main room, so family members can be together with the pregnant woman. Studies have shown that offering hot water baths, more technically called hydrotherapy in labor, helps most women during labor. In a 2004 paper she co-authored with April Bolding in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Simkin noted that women who immerse themselves in water deep enough to cover their abdomen often find enhanced relaxation, reduced labor pain and better labor progress. “Having water available in labor is a wonderful way to help a woman relax and to help her deal with the pain of labor,” Simkin

said. “A roomy tub is very desirable. A tiny little home-type bath doesn’t allow people to stretch out and enjoy the water.” Between 15 and 20 obstetricians will be on staff at Swedish/Issaquah, as well as family-practice physicians who have obstetrician privileges and certified nurse-midwives. Depending on their needs, the mother and child, or children, could have varying lengths of stay at the hospital. Women who give birth vaginally usually stay for between 24 and 48 hours, Colgan said. Women who get Csections typically stay at least 72 hours. In addition to the eight labor,

delivery and recovery rooms and the postpartum unit, Swedish/Issaquah will have eight pediatric beds that will open Nov. 1 during the hospital’s second phase. Children who have medical issues, such as those fighting a respiratory infection or having their appendix removed, can stay at the pediatric unit. Children with more acute medical problems will likely go to Seattle Children’s. “We are very proud that we can provide pediatrics care in the community so they’re not having to travel into Seattle,” Colgan said. Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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 Philanthropy to play key role in Swedish/Issaquah patient services The Issaquah Press

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 •


Health education for community is a priority By Laura Geggel Issaquah Press reporter

By Tim Pfarr Issaquah Press reporter 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 HOW TO HELP ground floor of the facility — is an Donate to the outpatient clinic. Funds from the campaign will provide patients Campaign for Swedish with access to social workers, an Go to www.campaignforeducation resource center and and click “Donate.” other support systems. You can donate to specific servicSwedish has not yet started aces in the hospital or allow cepting gifts for Women & Children Swedish to use the funds where Services or its pediatrics unit; Angle said it has not pinpointed fundthey are needed most. ing needs in those areas. However, once donation mechaVolunteer at Swedish/Issaquah nisms are in place, contributions Go to will fund things such as child life, who work closely with teer or call 313-2300 after July 9. young patients to abate the stress of hospital visits. Several Issaquah and SamJoin the Swedish/Issaquah mamish residents also banded toPediatric Guild gether to create the Swedish/IsCall Swedish Director of Major saquah Pediatric Guild. The guild Gifts Maggie Angle at 206-386started by fundraising and spread6770. ing the word about services the facility will offer. “I’m emotionally and passionately connected to the pediatric services at Swedish,” guild member Kristen Wehrman said. She said her 10-year-old son underwent two surgeries with Swedish doctors, and the unique programs the donations support are what keep the nonprofit a step ahead of its competitors. “That’s what makes those patients smile and want to come back to Swedish,” she said. The guild has five members, who will have an informational booth at the July 9 opening celebration. Wehrman said guild members would also volunteer in the hospital this fall. Volunteer opportunities will start at Swedish/Issaquah with the July 14 grand opening, although op-


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.


“The hospital operates at an excellent level on its own, but when philanthropy comes in, it makes it extraordinary.” MAGGIE ANGLE Swedish Medical Center director of major gifts


portunities will be more extensive after the secondphase opening in the fall, Volunteer Coordinator Pinky Herrera said. Opportunities this summer will be mostly limited to transporting patients, such as those in wheelchairs. Swedish Medical Center Foundation Executive Director Don Theophilus said it has been exciting building a donor and volunteer base in Issaquah. “Fundraising’s important for any facility, but in particular when you are ‘new to the community,’” he said. “You want to engage community members in their new hospital.” Swedish launched its philanthropic Campaign for Swedish in 2007, setting a goal of raising $100 million to increase services for its patients. It has since raised more than $76 million. Tim Pfarr: 392-6434, ext. 239, or Comment at

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,” Sara Rigel, Swedish manager of patient education and community health, said. 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 TO KNOW what’s new in treating Register for classes online at heart problems. Click While some classes last on “complete listing of classes” only one day, such as the $40 “Safe Sitter” class ofand then select “Eastside.” Or call fered at Swedish/Issaquah the James Douglas Health on Aug. 10, other classes Education Center at First Hill at last several weeks, such as 206-386-2502. Some classes are the $147, four-session “Hop free; others have a nominal fee. to Signaroo Baby Sign Language” class starting Aug. 2. Subscribe to the quarterly newsletCommunity members can ter HealthWatch by emailing corpoalso find listings of the classes in Swedish’s quarand asking for the Eastside edition. terly 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

C4 • Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Issaquah Press

From groundbreaking to grand opening



Construction started on Swedish/Issaquah in August 2009. Gov. Chris Gregoire, Mayor Ava Frisinger and hospital executives gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2009. Crews added the last steel beam to the medical office building skeleton in August 2010. Major construction wrapped in June 2011. Community members can see the completed hospital at Highlands Day on July 9, or after opening day, July 14.

Top: The construction site in the Issaquah Highlands in February 2010. At left: Leaders, including Gov. Chris Gregoire and Mayor Ava Frisinger, turn dirt in October 2009. Above: Carpenters work during March 2011.

Above left: Shanthi Pathi, project assistant for Sellen Construction, smiles after adding her signature to others in August 2010 on the final structural steel beam. Above right: Construction workers look on as the final structural steel beam is raised in August 2010. At right: The north wall of Swedish/Issaquah is almost finished in March 2011.

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The Issaquah Press

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 •


At left: Massive amounts of heated and chilled water flow in a maze of pipes inside the central utility plant. Above: Swedish/Issaquah surgery support staff members arrive at the west entrance the morning of June 13, for their first day touring the building.

At left: Dr. John Milne, Swedish vice president for medical affairs, stands in March 2011 inside a radiology vault destined to become a treatment room. Above: Registered nurses Joe Richter, (left) and Fay Payton use sticky dots in June to show work crews where to install containers. Below right: The Swedish sign is lifted into place on May 18, 2011. Below left: Driveways and sidewalks take shape near a future green space.

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C6 • Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Issaquah Press

The Issaquah Press

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 •





Outside the main entrance to Swedish/Issaquah, look skyward. The curved roof atop the atrium is a deliberate design nod to the arc Swedish Medical Center uses in branding and promotional materials. The arc carried throughout the hospital’s materials is indicative of the trajectory of a patient’s care, from the admission to diagnosis and, hopefully, healing. Seattle firm CollinsWoerman, lead architects on the hospital project, incorporated the arc into the façade. “We felt the swooping concave ceiling made both a good resolution to the height difference between the north and south sides of the Commons, and that it was a subtle reference to the ‘Swedish arc,’” CollinsWoerman Senior Associate James Walker said. “We also used the arc shape in planning the north façade of the medical office building and in the overall plan geometry of the commons.”


tient?’” JungHenson said. “That’s the provision of continuity of care that is really the core of the patient experience. I’m really excited about it.” The hospital is built to last for a century. JungHenson can impart a lasting influence on medical staff members for years to come. “I see my role as developing the culture for the medical staff,” she said. “What does it mean to be part of the medical staff at Swedish/Issaquah?” Hospital offers high-tech healing JungHenson joined the hospital system as a physician 21 years ago and, as she built a career, she also experienced Swedish as a patient when she delivered both of her children at the hospital. The knowledge shaped how she approached the chief of staff role as the Issaquah hospital prepared to open. “One of the beautiful things about Swedish/Issaquah, which I’m really excited about is, because we’re building a hospital from the ground up and bringing together a new medical staff — some of whom are from the community and have not been traditionally part of Swedish, and some of whom are Swedish employees, like me, and have been for a long time — I think it’s really a wonderful opportunity to tie together a lot of people with talent and grow a wonderful medical staff,” she said. JungHenson appreciates high-tech — electronic patient records, for instance — and old-fashioned — a compassionate bedside manner — elements in equal measure. Swedish/Issaquah, she said, is meant to combine established practices and innovations in order to speed patients’ healing. “It’s really exciting the way the hospital has been designed, in that we’re trying to figure out how to most efficiently manage the patient’s course, so that there isn’t redundancy, so that there isn’t waste,” she said. “I think it’s a wonderful adventure that we’re going on.” Wellness is doctor’s focus for patients Come late summer, just before the season changes to a mushy gray, JungHenson calls on colleagues, patients and others to join the effort to fund MS research. The fundraiser is no evening-gown-and-black-tie affair. Instead, JungHenson and company pedal across Evergreen State countryside each year for Bike MS as a team called the Swedish Smyelin Babes. Swedish, of course, is for the hospital, smyelin is a riff on myelin, a nerve insulation destroyed in MS, and babes, JungHenson explained, is a unisex term. The ride offers a snapshot for patients and colleagues. JungHenson is comfortable as a leader, deploys a playful sense of humor to put patients at ease, and understands how recreation and medicine can — and should — coexist. “We all have an obligation to be really proactive about taking care of ourselves, making sure that we do all of the preventative health things that we’re supposed to do, like mammograms and colonoscopies and what-not as you get older,” she said. Similar messages about preventative care underpin discussions between the doctor and patients. Concern sometimes prompts JungHenson to surreptitiously snatch patients’ cigarette packs during appointments. “I’m shameless,” she said. JungHenson, a runner in addition to being a longtime cyclist, also encourages patients to put aside excuses and exercise, just as she does. “It’s not pretty. I’m not a fast runner. I run like a little old lady,” she said. “But it’s all about taking care of yourself.” ‘She turned every stone for me’ JungHenson met Dan McFadden after the Redmond resident returned from a trip to the Amazon last fall. The neurologist soon confronted a medical mystery. The cause behind McFadden’s inexplicable pain, tingling extremities and rash remained elusive, but JungHenson persevered. “That jungle is a Petri dish for strange, little pathogens that they may not even test for. She’s really had to search high and low, and has done all kinds of tests on me to look for it,” he said. “We know it’s there, because of the symptoms. We just can’t find the cause of it. She hasn’t given up. She hasn’t said, ‘Well, that’s all I can do.’” McFadden initially assumed a chigger bite caused the strange symptoms, but the trigger is still unknown. The search for a diagnosis prompted

JungHenson to reach out to other specialists. “She turned every stone for me from a neurological perspective, but also worked to get me in to see an infectious disease doctor and is now taking a look at other possible causes,” he said. The effort also represents collaboration between doctor and patient. “I think of the patient-physician interaction as being a place where we figure out what’s going on, come up with a medical explanation for what’s happening and then coming up with a plan that I’m comfortable with but, more importantly, what the patient’s comfortable with,” JungHenson said. Excelling in ‘a difficult specialty’ Such challenges led JungHenson to consider a career in neurology and specialize in MS. Neurology is


Dr. John Milne

Dr. Linnea Peterson

Dr. John Milne, vice president of medical affairs for Swedish/Issaquah and the emergency and ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek, shaped the Issaquah hospital as Swedish’s medical director for strategic development on the Eastside.

Dr. Linnea Peterson specializes in voice and swallowing disorders. The otolaryngologist — or ear, nose and throat physician for the uninitiated — serves patients at the clinic near Lake Sammamish until relocating to Swedish/Issaquah for opening day.

Dr. Mike Purdon, a family practitioner, already serves Issaquah patients at the existing clinic. The role requires broad knowledge, and Purdon is ready to help patients tackle high cholesterol or sleep apnea, or chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

Dr. Mike Purdon

a complicated field, and she also treats dementia, encephalopathy and stroke patients. “My first very patient in my neurology rotation as a medical resident at Northwestern University in Chicago was a multiple sclerosis patient,” she recalled. Then, little more than 20 years ago, MS diagnoses represented a worst-case scenario. No Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for the disease existed. “Neurology is a difficult specialty. The whole gist of what we do is, we figure out where the problem is, where the lesion is. In multiple sclerosis, because you have multiple lesions, it becomes very, very complicated,” JungHenson said. “As a young medical student trying to learn neurology, I was totally overwhelmed by this patient. It really was a very hard patient for me to figure out and learn how to take care of.” The options later expanded for MS patients. Nowadays, physicians can offer eight FDA-approved therapies for the disease. Even as treatments entered the marketplace, nothing can substitute for patient empowerment and knowledge — tenets JungHenson advocates to patients. “I take care of some very amazing people who, despite their disability, have really conquered their disease mentally,” she said. “I get a lot of motivation and inspiration from my patients.” Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

C8 • Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Issaquah Press

Issaquah community members influence hospital design By Warren Kagarise Issaquah Press reporter 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 PHOTOS BY GREG FARRAR clearly looking Swedish/Issaquah employees arrive for people who for work in the new highlands hospital were not afraid before the July 14 opening. 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.) “They always said, ‘Yes! We want hightech, but not at the expense of that human warmth that makes people feel welcome and makes them feel that they’re in a highly personal place,’” Barry said. Committee members said Swedish/Issaquah represents a key economic development component for the community. “There’s no other community the size of our Issaquah-Sammamish community that doesn’t have a first-rate hospital facility. It’s been the missing piece,” Barry said. “You know that I believe we have a world-class school district, and I think this health-care dimension of our community life has been the missing piece. I’m thrilled that that’s going to be there.” Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the outreach effort ensured that the hospital planning phase addressed community concerns. “It was what certainly I, as mayor, and I would believe any of our policymakers would want to see with a major agency or organization that came into the community,” she said. “They made an effort very early on, when it was pretty evident that they were going to be here, that they wanted to have a group of community members as an advisory council.” Phil Dyer, a former 5th Legislative District lawmaker and health-care expert, lauded hospital executives for the attention lavished on the community group. “The Swedish people were bending over backwards to make sure that the design process really fit the needs of the

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community. I, frankly, had not seen such a thing. I’ve been involved in health care for more than 30 years, and I’ve never seen a large, institutional health care system take that much interest in designing and facilitating the community’s interests,” he said. “It was clear that they were listening to everything we said.” The hospital also held town-hall-style meetings in Issaquah and Sammamish to ask residents about possible features for the facility. “The best part of it was that Swedish listened and incorporated those ideas into the final hospital,” said Joan Probala, a committee member and Issaquah real estate agent. “They actually went out to the community, they asked what patients, what people wanted to expect when they got to the hospital, and they incorporated it into it.” Though the hospital is complete, Swedish holds a long-term lease on a building along Northwest Sammamish Road for a standalone emergency room and medical offices. Milne said hospital leaders plan to ask Community Advisory Committee members about uses for the ER space after the facility relocates to Swedish/Issaquah on July 14. Committee members also understood how the hospital could change behavior among Issaquah patients accustomed to traveling to Bellevue or Seattle for health care. “This community has developed its patterns over long years. Where do they go to get health-care services?” Barry said. “It’s going to invite new patterns. That’s going to take a little bit of time, but I think the Swedish reputation will be significant in helping people to find their new patterns.”

Above: Kevin Brown (left), Swedish senior vice president and chief administrative officer, welcomes state, regional and local officials, hospital board members and executives to the groundbreaking. At right: Judd Kirk, of Port Blakely Communities, Mayor Ava Frisinger, Swedish Hospital CEO Dr. Rod Hochman and Gov. Chris Gregoire (from left) chat after the Swedish/Issaquah groundbreaking ceremony in October 2009.


“The Swedish people were bending over backwards to make sure that the design process really fit the needs of the community. I, frankly, had not seen such a thing.” PHIL DYER Community Advisory Committee member and former 5th District lawmaker


Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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