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winter 2011

A publication of SKAGIT VALLEY HOSPITAL News, Education and Philanthropy

Family practice

Physicians enjoy chance to care for patients from birth to old age Getting connected

Skagit County ahead of curve in making high-tech connections to benefit patients

Cancer research

Regional Cancer Care Center physicians stay on leading edge of treatment options

Doctors turned teachers Area physicians volunteer to instruct medical students at Skagit Valley Hospital

Mental Health Center Project aims to raise $1 million; Festival of Trees benefits cause

HealthQuest Winter 2011


Welcome to 2011

It’s a new year. Health care is a dynamic and ever-changing field and we take pride in keeping up with the latest trends seen across the region and nationally. In the coming months, you will see us roll out the name Skagit Regional Health, which we have adopted as the name of our growing, integrated health care system and the umbrella name over Skagit Regional Clinics and Skagit Valley Hospital. This provides our employees, providers and volunteers with a collective name that we all are a part of as one team providing services to you, the people of our communities.

Save the Date A benefit dinner for the Children’s Therapy Program at Skagit Valley Hospital Monday, February 28, 2011, 6 p.m. Il Granaio Restaurant 100 E. Montgomery Street Mount Vernon $100 per person. Six-course Italian dinner and wine For reservations contact Wendy Ragusa at the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation: 360-814-5747

2010 was a year of amazing advancements, with the addition of another two dozen physicians, bringing the total to nearly 90 new providers that the hospital has assisted in recruiting to the region. We have our sights set on another 20 for this year to continue to improve access to care and add specialties. Among our newest physicians are specialists in care areas we have not had in practice locally until very recently. This includes James Edwards, MD, a

reconstructive and plastic surgeon, who provides a wide range of procedures and completes the continuum of care in our multidisciplinary program at The Breast Institute.

Another addition is our spine program, offering state-of-the-art

procedures to help those with back pain and injuries. These physicians provide a variety of options for patients, from conservative measures to surgery. The Sonya Beard Hyperbaric Oxygen Program is a true gift to the community. This program was made possible

2 | Skagit Valley Hospital

by the partnership of the late Mrs. Beard and the generous members of the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends. Located in the Wound Healing Center, the two hyperbaric oxygen chambers are used for treatment of cancer, wound and other patients. We are thankful for such generosity. Speaking of philanthropy, the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation has made an amazing commitment to raise $1 million to benefit the relocation and remodel of the Mental Health Center. This essential service is needed now, more than ever, as other mental health programs have closed or scaled back in recent months. This 15bed center is a key component in Skagit Valley Hospital’s service as a safety net of essential services for our community. Skagit Valley Hospital is helping lead the way in enhancing the connectivity and information sharing among hospitals as we develop a regional health information exchange. This level of technology will benefit the patient as physicians and caregivers access essential – sometimes lifesaving – information in a timely way. 2011 will also see a new facility in

Smokey Point as a shared venture with

our partner, Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington. By working together, the two public district hospitals will bring improved access to health care services, primary and specialty care, and support services ranging from pharmacy to diagnostics, all in one convenient facility. We approach all of these advancements with attention to quality, safety and compassion, serving you, as our mission states, “with compassion and dignity, one patient at a time.”

Gregg Davidson, FACHE Chief Executive Officer

WINTER 2011 / Volume 8 / Issue 1

Family Practice, Midwives, OB/GYN

HealthQuest is published three times a year by Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon and the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation.

Patients have options for selecting care during pregnancy, childbirth and beyond



In Person: Main entrance located on Hospital Parkway in Mount Vernon. By Mail: P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Phone: 360-424-4111 Fax: 360-814-2416

Physician Referral Line: 360-848-5555 or 360-629-5850

SKAGIT VALLEY HOSPITAL REGIONAL CANCER CARE CENTER In Person: 307 South 13th St., Ste. 100 Mount Vernon, WA By Mail: P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Phone: 360-814-2146 Fax: 360-814-2445 The Breast Institute 360-814-8148 SKAGIT VALLEY KIDNEY CENTER AND WOUND HEALING CENTER 208 Hospital Parkway Mount Vernon, WA Kidney: 360-814-8260 Wound: 360-814-2600 For additional copies or more information, contact Health Education Coordinator Linda Wright at 360-814-2325 or Director of Marketing Kari Ranten at 360-814-2370 or go to our Web site at


Cancer research


Skagit County well on its way to electronic health information exchange to benefit patients

On the Web:

SKAGIT REGIONAL CLINICS Anacortes: 360-293-0308 Arlington: 360-435-2144 Camano Island: 360-387-5398 Cardiology: 360-336-9757 Mount Vernon: 360-428-2500 Oak Harbor: 360-814-6200 Sedro-Woolley: 360-856-4222 Stanwood: 360-629-1600

Getting connected

COVER PHOTO Rebecca Geisendorf and her six-year-old son Tyler pose with Lucia Muller, MD, a family practice physician with North Cascade Family Physicians in Mount Vernon. Dr. Muller delivered Tyler and is now caring for Rebecca, who is expecting her third child, and the whole Geisendorf family.

Regional Cancer Care Center physicians stay on leading edge of treatment options

New providers

Cardiologists, plastic surgeon, nephrologist among new providers in community


Photo by Linda Wright

Mental Health Center Project goal set at $1 million; 22nd annual Festival of Trees a huge success


HealthQuest Classes 26

Stanwood & Camano Island

HealthQuest Classes 28

Hospital Services 38

HealthQuest Class 39 Registration

Mount Vernon

HealthQuest Winter 2011



Family Medicine physicians have the opportunity to treat the whole family. For those who also choose to add obstetrics to their practice, they truly see patients from birth to old age. It’s about building relationships with patients. “It is really special to get to know somebody over nine months and then be able to share the experience of their delivery with them,” said Lucia Muller, MD, of North Cascade Family Physicians in Mount Vernon. “It is really a privilege to be present at such a momentous time of people’s lives.” Carl Berliner, MD has a 99-year-old patient and, at the time of the interview, a 27-hour old patient. “We establish a long-term relationship and we see them again and again and again,” Dr. Berliner said. “It’s personally rewarding to see new patients and see patients grow up.” David Benson, MD of North Cascade Family Physicians agrees. “It’s a unique relationship that is generated at that point of care in their life during pregnancy and that is carried throughout their life,” he said. “It’s about personalized care.”

(Left) Jenny Haskin and daughter Aliya

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mily practice

doing OB

In addition to his study of Family Medicine, Dr. Benson completed an obstetrics residency in the U.S. Navy and a fellowship in OB at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, which allows him to see higher risk patients and perform C-sections.

“OB is really the catalyst for that continuum of care which is the foundation of Family Medicine,” Dr. Benson said. “It’s very satisfying to deliver a patient, and then see the mom and baby together at follow up appointments and beyond.” Erik Bylund, MD, also with North Cascade Family Physicians, enjoys OB and the many stages of life that follow. “The concept of a doctor who does everything is appealing and it’s something hard to make that fit in with the sea of specialties,” Dr. Bylund said. “We’re a onestop shop. Our patients get to know us and we get to know them.” Patients like the idea of having the same doctor for life for themselves and their children. “When you meet with Lucia, she comes in, sits down, puts down your file and looks you in the eye and says ‘how are you?’ ” said Rebecca Geisendorf, whose son Tyler was delivered by Dr. Muller. “Lucia now treats my whole family, including my husband. We have complete trust in her and her staff. As we await the arrival of our third child this spring, there is nobody else we would leave our medical care and delivery to other than Lucia.”

Being the physician who has cared for a child since birth and infancy makes it easier to see that patient as they grow into childhood. “You’ve been in that child’s life since birth and it’s a natural, fun thing for them to come and see you,” said Dr. Berliner, who has practiced in Mount Vernon for the past eight years. “They are not afraid. It’s coming to see a friend.” Dr. Bylund notes that Family Medicine physicians locally benefit from strong relationships with area obstetricians and pediatricians and can access specialized care for patients if it’s needed. “As physicians, we all rely on each other a great deal,” Dr. Bylund said. Few medical specialties, however, yield a family’s standing ovation at 3:30 a.m., notes Dr. Berliner. “It never really gets old. It’s amazing being there when a baby is born,” Dr. Bylund said. The breadth and variety of the specialty is appealing to those practicing Family Medicine. “Being a family practitioner gives me the opportunity to work in all realms of the patient’s health care, in order to further their wellness,” Dr. Muller said. “The relationships we form with our patients over the years are what help us provide a unique kind of care.”


When Jasmine Auvil found out that she was expecting for the first time, she knew that she wanted a natural, non-medicated birth for her baby. She spoke with friends about their birthing experiences and found that those who had the support of a midwife were more likely to achieve a natural birth.

Auvil went to Skagit Regional Clinics (formerly Skagit Valley Medical Center) and established care with the clinic’s three certified nurse-midwives: Mary Wathen, CNM, Natalie Weatherby, CNM and Lynnette Gerhard, CNM. “At first I was concerned that I wouldn’t like seeing three different midwives for my prenatal care,” Auvil said. “But I found that each midwife was able to answer my questions from a unique perspective. I feel like I gained more knowledge than if I had only seen one provider for my care.” Patients of the SRC midwives rotate between the midwives for their prenatal appointments. By the time the mother goes into labor, she has established a relationship with each of the midwives. The midwife on call the day she goes into labor will guide her through the delivery process. Certified nurse-midwives consider birth a natural event in women’s lives. Though they believe pregnancy is a natural process, midwives are trained to address medical issues that arise and benefit from the support of their colleagues. “We work as a team discussing those patients with medical and social issues and we problem-solve together. We also collaborate with the obstetricians in our group on more complex cases,” says Natalie Weatherby, CNM. The SRC midwives attend births exclusively at Skagit Valley Hospital’s Family Birth Center where women and their families benefit from the available technology, equipment and expertise. Epidurals are available and specially CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

HealthQuest Winter 2011



trained lactation consultants are there to assist new mothers who choose to breastfeed. Auvil said she was amazed by the amount of time Weatherby spent with her at appointments and during labor. “We arrived at the hospital at 4 a.m. and Natalie came into our room soon after we checked in. She was there for the entire process which lasted about seven hours,” said Auvil. “For someone to be there the whole time is absolutely incredible. By the end, you really feel like your midwife is a part of your family.” Weatherby helped the Auvils to be fully involved in the delivery process. “Everything went so smoothly. Natalie, our doula and the nursing staff made sure that everything in my birth plan happened,” Auvil said. Her husband, Dale, even “caught” their baby boy, Espen, as they welcomed him into the world. Looking back, Auvil is pleased that she decided to seek care from certified nursemidwifes. “Espen’s birth was everything I had hoped for,” she said. “I will definitely come back to the midwives. I can’t imagine having a baby any other way.” A certified nurse-midwife is a registered nurse with a Master’s degree in women’s health care and midwifery. She is also certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. CNMs care for women of childbearing age including: gynecological exams, prenatal care for low-risk pregnancies, care during labor and delivery and post partum care for the mother.

Obstetrician and gynecologist Daniel Bynum, MD enjoys the opportunity to develop lifetime relationships with patients from pregnancy and childbirth to menopause. “I enjoy being a trained OB/GYN so I can offer not only the continuity, friendship and state-of-the-art care, but also the whole gamut of diagnostic and therapeutic options that could be needed when managing women’s health issues,” Dr. Bynum said. “Continuity of the physician-patient relationship over decades builds a two-way trust that clearly enhances the provision of medical care, resulting in optimized physical, mental and emotional well-being.” An obstetrician has specialized training in managing pregnancy, labor and delivery, while a gynecologist has extensive training in the female reproductive system. Dr. Bynum estimates his Mount Vernon Women’s Clinic practice is evenly split between the two specialties. In his more than 21 years in practice, Dr. Bynum has delivered more than 2,000 babies, and enjoys every moment.

“There is nothing that compares to the sheer excitement and happiness associated with delivering a baby,” he said. “No other life activity comes close to that experience.” Dr. Bynum follows patients – whom he calls friends – through the duration of pregnancy from prenatal visits and ultrasound exams to childbirth at the Family Birth Center at Skagit Valley Hospital. His added training allows him to care for patients in high-risk pregnancies. High-risk factors can include diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia and twins. “I view pregnancy, labor and birth as a natural process,” he said. “However, challenges sometimes arise that require specialist intervention. I am happy to be able to provide the whole spectrum of care.” Patient participation is also key. “It’s not only diagnosing a condition that needs further attention but tailoring management while taking into full consideration my patient’s wishes in regard to her own health care,” he said. “We work together.” As women’s healthcare has advanced, the ability to diagnose and cure has also progressed. There are superior imaging techniques in addition to remarkable surgical technologies that emphasize minimally invasive surgical procedures. “Women’s health issues typically can be well managed and frequently resolved, which is phenomenal,” he said. Dr. Bynum commonly works hand in hand with area family practice and other physician specialties, while providing OB/GYN consultations. “It’s very positive to have a team approach to a woman’s and her family’s health,” he said.

(Right) Jasmine Auvil, son Espen Auvil, and Natalie Weatherby, CMN.

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OB/GYN: Specialists for women


You can sign up for a tour of the Family Birth Center by calling 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481.

Skagit County

ahead of the curve in health information technology “In this era of major innovation and opportunity in information technology, the Skagit County health care community is on the cutting edge of positive change,” says Gregg Davidson, Chief Executive Officer of Skagit Valley Hospital. Sharing healthcare data across a community saves lives. Consider the following scenario: A person suffers chest pains while working on his boat in Anacortes. He will be taken to Island Hospital. Because he has given prior permission for his medical records to be shared within the system, Island’s emergency physicians will access summaries from the patient’s recent visits to his Sedro-Woolley-based family doctor, as well as pertinent information including drug allergies and underlying chronic conditions. As the story continues, after doing an electrocardiogram (EKG) the emergency physicians determine that the best course of treatment is cardiac catheterization, a procedure available at Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. The Island Hospital emergency physicians call the Skagit Valley Hospital emergency department and post the EKG results to the Health Information Exchange (HIE). This electronic information sharing will replace many of the faxes used now. The EKG, which will be added electronically to Skagit Valley Hospital’s electronic medical record can be accessed by the interventional cardiology team in Skagit

Valley Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, allowing the team to prepare for the procedure as the patient is being transported. The EKG and record of his care at Skagit Valley Hospital will be available for all after-care, including that delivered by his family doctor in SedroWoolley. In just a few months, this patient scenario will be possible. Through the collaborative efforts of its three hospitals, Skagit Valley Hospital, United General Hospital and Island Hospital, the greater Skagit County region will have its own Health Information Exchange (HIE), one that is designed to evolve and, eventually, to connect with other exchanges. The goal is to have electronic patient records move with the patient when he or she is referred for specialist care. This is very good news, as HIE is one thing agreed upon as a must-have ingredient among all factions in the ongoing debate over health care reform. The HIE is designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care. To stimulate adoption of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and HIE , President Obama signed into law, on February 17, 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. HITECH provides financial incentives for physicians and hospitals to “meaningfully exchange” healthcare information. The Skagit County HIE is part of a comprehensive Skagit Valley Hospital initiative to ensure the

hospital and medical practitioners qualify for their HITECH reimbursements. More than a year before the nation’s HITECH Act was enacted Skagit County’s three hospitals formed Medical Information Network-North Sound (MINNS). MIN-NS is a nonprofit collaborative of hospitals and providers in the greater Skagit County region that will improve patient care in the community through quicker and easier access to medical information across organizations. The MIN-NS HIE will be fully functional by spring 2011 and will support the routine exchange of clinical documents from hospitals, labs and other providers via standardized messages. “Having the patient’s medical information available when and where it’s needed is invaluable. It will cut down on duplication of tests, saving time and money. Prompt access to pertinent patient data increases efficiency and assists the physician’s ability to make safe, timely clinical decisions,” said Donna McCabe, Director of the Emergency Department at Skagit Valley Hospital. MIN-NS’s development is guided by a steering committee of health care information technology experts and community leaders who determined strategies for how MIN-NS could provide an exchange of important medical information for the approximately 300 ambulatory providers at 70 sites and the medical staffs of Skagit County’s three hospitals. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 HealthQuest Winter 2011


Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), where doctors from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine, and Seattle Children’s provide world-class cancer treatment and research, celebrates its 10-year anniversary in 2011. Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center became the second SCCA Network member in 2005. Network membership allows providers and their patients at the Regional Cancer Care Center access to the latest in clinical trials and research. In a decade, SCCA has made significant contributions to the community including:

Cancer Prevention Scientific evidence shows that nearly one-third of the 1.4 million cancer cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. could be prevented by making a few simple lifestyle changes. SCCA is actively involved in cancer prevention. Survivorship Program Helping patients adjust to—and make the most of—their new post-cancer life by teaching them how to cope with late-onset effects of treatment such as pain, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and memory loss. The clinic

also provides access to psychological counseling, nutrition, physical therapy, integrative medicine, and more.

SCCA House Located a few short blocks from the SCCA clinic, the beautiful 80-room facility helps fill a significant need for lodging for cancer patients whose treatments can last as long as several weeks. Patient Assistance Program Relief from the high cost of medications, the Patient Assistance Program at SCCA works directly with drug manufacturers and nonprofit agencies to help relieve the financial burden on patients who are unable to pay for expensive treatments and medication.

Breast Cancer Relief Foundation (BCRF), whose mission is to support education, prevention, medical assistance and relief, and innovative research programs in order to reduce the incidence of breast cancer throughout the world.

Proton Therapy Center In 2011, SCCA will break ground on a state-ofthe-art proton-beam therapy center that will make this leading-edge form of radiation treatment available to patients in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming. Only four proton therapy centers are operating currently across the United States, the nearest in southern California.

Third World Charity In 2009, SCCA donated more than $10,000 in sutures, tubing, syringes, catheters and other lifesaving medical supplies to Eagle’s Nest, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian aid to developing nations throughout the world. Breast Cancer Relief Foundation

Provides vital support for breast cancer patients. SCCA works closely with the

Oncologists put focus on latest in research Physicians at Skagit Valley Hospital’s Regional Cancer Care Center have access to a wide variety of clinical trials as a new member of the Southwest Oncology Group, one of the nation’s largest National Cancer Institute-funded clinical trials networks, and through the center’s five-year network membership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). “Being engaged in current research makes us a better center as a whole. This not only keeps our cancer center up to date on what is happening in cancer research, it also brings our entire medical community close to the most

8 | Skagit Valley Hospital

important advances,” said Mehrdad Jafari, MD, medical oncologist at the Regional Cancer Care Center in Mount Vernon. “Our connection with SCCA enables us to have direct access to protocols at our desk top, and also gives us the advantage of simply picking up the phone and talking with the principal investigator for a specific trial.” Clinical trials are essential to research as a way to develop drugs and new treatments. The goal of clinical trials is to increase the knowledge about diseases like cancer and develop more effective and less toxic treatments along with new screenings, diagnosis

techniques, or prevention measures. Typically, cancer trials compare existing treatments to something thought to be better, so cancer patients always receive at least the best treatment currently available. “The reason we want to partner in these trials is we want to have that kind of quality assurance,” Dr. Jafari said, noting the number of local patients participating in trials has doubled over the past year. “Can we improve on the standard of care? Can we advance it? All of the treatments we give now are the result of trials performed five years ago. We need to participate for the field to continue to advance.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

Plastic surgeon joins The Breast Institute team The Breast Institute at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center continues to grow and develop as a true multidisciplinary diagnostic and treatment program for breast cancer. The Breast Institute involves a dedicated group of physicians, including oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons who are engaged in the program, supported by a patient navigator, oncology certified nurses, a dedicated pharmacist, social worker, physical therapists and a dietician. The latest addition to the team is Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon James Edwards, MD, now providing breast reconstruction surgery at Skagit Valley Hospital.

“Dr. Edwards completes the multidisciplinary care team available at The Breast Institute,” said Barbara Jensen, RN, BSN, Director of Oncology. “Patients no longer have to travel out of the community for breast reconstruction following surgery.” The Breast Institute is in the process of seeking accreditation as a national program and the addition of plastic surgery services is essential to the process, Jensen said. Theodore Kim, DO, medical oncologist, appreciates the addition of Dr. Edwards and values the surgeon’s participation during the early treatment planning process for each patient. “It is our goal to provide multispecialty care locally,” Dr. Kim said. “His input and expertise helps women make educated

decisions on their treatment plan, including reconstruction options.” Dr. Edwards praised the team approach to assisting breast cancer patients. “Having plastic and reconstructive surgery available completes the picture for The Breast Institute. All members of the team are now in the same physical setting and patients can receive all their treatment from one team in one location,” he said. “Patients can decide if they want reconstruction at the time of their mastectomy or reconstruction can be delayed, even years down the road.” The work to establish The Breast Institute is funded by a generous $400,000 grant from the Safeway Foundation. For information about The Breast Institute, call Patient Navigator Dominique Dailly at 360-814-8148.

Speaker encourages all to

“stay awake”

Author and oncology chaplain Debra Jarvis brought smiles and laughter to the crowd as the keynote speaker at Skagit Valley Hospital’s October Women’s Health Luncheon. Jarvis, who is a breast cancer survivor, is the author of the acclaimed book “It’s Not About the Hair: And Other Certainties of Life and Cancer.” Jarvis has spent 25 years as a hospice or oncology chaplain, including time with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. It was during her time as a cancer patient that she says she gained unique, intense insights into the experience. “I learned a lot about cancer by being a patient,” she said. “Only a small part of it is about medicine. It’s more about the realization that the most valuable things in life are not things, but relationships.” She encouraged those in attendance to find meaning, take risks, “trust your gut” and develop an attitude of curiosity. “Meaning is dynamic,” she


said. “What it means today may not be what it means four years from now.” She also urged all to “stay awake.” “Being awake means our task is to love and leave the planet a better place in any way we can. We must stay awake and develop our sense of wonder and curiosity.”

Our next Women’s Health Luncheon features relationship expert Pepper Schwartz.

HealthQuest Winter 2011


Cardiac and Stroke Network’s message: The Cardiac and Stroke Network is a collaboration of hospitals, emergency services providers and community stakeholders in Island, San Juan, Skagit and Snohomish counties dedicated to streamlined processes to ensure that heart attack and stroke patients get the best coordinated care within the shortest amount of time regardless of which hospital they arrive at first. As part of the Cardiac and Stroke Network, community education and outreach focuses on calling 911 at the first signs of a heart attack or stroke as every minute counts. Calling 911 is the fastest way to get help and improves a patient’s chances of survival and avoiding disability. The Cardiac and Stroke Network is out to educate the public about this as part of its goal to reduce treatment delays. Many people in Washington die from a heart attack or stroke each year and much of the reason is because they don’t get lifesaving treatment in time.

Call 911

Consider the following statistics:

• Heart disease and stroke are the second and third leading causes of death in Washington. • Washington has the 13th highest rate of stroke death in the United States. • Stroke is a leading cause of disability in adults. • People over age 65 are at highest risk, a population that will double in the next 30 years. The work of the community education and outreach project is supported, in parts, by grants from Premera Blue Cross and the Washington State Department of Health. The Cardiac and Stroke Network is part of a statewide effort to establish regional cardiac and stroke systems of care with uniform standards established to reduce delays in treatment.

Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack: • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. • Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort. • Other signs: Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. • Women may experience shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, back or jaw pain.

• Call 911 immediately when experiencing one or more of these signs.

Know the signs of a stroke: • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding. • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination. • Sudden severe headache with no known cause. • Call 911 immediately when experiencing one or more of these signs.

Interventional cardiologist: Employs first next generation coronary stent in region Sanjeev Vaderah, MD, interventional cardiologist with Skagit Regional Clinics – Cardiology, was the first in five Western states to use the latest in coronary stent technology for a patient. The Medtronic “Integrity” coronary stent is the next generation in technology for physicians treating

10 | Skagit Valley Hospital

patients with blockage or narrowing of the arteries. Stents are wire mesh tubes placed in an artery during angioplasty to support the compromised portion of the artery. The latest version, released in September 2010, features a baremetal design called sinusoid technology that is more flexible and easier to place in difficult cases, Dr. Vaderah said. Each


stent is made from a single wire of cobalt alloy and is laser fused. “They are more conforming to the anatomy and you can get these stents into more challenging areas of the artery,” Dr. Vaderah said. “It’s a good tool and a brand new platform.”

Skagit Valley Hospital offers an affordable heart screening? Call 814-2424.

Vidhu Paliwal, MD: Cardiologist finds career, pride in white coat Vidhu Paliwal, MD knew at a very young age that he wanted to be a physician. He was inspired by the white coat he saw worn by his uncle, who was a doctor in his native India, and he was certain that people wearing white doctor’s coats were among the smartest people on earth and sought to join their ranks. Today, Dr. Paliwal proudly wears his white coat as a cardiologist with Skagit Regional Clinics, seeing patients in Mount Vernon and Anacortes. During his residency at State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Paliwal became interested in the field of cardiology. He found cardiology to be a very gratifying field to work in. “It gives great satisfaction when you are able to improve or save the life of one of your patients,” Paliwal said. Cardiology offers him the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of his patients each day.

Cardiologists use a wide array of technologies, which also drew Dr. Paliwal to this specialty. He has taken a special interest in comprehensive cardiac imaging and has received advanced certification in CT angiogram interpretation. While the specifics of many cardiac imaging tests could take hours to explain, Dr. Paliwal has a knack for making complex ideas easy to understand. He boils it down to the basics, saying, “The tests we use are designed to assess three things: structural heart disease, the function of the heart and perfusion of the heart.” From there, it is the job of the cardiologist to determine the best course of action to treat the patient. Dr. Paliwal has found that his thought process and experiences have helped him to develop close relationships with his patients. In addition, Dr. Paliwal has found that it is essential to see each encounter from the eyes of his patient. When his father had

bypass surgery, Dr. Paliwal was able to go to cardiology appointments with him and to feel what it was like from the patient’s perspective. “The experience with my father helped me to understand the psychology of my patients and their families,” said Paliwal. He believes that having the patient perspective is necessary to find the best treatment option and to build strong relationships with his patients. Dr. Paliwal fosters a personal relationship with his patients. “I will take care of you as I would take care of my family. Once I see you, you become a part of my family,” he said. Dr. Paliwal comes to the Skagit Valley from Lexington, Kentucky where he spent the last six years practicing cardiology and teaching as an associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s Family Practice Residency Program. He is fluent in English and Hindi. Dr. Paliwal joins Skagit Regional Clinics’ and sees patients in both the Mount Vernon and Anacortes offices.

Yelena Rosenberg, MD: Specializing in women’s heart health Yelena Rosenberg, MD joined the cardiology department of Skagit Regional Clinics in September 2010 with a special interest in patient-centric care and women’s heart health. Dr. Rosenberg sees patients in Mount Vernon and two days per week in a new Skagit Regional Clinics location in Arlington. Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Dr. Rosenberg moved to the United States in 1992. She attended Duke University in Durham, N.C. where she planned to become an engineer. During a required electrophysiology class for her engineering degree, she became fascinated with a project that mirrored an arrhythmia in the human body.

“It caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to like medicine and didn’t plan to become a doctor,” said Rosenberg. She later enrolled in pre-med classes and received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, followed by her Medical Degree. She completed her internal medicine residency program at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville. Dr. Rosenberg wanted to pursue a field of medicine that was qualitative and evidencebased. This desire led her to pursue a cardiology fellowship at the University if Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio. Dr. Rosenberg’s practice is patientcentric. She strives to get to know her patients and to understand their unique situation.

“Two people can have the same medical condition, but their treatment may not be identical. Each treatment plan is shaped by the medical needs of the individual patient and also takes into account cultural and spiritual beliefs,” said Rosenberg. Dr. Rosenberg cares for the cardiac needs of adult patients and has a special interest in treating women’s heart disease. “Heart disease is the number one killer of American women, not breast cancer as some women out there believe. It is hard for women to focus on their own health sometimes, because we tend to put family first and ourselves last. I encourage women to pay attention to their bodies and any clues that it is giving them.” Dr. Rosenberg encourages her patients to pay particular attention to symptoms that occur during activity as these symptoms can be a sign of a heart blockage.

HealthQuest Winter 2011

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In recent months, Skagit Valley Hospital’s Regional Cancer Care Center joined the Southwest Oncology Group, a clinical research cooperative group that designs and conducts large-scale trials of new cancer treatments and prevention regimens. Among the Southwest Oncology Group’s institutions are 19 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers including Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, a partner in SCCA. According to Southwest Oncology Group, more than 6,000 cancer patients and healthy participants are enrolled each year in group studies, and approximately 35,000 more are involved annually in ongoing clinical trials. During the last 25 years, more than 170,000 patients have directly benefited from the group’s trials, while millions more have received improved care as the group develops new standards of treatment or prevention. Not all patients are candidates for clinical trials, and only a small percentage of Regional Cancer Care Center patients are participants, Dr. Jafari said. However, having access to leadingedge options can help an individual and ultimately benefit the field of cancer care. “A clinical trial can have an individual benefit for a patient, as it actually might be a better treatment than the standard of care,” Dr. Jafari said. “Plus, what we learn, may have a benefit for the common good.”

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By F. A. Al - Hamdan, MD, FRCS Spine Science Institute

the relatively simple procedure by injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebra.

Back pain is very common and affects about 80 percent of the population at some point in their life. It is estimated that 50 million Americans will have back pain every year.

Back pain is usually located in the lower lumbar area and sometime radiates to the buttocks, thighs and legs. When the pain radiates to the leg it is called sciatica. This usually indicates that there is radiculopathy (nerve pinching). When the nerves are pinched there is also numbness and sometimes weakness in the muscle supplied by that nerve.

While there are many causes for back pain, the most common is degenerative disc disease or worn out disks. Any structure within the spine can cause back pain including joints, ligaments, bones, muscles and nerves. Back pain can also be due to poor posture, weak muscles, and lack of physical fitness. Back pain as a general term includes cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) and lumbar (lower back) areas. Generally the back pain causes are similar. Nerve pinching in the neck area will cause upper extremity pain or weakness. Causes of back pain can be different for different age groups. In younger patients, back pain is usually related to disk problems while older patients may suffer back pain related to arthritis or nerve pain caused by spurs or stenosis. Older patients can get osteoporosis (weakened bones), which can collapse, fracture and cause back pain. Multiple fractures can cause kyphosis (hunched back). This condition can be treated with


Back pain is usually resolved with treatment within a few weeks. The treatment is either conservative or surgical. Conservative treatment includes medications, a short period of rest and physical therapy. This simple treatment usually helps most patients. However, sometimes patients do not improve and further evaluation is required including X-rays and MRI. Sometimes surgery is needed to correct the cause of pain and that might include relieving pressure on nerves or fusing the spine (welding the bone) and fixing it with screws. Surgical treatments now can be done with minimally invasive techniques with smaller incisions providing quick recovery and better results. To avoid back pain, the best plan is to focus on prevention by maintaining proper posture, exercising regularly and maintaining healthy weight. Exercises include general fitness exercises like brisk walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming along with specific spine exercises for the back and abdomen to strengthen the core of the body. It is important to remember that if back pain is recurrent or persistent and gradually worsening, patients should see their health care provider for a proper evaluation.

Half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year

What to watch out for: Tips from the skin cancer specialists for our skin, they often appear dark, and must be distinguished from moles. Harmless moles are small, round or oval, have smooth borders, and are symmetric in both shape and color.

More than 2 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. As a result, the American Cancer Society recommends that doctors perform skin exams for anybody at or over the age of 20, along with regular self-examinations.

• Melanomas, in contrast, grow in a disorganized fashion. They usually display one or more of the four “ABCD” signs of melanoma: “A” stands for Asymmetry, “B” stands for Border irregularity, “C” stands for Color irregularity (either asymmetry in color or the presence of unusual colors such as black, blue, red, or grey areas), and “D” stands for Diameter over 6 millimeters (about the size of pencil eraser).

Here is a summary of what to look for when checking your own skin:

• The most common form of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma. These are often mistaken for a “pimple” early on. They look red and pearly or shiny, and often you see tiny blood vessels feeding their growth. Unlike a blemish, they don’t go away. • Squamous cell carcinomas are the second most common and may start as a rough or scaly, red to white growth of skin. With time, they become thick and quite firm, and may even look like a small horn. • Either type of skin cancer will continue to enlarge, and can bleed easily or create sores that do not heal. In fact, any nonhealing wound, especially on the upper body, should be evaluated for the presence of cancer. Itchiness or tenderness in a growth may also indicate skin cancer. • The third most common skin cancer, and the deadliest, is melanoma. Because this is a cancer of the cells that produce pigment

• When scanning, be sure to check yourself head to toe, as a skin cancer can arise anywhere. Finally, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery points out that one American dies of melanoma about every hour, but with early detection, melanoma has an almost 100 percent five-year survival rate. So if you do see something suspicious, the sooner you can see us for it, the easier it will be to treat. Michael Nelson MD, a Board-Certified Dermatologist, practices at Skagit Regional Clinics in Mount Vernon and Anacortes.

MIN-NS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 Eager to identify and enlist a vendor with a product to meet its needs, MIN-NS Executive Director, Mark Quenneville, whose background includes leading technology initiatives with Boeing, Microsoft and Paul Allen’s Vulcan, issued a request for proposals to more than 20 companies from across the US. In the end, MIN-NS selected a Northwest firm, Bellevue-based HealthUnity.

Using Microsoft based technology HealthUnity enables the flexible MIN-NS system that will allow each hospital, medical provider and member of the network to engage in bidirectional, message-oriented collaboration using the latest in web services technology. For more information about the technology or to volunteer to help in this important effort, send an e-mail to

Skin cancer screening detects melanoma

Attending the free skin cancer screening at Skagit Valley Hospital may have saved Don Hawkinson’s life. Ruth Hawkinson, Don’s wife, saw the information about the screening in HealthQuest magazine and suggested Don attend. It turns out that the brown spot on Hawkinson’s arm was melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer. The spot had grown from the size of a nickel to the size of a quarter in about ten months. Fortunately for Hawkinson, Dr. Michael Nelson with Skagit Regional Clinics – Dermatology detected the cancer, recommended follow-up and removed all traces of it. “Dr. Nelson personally called me after the surgery to tell me he got it all. He is my hero,” Hawkinson said. Hawkinson recommends that those who are concerned “don’t delay or they might find themselves in a real fix. There are some areas where you can’t roll the dice. Go the top and get an expert.” For more information about free skin cancer screenings offered at Skagit Valley Hospital see page 32 or see page 26 for a screening in Stanwood.

DID YOU KNOW? Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation has a Cancer Care Fund. To donate, call 360-814-2140.

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Teaching ignites physicians to learn, share passion for medicine Physicians volunteering as teachers for medical students from Pacific Northwest University say they are finding the experience to be stimulating, rewarding and reminiscent of their own days in medical school. A total of 116 providers plan to serve as teachers for the third- and fourthyear medical students in 2010 and 2011 in rotations ranging from pediatrics to surgery. The teachers say it is a way to give back in tribute to their own educators and to be part of the effort to meet the future need for physicians. “Watching the students take away things that they will take with them for the rest of their life is a way of giving back what was given to me,” said Dr. Edwin Stickle, a family practice provider with Physicians Care Family Medicine in Sedro-Woolley and President of the Unified Medical Staff of Skagit Valley. (Above) from left, PNWU third-year students Heather Preissler, Berlyn Detrick and Sarah Steele, meet with Drs. Robert Slind and Robert Coffey in the Progressive and Critical Care unit at Skagit Valley Hospital. (Right) student Cullen Taplin and general surgeon Mark Johnson, MD, pose for a photo following a HealthQuest television show taping.

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Dr. Mark Johnson, a general surgeon with Skagit Regional Clinics, agrees.

rotation that includes clinic time, hospital rounding and nursing home visits.

“Teaching has always been something I have been interested in,” Dr. Johnson said. “I think of it more as an opportunity to pay back and give back. I think all of us are doing a really good job of providing an excellent education.”

Students spend the first week shadowing Dr. Stickle and the following week will see patients on their own to gather information.

Dr. Robert Coffey, a longtime internal medicine and respiratory disease specialist in Mount Vernon, came out of retirement to get in on the teaching program, teaming up with recently retired internist Dr. Robert Slind to head up the inpatient Internal Medicine student rotations. “I am learning at a faster rate than I ever have in my life,” said Dr. Coffey, who also directs a Friday morning “Journal Club” with the students to analyze medical journal articles. “This stimulates our efforts and improves our quality of medicine through teaching our students.” Dr. Stickle will teach seven students during the year, each in a onemonth family medicine


“They have a chance to think through what’s going on and what they would do for the patient,” Dr. Stickle said. “Then we work together to address the patient’s situation. These students are very bright and it’s a challenge to keep up with them.” Drs. Coffey and Slind team up on teaching three students at a time. The group starts the day with multidisciplinary rounds in the critical care unit, meeting with Dr. Brian Kendregan, respiratory disease and critical care specialist, followed by rounding on six to 10 patients. “The students are provided with a wonderful exposure to medical issues and medical diagnosis and management,” Dr. Coffey said. “This is the first time they have been exposed to such varied and complicated medical problems. They are seeing the sickest patients in the hospital.”

The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation has a Teaching Hospital Fund that needs

Each student is assigned a patient to evaluate, interview and examine and follow that up with research and reading to prepare a same-day presentation for the group regarding the student’s diagnosis and treatment plan. “They are doing really well, they are a bright, inquisitive and energetic group,” Dr. Coffey said.

consider a career as a general surgeon and to return to our community to practice. “We are not training enough surgeons today to fill the slots in general surgery,” said Dr. Johnson, who notes that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 40,000 general surgeons in the United States and anticipated shortages in all specialties.

Dr. Johnson is teaching the monthlong surgery rotation, which features clinic visits, time in the operating room and post-op follow-ups. A focus for Dr. Johnson is teaching the students how to interview and interact with patients to gather information and develop a treatment plan.

“Having the opportunity to train students in a community environment is a plus for us,” Dr. Johnson said. “Hopefully, once these students finish residency, no matter where it is, they will think about coming back.” Dr. Coffey’s Friday “Journal Club” is a way to get the students into reading and discussing medical journals at a new level. “A big part of medical school training is learning how to learn medicine, because you have to keep learning it every week of your career. It’s how you stay up to date,” Dr. Coffey said. “Having these young, inquiring minds among us posing good questions about patient care prompts everybody to read more and think more. And we learn more when we try to explain or teach difficult concepts to the students.”

“Every encounter we have is important,” he said. Dr. Johnson said he views the teaching hospital initiative as a way to encourage medical students to

(Left) PNWU student David Lewis examines Clifford Hart as Ed Stickle, MD looks on.

Skagit Valley Hospital opens hyperbaric oxygen program Skagit Valley Hospital opened the new hyperbaric oxygen program to patients on Sept. 1, offering a new tool to treat disease and heal chronic wounds. The Sonya Beard Hyperbaric Oxygen (HB0) Program features two hyperbaric chambers in the hospital’s Skagit Wound Healing Center. The purchase of the two Sechrist monoplace hyperbaric oxygen chambers was made possible through contributions by Mrs. Beard, who died in May, and the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends, a group of generous donors who are committed to raising funds to benefit the Wound Healing Center.

The chambers allow 100 percent oxygen to be delivered under pressure in the chambers to help promote the growth of new blood vessels and the healing of chronic wounds in patients treated with HBO. This infusion of oxygen helps to heal diabetic ulcers, osteomyelitis (bone infection), failed skin grafts, post-radiation injuries or osteonecrosis,

which is bone death caused by poor blood supply to the area. Skagit Valley Hospital provides hyperbaric oxygen treatment on an outpatient basis and does not provide emergent care for issues such as carbon monoxide poisoning or decompression illnesses. These cases will continue to be referred to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle the region’s only multi-place, critical care oriented hyperbaric facility.

(Right) Wound Healing Center Manager Dennis Reilly chats with a patient receiving treatment in the new hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

support. Call 360-814-2140.

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Plastic surgeon brings new specialty, skills to region The arrival of James Edwards, MD at Skagit Regional Clinics (formerly Skagit Valley Medical Center) marks an important milestone for the community. Dr. Edwards’ expertise in plastic, reconstructive and microvascular surgery means that women fighting breast cancer can have all phases of treatment, reconstruction and recovery in one location, without leaving the community. Before Dr. Edwards’ arrival, women who wanted to have breast reconstruction following a lumpectomy or mastectomy had to travel to another hospital for the procedure. Now women can save time and expense by receiving all their breastrelated care from the comprehensive team of care providers at the Regional Cancer Care Center’s Breast Institute. “Having plastic and reconstructive surgery available completes the picture for the Breast Institute. All members of the team are now in the same physical setting,” said Edwards, “This will mean greater convenience for patients.”

The addition of Dr. Edwards provides women who choose to have breast reconstruction with more options for the timing of their procedure. “Patients can decide if they want to begin reconstruction at the time of their mastectomy or reconstruction can be delayed, even years down the road,” said Edwards. While Dr. Edwards plans to focus much of his practice on reconstruction, he will offer a full range of services including elective, cosmetic procedures. The most common cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation, reduction or lift; body contouring, neck- and facelifts, rhinoplasty and more. Plastic and reconstructive surgery encompasses a wide variety of highly specialized operations performed to repair or restore function or to improve appearance. Patients who seek a plastic surgery consultation often have very different goals. Some patients want to enhance their appearance or to look more youthful. Others require surgical intervention to reconstruct

abnormal or defective structures caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, injury, infection or tumors. Reconstructive surgery can improve both function and appearance. Dr. Edwards was drawn to the variety of plastic and reconstructive surgery offers. “Plastic and reconstructive surgeons are trained to perform a wide range of surgeries, from repairing facial fractures to reattaching fingers to fixing cleft palettes in children,” said Edwards. He added, “No two procedures are the same.” Dr. Edwards attended medical school at the University of Nevada and completed his internship and residency at the University of Washington. He also recently completed a Microsurgery Fellowship at UW where he became skilled at utilizing a patient’s own tissue, instead of implants, for breast reconstruction. This highly specialized method of breast reconstruction lends itself to outcomes that most closely resemble a normal breast. Dr. Edwards is looking forward to offering microsurgery procedures at Skagit Valley Hospital in the future.

Nephrologist joins practice to serve kidney patients Ronald Reichel, MD, PhD joined North Sound Kidney Physicians in September providing care to patients at Skagit Valley Hospital and in the outpatient Skagit Valley Kidney Center. Skagit Valley Hospital provides a full spectrum of care to dialysis patients offering outpatient hemodialysis in the Skagit Valley Kidney Center on the hospital’s Mount Vernon campus, support for peritoneal dialysis patients and inpatient dialysis for hospitalized patients. A native of Germany, Dr. Reichel received his PhD in biochemistry in 1983. He came to the United States in 1984 to perform post-doctoral work at The Rockefeller University in New York, followed by work in research and teaching.

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While serving on the faculty of The Chicago Medical School in Chicago, Ill., he became interested in becoming a doctor. “I was working with a variety of doctors and several, including the medical director, were nephrologists and it was very interesting to me,” Dr. Reichel said. After receiving his medical degree, he performed a residency at Montefiore Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York and completed a nephrology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in 2007. He has since worked as a hospitalist and nephrologist at Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., as a staff physician for the Veterans Administration Medical Center at the University of California,

San Francisco, and most recently as a nephrologist at Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Route, Louisiana. He is board certified in nephrology and internal medicine. Dr. Reichel will split his time between Mount Vernon and Everett, providing support and back up to C.J. Kuan, MD, medical director of the Skagit Valley Kidney Center who also sees patients in Anacortes and on Whidbey Island. Tricia Earhart, ARNP, also provides care for dialysis patients in Mount Vernon. “I really like acute cases and caring for people in the hospital,” Dr. Reichel said. “This will provide a nice combination of working with patients in the clinic and hospital settings.”

New physician ‘fell in love’ with ophthalmology Carlindo Pereira, MD brings the latest in eye surgery skills to his practice at North Cascade Eye Associates. The ophthalmologist performs state-of-the-art cataract, refractive and corneal surgery, having completed a fellowship in Indianapolis, IN with internationally recognized ophthalmic surgeon Francis Price Jr., MD. “My practice philosophy is to give each patient the highest possible quality of care, and to treat them as I would a family member,” Dr. Pereira said. “The most rewarding part of ophthalmology is that you can make such a drastic improvement in a person’s quality of life.” After graduating from the University of Stellenbosch School of Medicine, South Africa in 1995, Dr. Pereira practiced family medicine in South Africa and then in Canada.

“I was inspired to become a doctor by stories I heard of missionary doctors during second grade, and I never changed my mind,” he said. “While practicing family medicine, I saw for the first time, the miracle of cataract surgery and I fell in love with ophthalmology.” Dr. Pereira came to the United States for ophthalmology training, which he completed in 2004 at Loma Linda University, in Loma Linda, Calif. He stayed on the faculty at Loma Linda University and joined Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Administration Medical Center, where he practiced comprehensive ophthalmology as full-time staff, and later as Section Chief. He was closely involved in clinical and surgical training of the ophthalmology residents and enjoyed the opportunity to teach.

“Teaching is very rewarding, especially when you observe students enjoying what they are learning, and improving their skills in the OR,” he said. “It also definitely makes you a better surgeon when you teach.” The cornea is the transparent, domeshaped front part of the eye, and protects its inner structures. The cornea helps focus light and is a key element in providing high quality of vision. Cornea surgery has progressed significantly in the last decade and continues to advance. Today, 40,000 corneal transplants are performed annually in the United States, according to the Eye Bank Association of America. Transplants involve use of tissue from a deceased donor to replace part of the patient’s cornea. It does not require a tissue match. Dr. Pereira works with the Northwest Lions Eye Bank in Seattle and noted that donor tissue is a “great gift, helping so many people restore their sight.”

Spine specialist seeks options to aid patients David Mourning, MD joined Northwest Orthopaedic Surgeons in October, bringing his expertise as a spine specialist to the practice. Dr. Mourning joins the group after six years practicing at a large multispeciality group in Bremerton and said he looks forward to the opportunity to work with his new partners for the benefit of each patient. Dr. Mourning graduated from the University of North Carolina followed by the University of Virginia Medical School. He performed an internship in the Department of General Surgery at Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans and completed an orthopaedic residency at Tulane, followed by a spine fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine. As a spine surgeon, Dr. Mourning notes that patients see him after more conservative treatments for back pain

are unsuccessful. Options can include physical therapy, medication, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic treatment, injections and time to heal, before turning to surgical options. “I listen to a patient’s story and see if I can figure out what is going on, what conservative options have been used already, and if they are a surgical candidate,” he said. “I like fixing broken things, it’s the inner carpenter in me.” He also works closely with other providers in the practice, including Physiatrist Robert Billow, DO, who works with patients on pain management. “He does the non-operative work and I do the operative work. It’s nice to interact with another professional on the other end of the spectrum to decide on a treatment plan,” Dr. Mourning said. Today’s spine surgery is often a minimally invasive procedure such as discectomy, removal of herniated disc material causing pressure on nerves,

or kyphoplasty, to remedy vertebral compression fractures. “It’s pretty gratifying to have a good result and the pain is gone,” he said. “It’s really nice to see patients with a big smile on their face.” To prevent back injury or pain, Dr. Mourning recommends maintaining a healthy weight, staying active and using proper lifting techniques. In addition to his training and expertise, Dr. Mourning also arrives with on-air experience on the TLC television program “Code Blue: Life in the ER” which was filmed while he was in residency at Tulane in New Orleans. “Not only am I a doctor, but I also play one on TV,” he said with a smile. Dr. Mourning said he finds Northwest Orthopaedic Surgeons to be an excellent fit for his practice and he likes the “small town feel” of the area, along with the sights and opportunities of Puget Sound and the mountains. HealthQuest Winter 2011

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New hospitalist joins acute care team Thomas George, MD recently joined the hospitalist team at Skagit Valley Hospital. Hospitalists are physicians who care for patients in the hospital on behalf of primary care providers (PCPs) who have requested the service. At Skagit Valley Hospital, hospitalists work in teams providing 24/7 care to hospitalized patients. Dr. George attended medical school and residency at Christian Medical College in Ludhiana, Punjab, located in northwest India. He completed two residency programs, one in anesthesiology and intensive care at Christian Medical College and another in internal medicine at Harbor Hospital Center which is an affiliate of the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Hospitalists are typically trained in internal medicine, so both programs prepared him well for his role as a hospitalist.

“My background in anesthesiology and intensive care made me very comfortable caring for acutely ill patients,” said Dr. George, “I decided to try working as a hospitalist and enjoyed it.” Dr. George has worked as a hospitalist in Texas and Arkansas for the last seven years. During that time, he has found that the biggest challenge for hospitalists is to maintain continuity of care for patients. In an effort to make sure the transition from the hospital back to the patient’s primary care provider goes smoothly, regular communication with all those involved in the patient’s care is essential. “I try to keep in close touch with my patient’s primary care provider and other consultants while the patient is in the hospital,” said Dr. George. This helps the PCP know about the patient’s hospital stay, including test results, procedures performed, medications prescribed and the patient’s condition upon discharge.

Frequent communication helps to ensure that the PCP has all the information he or she needs to see the patient at a follow-up appointment after the patient is discharged. The Skagit Valley Hospital’s adult hospitalist program began in 2005 in an effort to provide consistent, high quality care to patients 24/7. There are currently 10 hospitalists, including Drs. Bonnie Baker, Dmitry Feldman, Malik Fuimaono, Dave Hoeft, Thomas George, Onder Orgul, Randall Randhawa, Jon Ransom, Geoff Spielmann and Tianna Tsitsis. A part-time pediatric hospitalist program started in February 2009 providing coverage for the Family Birth Center, Medical and Pediatric Care unit and the Emergency Department 8 a.m. to 5 pm. Monday through Friday and on call nights and weekends.

New physician specializes in facial surgery Jonathan Grant, MD, joins Cascade Ear, Nose and Throat Center and Cascade Cosmetic Center in January to offer facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and facial skin cancer treatment. Dr. Grant, who is Board Certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, finds his work with patients challenging and rewarding. “When you work with ear, nose and throat disorders or with patients who need facial skin cancer reconstruction, you really get the feeling that you are making a difference in a person’s life,” he said. “Your patients come to you with a problem and you can actually fix it in most cases.” Originally from Texas, Dr. Grant attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville for two years and received his

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Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. He attended the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and went on to residency in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He completed a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Missouri in Springfield and Columbia, Missouri. Dr. Grant’s undergraduate interests were split between medicine and architecture, something he found a way to blend together by focusing on the structures of the head and neck. “The anatomy of the head and neck area is fascinating. There is a lot going on in a very small space,” he said. “I like working on small things that require that attention to detail.”

After completing his education, Dr. Grant and his wife moved to the East Coast so she could complete her training as a radiologist. Meanwhile, Dr. Grant practiced as a facial plastic surgeon for Lifestyle Lift Corporation in Burlington, Massachusetts where he performed face lifts, laser procedures and other cosmetic procedures. “This allowed me to get my feet wet and practice a wide variety of procedures,” Dr. Grant said. Education and training complete, Dr. Grant was looking for an opportunity where he could combine his cosmetic skills with his desire to work on a full spectrum of ear, nose and throat cases, which he found at Cascade Ear, Nose and Throat Center and Cascade Cosmetic Center. “It’s the best of both worlds for me. It is really, truly serendipity,” Dr. Grant said.

‘Scenic route’ to medicine brings new doctor in Emergency Department Troy Markus, DO, admits he took the “scenic route” to becoming a physician, but now enjoys the chance to serve patients in the Emergency Department at Skagit Valley Hospital. After high school in Maple Valley, Dr. Markus went to work in the nearby coal mines for six years. Those years of hard, physical work give him a unique perspective for the patients who use the ER. “Having spent time digging ditches and running heavy equipment, I have a much different perspective. I’d like to think it makes me better at my job. I can relate to many of my patients on a different level,” he said. His mining experience, and the mentorship of his uncle, also showed him he needed to set goals. “Yes, I took the scenic route to becoming a doctor and it has taken a certain amount of tenacity,” he said. “But you have to think in terms of decades, what do you want to be doing when you’re 40?” Dr. Markus decided to return to school at age 20, working full time and attending night classes at a community college. At age 25, he transferred to Western Washington University in Bellingham where he pursued a degree in biology and a teaching certificate. He followed that up with some time as a substitute teacher, concurrently working as a tech in the Emergency Department at St. Joseph Hospital. “I was interested in medicine and thought in the ER I would get to see a good variety of medicine, a little bit of everything,” he said.

Balisa Koetje appointed Hospital Commissioner Mount Vernon resident Balisa Koetje was appointed in September to fill the vacant position on the Skagit Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners. The vacancy on the seven-member board was created by the resignation in June of Bronwyn Pickering, a member of the board since May 2002. Koetje has been involved in commercial real estate and property management in Skagit County for 20 years, and works for Windermere Real Estate Commercial Division. Prior to real estate, she spent her years in banking, primarily the field of public finance. She is a former member and past president of the Conway School Board. She is the past president of the Ann Carlson Guild supporting Seattle Children’s and is a past board member of the Skagit Valley Family YMCA. She is a graduate of Whitworth College with a major in business management and accounting and a minor in economics. Koetje said she applied for the position because of her deep belief in quality health care and how it relates to the needs of our community today and how it will continue to meet the community need in the future. “Skagit Regional Health is the largest employer in Skagit County and what an impressive organization,” Koetje said. “In today’s economy, with so many medical facilities struggling to meet the needs of their communities, Skagit Valley Hospital along with Skagit Regional Clinics has continued to take care of our community and at the same time continued to grow.” Koetje noted she is impressed by the variety of services and specialties available in the community. “Our strength has allowed us to prosper. Bringing the former Skagit Valley Medical Center onboard as the

new Skagit Regional Clinics, greatly compliments our other clinics and with our cancer, dialysis, and wound care centers we continue to remain at the top for treatment,” she said. “The absolute commitment of this organization, to serve our community with compassion and dignity one patient at a time, is reflected from the administration and board to the physicians, nurses and all the support staff.” Koetje also notes the generosity and support of the community. “Coupled with the unwaivering commitment of the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation, which is comprised of extremely dedicated staff and volunteers who give endless hours raising funds and provide continued community awareness through such events as the Festival of Trees and most recently the campaign kickoff for the new mental health facility,” she said. “The structure of health care, as we have known it, is going to go through tremendous changes,” Koetje said. “However, the focus that Skagit Regional Health has on our community and on the future will continue to provide our community with the excellent care that we have come to expect. I am proud to be appointed as your new Commissioner and join an exemplary board.” Koetje and her husband, Jim have two children, Jordan, age 21 and Jake, age 18.

Skagit Valley Hospital’s Board of Commissioners James L. Hobbs Balisa Koetje Pattie K. Lewis Bruce Lisser Stan Olson Tim Raschko Clark Todd

CONTINUED ON PAGE 37 HealthQuest Winter 2011

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Skagit Regional Clinics

5 Sedro-Woolley Anacortes



Skagit Valley Hospital Mount Vernon & Cardiology

Oak Harbor Camano




Skagit Regional Clinics A department of Skagit Valley Hospital

Skagit Regional Clinics, a department of Skagit Valley Hospital, is a network of eight health care facilities from Anacortes to Arlington providing a wide range of primary and specialty care services. Exceptional services, close to home.

Mount Vernon

Address: 1400 E. Kincaid Street Phone: 360-428-2500

• Dermatology • Family Medicine • Gastroenterology • General Surgery • Internal Medicine • Lab • Neurology • Occupational Medicine • Optometry • Orthopedics • Pediatric Endocrinology • Pediatrics • Pharmacy • Podiatry • Pulmonology • Radiology / Imaging (X-ray, bone density scanning and ultrasound) • Rheumatology • Sleep Medicine • Urgent Care • Women’s Health (OB/GYN and Certified Nurse Midwives) Skagit Regional Clinics

Oak Harbor

Address: 275 SE Cabot Drive (located within the Whidbey Community Physicians suite) Phone: 360-814-6200

• Dermatology (Wednesdays)

Skagit Valley Hospital Address: 1415 E. Kincaid Phone: 360-424-4111

• 137-bed acute care hospital • Cancer care • Family Birth Center • Heart and vascular care • Orthopedic and spine care • Surgical services • Level III Trauma Center Skagit Regional Clinics


New address: 2511 M Avenue, Suite D Phone: 360-293-0308

• Cardiology • Dermatology • Pulmonology

Skagit Regional Clinics


Address: 326 S. Stillaguamish Avenue (adjacent to Cascade Valley Hospital) Phone: 360-435-2144

• Family Medicine • Dermatology (Fridays) • Lab Skagit Regional Clinics

Camano Community Health Clinic

Address: 127 N. East Camano Drive Phone: 360-387-5398

• Family Medicine

Skagit Regional Clinics


Address: 307 S. 13th Street, Suite 300 Phone: 360-336-9757

• Cardiology (general, interventional and electrophysiology)

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Skagit Regional Clinics


Address: 1990 Hospital Drive Phone: 360-856-4222

• Cardiology • General Surgery • Internal Medicine • Lab • Optometry • Pharmacy • Radiology / Imaging (X-ray) Skagit Regional Clinics


Address: 9631 269th Street NW Phone: 360-629-1600

• Family Medicine • Internal Medicine • Lab • Orthopedics • Podiatry • Radiology / Imaging (X-ray) • Women’s Health (OB/GYN and Certified Nurse Midwives)

Jon Dahl, OD, conducts an eye examination.

Pharmacy services in two locations

Christopher Schaffner, PharmD (above), provides pharmacy services at Skagit Regional Clinics -- Sedro-Woolley, 1990 Hospital Drive, Suite 120, offering competitive prices, generic drugs, and drive-through convenience. The SedroWoolley location is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 360-854-2760.

At Skagit Regional Clinics - Mount Vernon, 1410 E. Kincaid Street, the pharmacy is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 360-428-6465.

Take a closer look at Skagit Regional Clinics Eye Care Services By Bill Gregory, SRC Eye Care Service Manager

X-ray services at four locations

Tom Smith, X-ray technician at Skagit Valley Hospital (above), displays equipment used in X-ray. These services are available at the hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Department in Mount Vernon (360-814-8208) and at Skagit Regional Clinics in Mount Vernon (360-428-2541), Sedro-Woolley (360-854-2770) and Stanwood (360-629-1608).

Over the years, we have had the pleasure of helping many people in the community with their eye care needs. Following our recent integration into Skagit Valley Hospital, we want to take a moment to re-introduce ourselves, our services and our products. Skagit Regional Clinics Eye Care Services offers comprehensive primary vision care, diabetic vision care, glaucoma testing, monitoring and treatment, foreign body removal, and much more. We offer convenient locations in Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley. Eye Care Services is proud to be the only optical provider in Skagit County to offer our patients a full line of digitally surfaced lenses, which offer you 10 times greater prescription accuracy and the crispest optics available. Please come in so we can tell you all about this revolutionary method of surfacing lenses.

Lab services at five locations

Caroline Ramos, Lab Tech Aide at Skagit Regional Clinics -- Sedro-Woolley (above), works in the clinic lab, one of five Skagit Regional Clinics with labs. Additional locations include Arlington, Camano Community Health Clinic, Sedro-Woolley and Stanwood.

Our team in Mount Vernon consists of Dr. Jon Dahl, OD; Optometric Technician Dayle Lunz, Tashia Derry at the Front Desk, Licensed Dispensing Opticians (LDO) Tammy Sowards and Tawny

Kennaugh, and practice manager and LDO, Bill Gregory. We are located at 1400 E. Kincaid Street, on the first floor of the Founders Building. Our Sedro-Woolley office is located at 1990 Hospital Drive, Suite #110, on the ground floor of the Pavilion Building. Dr. Linda Bertram, OD heads up the team there, with Licensed Dispensing Optician Mary Tveit and Dulce Estrada at the front desk. Each of us is dedicated to providing the best vision care in Skagit Valley and beyond. Our updated optical areas offer more than 500 frame styles from Gucci and Fendi; Liz Claiborne and Diane Von Furstenberg; Calvin Klein and Lucky Brand, and many more names you know and trust. Check out our great line of sunglasses, both non-prescription and those suitable for prescription lenses. We also have nice value-priced packages of frames and lenses, in addition to safety eyewear. We know you’ll find what you need with hundreds of stylish and dependable frames from which to choose. Isn’t it time you stopped in to take a closer look at SRC Eye Care Services?

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Assuring the availability of quality healthcare The mission of the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is to raise, manage and distribute funds to assure the continued availability of quality health care services and programs through Skagit Valley Hospital. The Foundation will foster community awareness of, and support for, Skagit Valley Hospital through the involvement of the people it serves.

Community Support

Tough Enough to Wear Pink The Sedro-Woolley Riding Club recently presented the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation with a generous check in the amount of $1,309.99. The funds were raised during this year’s Loggerodeo through their “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign.

(Below) The Professional Firefighters Unions from Anacortes, Burlington and Mount Vernon recently raised $1,400 during their “Powered by Pink” fundraiser in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All proceeds benefited The Breast Institute at the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center.

Board of Trustees Dr. Richard Abbott Dee Berglin Susan Brown Chris Cammock Jill Christensen Molly Coddens Jackie Cress Shep Cutler Gregg Davidson Gary Fiedler Marcia Johnson Megan Kovanen Virginia Learned Corey Mendoza Jean Miller Stan Olson Christie Peterson Jaynie Roozen

Richard Roozen Deanna Scott Bob Taylor Shirley Watkinson Polly Wilhonen Dr. Rob Zwick

Staff Linda Frizzell Executive Director

Wendy Ragusa Development Coordinator

Becky Wells Development Associate

Foundation Events Children’s Therapy Program Benefit Dinner – February 28, 2011 Par Tee Golf Classic – July 8, 2011 Gail Iverson Circle of Friends Event – Late Summer 2011 Festival of Trees – November 25 - 27, 2011

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Skagit Woodstock 2010 (Right) Skagit Woodstock 2010, an event created by the Wes Anderson Memorial Bowling League, was held on August 18 along the Skagit River. Nine bands performed throughout the day while food, drink, vendor booths and raffles were enjoyed by all. More than $5,000 was raised for Skagit Valley Hospital’s Regional Cancer Care Center.

The Finest in Mental Health Care Close to Home

mental health

project c e n t e r

Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation pledges to raise $1 million towards project We have all heard stories of suicidal tendencies and psychological disorders, but mental health concerns are also depression and anxiety – issues that many deal with on a daily basis. Since 1985, the Mental Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital has been treating community members with these challenges. The center is a 24-hour, 365day per year operation, providing both voluntary and involuntary treatment. It is anticipated that more than 600 patients will be treated in the center in 2010. Unfortunately, the hospital’s current facility no longer meets our community’s needs. The unit is licensed for 15 beds but can seldom operate at this level. Since patient rooms are still double occupancy, an incompatible gender, diagnosis or acuity mix often prevents the center from operating at capacity. The unit was not originally designed for inpatient mental health care and despite staff success in creating a warm and welcoming environment; the facility’s current configuration creates significant problems.

Skagit Valley Hospital hosts one of a dwindling number of inpatient programs in Washington State.


To continue our long-standing mission of providing the best possible health care, Skagit Valley Hospital has committed to the construction of a new, expanded Mental Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital by remodeling an existing space. The remodeled center will accommodate 13 private rooms, two seclusion rooms, and the ability to better manage acuity levels. The new space will also increase security and be more efficient in a healing and calming environment. The remodel will allow the hospital to operate at its 15bed capacity 100 percent of the time. The Mental Health Center is designed to provide a therapeutic environment for individuals experiencing a crisis that requires a short-term stay. The intent of the treatment is to empower the patient to embrace changes, increase their selfawareness and provide education about diagnosis and further treatment options

How you can help!

Costs for the new center are estimated at $3 million. Skagit Valley Hospital has committed $1.2 million to the project and a federal allocation of $800,000 has been granted. The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation has pledged to raise the final $1 million. With your tax-deductible gift, the new Mental Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital will soon be able to improve its capacity to care for mental health.

Yes, I want help fund the

Mental Health Center Project In the amount of:

• $25 • 100 • $500 • Other • $50 • $250 • $1,000 please print Name: ___________________________________ Address: ________________________________ City:____________________________________ State:___________________ Zip: ____________ Phone:_ _________________________________ Email: _ _________________________________

• Check to Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation enclosed • Pledge (see below) • Please charge my credit card: VISA/MasterCard Credit Card#:____________________________ Expiration Date: ____/_____ Signature:_______________________________ 3 Digit Code: _________

Monthly Please send reminders until I have satisfied my total pledge amount of

• Quarterly

Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation that acts as the official gift-receiving agency for Skagit Valley Hospital. The sole mission of the Foundation and its’ Board of Directors is to raise, manage and distribute funds to assure the continued availability of quality health care services and programs through Skagit Valley Hospital. All gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible and can be made in memory or honor of a loved one. HealthQuest Winter 2011

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Skagit River Brewing Company served tastes of their boutique ales and brews. While sipping and strolling through the trees, guests were treated to the dancing sounds of The Saturday Saints.

The 22nd Annual Festival of Trees, presented by the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation and title sponsors Associated Petroleum Products and Whidbey Island Bank, raised more than $245,000 in gross proceeds to benefit the Mental Health Center project at Skagit Valley Hospital. The Thanksgiving weekend event, featuring the display of over 30 elaborately decorated Christmas trees, drew a capacity crowd for the November 26 Gala Evening & Auction at the St. Joseph Center in Mount Vernon sponsored by Mountain Glen Retirement Community. This signature fundraising event is supported by the exceptional sponsorship from the community. Festival event sponsors also included Corey Mendoza and McAdams Wright and Ragen Investment Brokers and Investment Advisors – Live Auction Sponsor, Shellan Jewelers – Jewelry Event, Group Health – Reds, Whites & Brews Sponsor, Key Bank – Silent Auction Sponsor, Skagit State Bank – Kids’ Day Sponsor, Thomas Cuisine Management – Senior Day Sponsor, Skagit Endodontics – Santa’s

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Stockings, Williams & Nulle – Designer Wreath Sponsor and more than 100 tree, tablescape and auction item sponsors. High-bid items included the “Hey Santa! I Believe” tree designed by Robyn Bates, Linda Hanson, Julie Mains, Bridget Meidinger, Stephanie Wilhonen and sponsored by Charles Fine Jewelry and Skagit Speedway which sold for $3,500 and a workshop/playhouse designed by Spane Buildings and sponsored by Bruce and Dee Berglin, Richard and Jaynie Roozen and Bob and Denise Taylor which sold for $8,000. Saturday night’s guests enjoyed the second annual Reds, Whites and Brews – a Festival event to savor the season. The event sponsored by Group Health featured wine tasting from the Skagit Valley wineries of Challenger Ridge, Eagle Haven and Tulip Valley Vineyard and Orchard. Rockfish Grill/Anacortes Brewery and the

Thousands of people enjoyed viewing the enchanting Christmas trees during two Community Days, which also featured live local entertainment and kids activities. The November 27 Kids’ Day, sponsored by Skagit State Bank, entertained young Festival guests who participated in many activities including a scavenger hunt, Santa’s Bakery, face painting and craft projects. Thomas Cuisine Management hosted the Senior Sunday of Festival weekend. Maree Hudson served as Festival Chair, her third time in this honored position. She was supported by a committee of dozens of volunteers.

The 23rd annual Festival of Trees

will be held November 25 - 27, 2011 at St. Joseph Center in Mount Vernon. Opportunities are available for tree and wreath designing, tree sponsorships, auction item underwriting and event volunteering. Contact the Foundation Office at 360-814-5747 or 360-814-2140.



President’s Choice “Martinis with James Dean and Marilyn Monroe” earned the President’s Choice Award from Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation President Corey Mendoza at Designer Appreciation Night. The tree was designed by Brenda Litaker, Shirley Starkovich and Sherrie Gugel. The tree decorations were sponsored by Pat Rimmer’s Less Schwab Tires.

People’s and Designers’ Choice

Raffle Tree

Winter Wonderland was selected as both the Designer’s Choice in voting by all volunteer designers in attendance at the Designer Appreciation Night, and People’s Choice in voting by thousands who attended Community Days on Saturday and Sunday. The tree was designed by Lea Davidson and Cheryl Pratt. Tree and decorations were sponsored by Gregg and Lea Davidson.

Rose Hill of Alger was the winner of the Bennett Bigelow and Leedom raffle tree designed by the Taylor Cargile tree team. Taylor, a senior at Sedro-Woolley High School incorporated her leadership of the raffle tree design team as part of her senior project. Bruce and Connie Grandy of Burlington were the winners of the Group Health tree raffle. The tree was designed by Jill Christensen and Virginia Learned.

I want to help support the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation with my tax deductible contribution. Please designate my gift to the following fund: Health Center • Mental Camano Community Health Clinic • Cancer Care • Cardiac Care • Chapel • Children’s Therapy • Community Education • Dr. Maynard Johnson Endowment •

Please send me more information about: Volunteer opportunities Donor Recognition Legacy Circle Estate and Wills Planning Event Sponsorship or Tickets Memorials and Tributes

• • • • • •

Birth Center • Family Fine Art • Foundation Support • ICU/CCU • Kidney Dialysis • Sunrise Inn • Teaching Hospital • Wound Care •

Please mail to:

P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Enclosed is my tax deductible gift of: please print Name: _________________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________ City:________________________________ State:______ Zip:_ __________ Phone:_ _______________________________________________________

• Check to Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation enclosed • Pledge (see below) • Please charge my credit card: VISA/MasterCard /

Credit Card#:________________________ Exp._ ______ Signature:___________________________ 3 Digit Code:__ ______________ Please send pledge reminders until I have satisfied my total pledge amount of

• Monthly • Quarterly

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Change Your Life classes in your Stanwood/Camano neighborhood Skagit Valley Hospital offers the following health screenings and education programs at Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood, 9631 269th Street NW, Stanwood or the Camano Community Health Clinic, 127 N. East Camano Drive. To register, complete the registration form on the inside of the back page or call 360-629-6481 or 360-814-2424. Pre-registration is required for all classes unless otherwise noted.

Screening to Detect Peripheral Arterial Disease, Elevated Cholesterol and More! The Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute offers a community screening for all adults over age 18, held on Tuesday mornings.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a common condition that affects approximately 10 million adults in the US. About 5% of people over the age of 50 are believed to suffer from PAD. PAD is more common is men and most often occurs in older persons (over the age of 50). The same risk factors associated with heart disease are also linked with PAD. Attend this screening to find out your risk of PAD, cardiovascular disease and stroke and learn how to reduce it. The screening includes the following tests and results are immediate:

• Ankle brachial pressure index to help detect peripheral artery disease (no caffeine or nicotine for one hour prior). • Blood pressure. • Full lipid profile for cholesterol plus glucose requires 12 – 14 hour fast, water and medications only (no alcohol 24 hours prior.) This is a fingerstick test with immediate results. • Body composition testing to detect elevated body fat. • Review results with a health care provider. Call 360-629-6481 to schedule an appointment for this screening program that takes just 40 minutes! The cost is only $29 and is held on Tuesdays at Skagit

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Valley Hospital. A physician referral is not necessary, although we ask that you provide the name of a primary care provider, if you have one, so results can be forwarded.

Skin Cancer Screening

Corrine Sayler, PA-C with Skagit Regional Clinics-Dermatology will conduct a visual inspection of skin abnormalities you are concerned about. No charge. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 to schedule an appointment.

March 2 (Wed) 1 - 4 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B No charge but pre-registration is required

AARP Driver Safety Program

This two-session program for people older than 50 is designed to enhance the driving skills of the mature adult. Insurance companies are required to give a discount on auto insurance for those over age 55 who complete the course. Course fee is $12 for AARP members; $14 for non-members. Please bring check payable to AARP and your AARP card or number (if you are a member) to the first class – do not mail check. Pre-registration is required.

February 16 and 17 (Wed/Thur) 1 – 5 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B Pay at the class

Cholesterol, Diabetes and Blood Pressure Screenings

Cholesterol screenings are provided at the following locations by Skagit Valley Hospital in cooperation with Dynacare Skagit Laboratories. Cholesterol tests are recommended at least once every five years beginning at age 20. Individuals with a strong family history of heart disease or risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or who smoke, may need to be tested more often. Full Lipid Profile: 12-14 hour fast required, water and prescribed medications only, no coffee or tea. No alcohol 24 hours prior. Results include total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and glucose (blood sugar) levels and are mailed to your home. Fee: $15 (cash or check payable to SVH only). Blood pressure checks are provided at no cost. For information call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481. No appointment or preregistration is required.

February 24 (Thur) 8 – 9:30 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B March 24 (Thur) 7:30 - 9 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Community Health Clinic 127 N. East Camano Drive

Bone Density Screening

Osteoporosis, or low bone density, affects 10 million Americans, mostly women, and 34 million more have low bone mass. More than 1.5 million fractures are caused each year in the U.S. as a result of osteoporosis. Find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis by having a bone density scan. This is a non-invasive, painless scan of one hand. Results are available immediately. Fee $10 (cash or check payable to SVH). No appointment is required.

February 24 (Thur) 8 – 9:30 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B March 24 (Thur) 7:30 - 9 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Community Health Clinic 127 N. East Camano Drive

(Below) Linda Thompson, MD, seen here examining a patient, rejoined Camano Community Health Clinic in December 2010. Dr. Thompson spent the past couple of years practicing as a hospitalist in another community, and returns to serve patients of Camano Island and surrounding areas along with Gary Draper, PA-C. For information, call 360-387-5398.

Vitamin D Level Screening

Why should you have your Vitamin D level tested? Studies have shown a strong link between an individual’s Vitamin D levels and the risk of developing cancer. New research shows a direct link between Vitamin D deficiency and the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in people with a genetic predisposition for the disease. Vitamin D also plays an integral role in bone health. Other studies have linked low levels of Vitamin D to diabetes and high blood pressure. This screening can help you identify the level of Vitamin D in your blood. Results are mailed to your home. This screening not recommended for patients on anticonvulsant medication. Fasting is not required. The cost is $35 (cash or check payable to SVH). No appointment required.

February 24 (Thur) 8 – 9:30 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B March 24 (Thur) 7:30 - 9 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Community Health Clinic 127 N. East Camano Drive

CPR and First Aid Classes are held at various locations in Stanwood. Call the North County Regional Fire Authority at 360-652-1246 for more information. Heart Saver Adult/Child CPR Classes are held at the Stanwood Fire

Department. For more information call 360-387-1512.

First Aid Classes are held at the Stanwood Fire Department. For more information call 360-387-1512. A Cardiac Support Group is available at the Stanwood Senior Center on the third Tuesday of each month from 10 - 11 a.m. Call 360-814-8368 for more information. The Island County Health Department is located at 127 N. East

Camano Drive, down the hall from the Camano Community Health Clinic. They offer services ranging from TB testing, WIC/Maternity Support Services, HIV/Aids Testing, Immunizations, Healthy Baby Visits and more. For more information call 360-387-0184.

Skagit Regional Clinics A department of Skagit Valley Hospital

Camano Community Health Clinic 127 N. East Camano Drive Suite A Camano Island 360-387-5398


9631 269th Street NW Stanwood 360-629-1600 All classes require pre-registration unless specified. Call 360-629-6481 or see inside of back cover.

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Change Your Life classes in your Mount Vernon neighborhood DON’T WAIT TOO LONG! Many of our classes fill quickly so early registration is recommended. You are not

confirmed in the class until we receive your payment (for classes requiring payment). Don’t lose your space in class – pay early! See the inside of the back cover of this magazine for registration information. Preregistration is required for all classes unless otherwise noted.

Women’s Health Luncheon Seeing Balance in Family, Love, and Life

As the one of the industry’s leading relationship experts, Pepper Schwartz, Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle will provide this entertaining and thoughtful look at how many of us prioritize friends, partners, family and activities in our lives. Pepper will give women a tool to help them evaluate if they are allocating their time and priorities in a way that really honors their relationships and themselves. She will talk about what a balanced life would look like - and how women often short the things they need the most! Pepper Schwartz holds an MA and PhD in Sociology from Yale University. She is the author of 14 books, wrote the monthly column “Sex and Health” for Glamour Magazine, with coauthor Dr. Janet Lever, for more than seven years, and “Talking About Sex” for eight years for American Baby Magazine. Dr. Schwartz has contributed to many magazines, journals and newspapers including the New York Times “Parent and Child” column, Psychology Today and Contexts. Dr. Schwartz was a regular member of the KIRO-TV (Seattle) news staff for 12 years and appears regularly on national TV news, documentaries and other programs. Dr. Schwartz lectures nationally and

28 | Skagit Valley Hospital

internationally on relationship topics, women’s issues, parent and child issues, communication between men and women in intimate and work relationships, and maintaining personal and family wellbeing in today’s world. She is the Love, Sex and Relationship Ambassador for AARP and one of the founding members of This event is sponsored by the Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute and cosponsored by Walgreens, Life Care Center of Skagit Valley, Home Attendant Care, Mira Vista, Ashley Gardens of Mount Vernon, Creekside Retirement Community, Cascade Cosmetic Center and The Bridge Assisted Living at Mount Vernon. Invite a friend and join us at this fun and thought-provoking presentation by Pepper Schwartz.

February 23 (Wed) 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. McIntyre Hall Mount Vernon $15 includes lunch Pre-registration required by February 18

Doc Talk Series: The following presentations are provided by local physicians on a variety of health topics. There is no charge but pre-registration is required. All Doc Talk presentations are at Skagit Valley Hospital.

Women and Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death and disability for women in the United States. The symptoms of heart disease can be subtle, especially in women, and many women tend to show up in emergency rooms after much heart damage has already occurred because their symptoms are not those typically associated with a heart attack. In this evening presentation Yelena Rosenberg, MD, cardiologist with Skagit Regional ClinicsCardiology, will provide information on the risk factors for developing heart disease and symptoms that all women should be aware of. Dr. Rosenberg will provide information on measures that women can take to help reduce their risk of developing heart disease as well as treatment options. Time will be allowed for questions.

February 7 (Mon) 6 – 7:30 p.m. Cascade Room No charge but pre-registration is required

Options for Breast Reconstruction

Learn more about specific techniques used in breast reconstruction in this evening presentation by James A. Edwards, MD, plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Skagit Regional ClinicsSurgery. Dr. Edwards works as part of a multi-disciplinary team in The Breast Institute at Skagit Valley Hospital, a specialized regional center of excellence for the treatment of breast cancer. This presentation will include information about both implant based and autologous tissue-based methods of breast reconstruction. Time will be allowed for questions.

March 9 (Wed) 6 – 7 p.m. Cascade Room No charge but pre-registration is required

Current Treatment Options for Lumbar Spinal Disorders

Low back pain is one of the most common causes of disability in the United States. Join David Mourning, MD, orthopedic spine surgeon with Northwest Orthopedic Surgeons, for a review of surgical and non-surgical options for treating lowback pain, sciatica, and disc herniation. Time will be allowed for questions.

March 23 (Wed) 6 – 7 p.m. Cascade Room No charge but preregistration is required

________________________ Five Wishes: Writing Your Living Will

During this two-hour interactive workshop, participants will explore ways to direct their own treatment should they become too ill to speak for themselves. Using the easy to use Five Wishes living will booklet, participants can choose

to complete their living will in class, expressing personal and spiritual wishes in addition to medical and legal direction. Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know: • Who you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them. (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare)

• The kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want • How comfortable you want to be • How you want people to treat you • What you want your loved ones to know Five Wishes meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in Washington State.

January 13 (Thur) 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. February 10 (Thur) 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. March 10, 2011 (Thursday) 10 a.m. – Noon All classes will be held in the Cascade Conference Room. Pre-registration is required. Each participant receives a Five Wishes booklet provided by a grant from the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation.

Take Charge of Your Health! Maintain an Active and Fulfilling Life with a Chronic Health Problem

Living Well Workshop is a six-week self-management workshop designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to manage any type of ongoing health problem. These health problems may include heart disease, lung disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, being overweight, fibromyalgia and others. Designed at Stanford University, research studies have shown that the workshop is extremely effective in helping

All classes require pre-registration unless specified. Call 360-814-2424 or see inside of back cover.

people manage their health. People with different ongoing health problems, or caregivers to someone with chronic conditions, attend together in this highly interactive program, focusing on building skills, sharing experiences, and support. Classes are facilitated by two certified leaders, one or both of whom are nonhealth professionals with a chronic disease themselves.

Comments from past participants include:

“This class gave me positive ways to deal with my condition, to make friends with it, and learn how to handle it in a positive way.” “ It was great information and provided me with a system to help stay on track with my self care and be accountable to myself.”

Subjects covered include: • Ways to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain, and isolation • Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance • Appropriate use of medications • Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals • How to evaluate new treatments Each participant receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions and an audio relaxation CD, “Time for Healing.”

Feb. 22 – March 29 (Tue) 1 – 3:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Shuksan Room $29 includes course book and CD Limited to 15 participants Pre-registration is required

Meditation for Calming and Focusing Your Mind

Have you thought about trying meditation but find it too difficult to do on your own? Let an experienced meditator guide you in simple techniques to become comfortable with this valuable skill. Comments from previous class participants include: “Jan could not have been better!! I loved the class.” “This class

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was exactly what I hoped for. Jan was just wonderful in all aspects.” Meditation is now scientifically recognized to help alleviate stress, mild depression, and anxiety. De-cluttering your mind can help you become more focused and productive. Become a happier, calmer you! Jan Hodgman, MA, has been meditating for more than 30 years and has more than10 years of monastic practice as an ordained Zen priest. She is also a Certified Focusing Trainer, writer, and musician and loves introducing people to meditation.

February 9 and 16 (Wed) 6 – 8 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital San Juan A/B Enter through Kincaid Street entrance $29

Nutrition & Diabetes

Learn how to eat to control your blood sugar and weight. This two-hour class will provide information on healthy eating focusing on the diabetic. In addition, you will also get hands-on practice as you tour the Skagit Valley Food Co-op and learn how to read labels and identify healthy foods. This class is taught by Lou Kupka-Schutt, PhD, RD with Skagit Valley Hospital.

Jan. 21; Feb. 18 (Fridays) 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Skagit Valley Food Co-op Room 309 (3rd floor of co-op building, follow signs) 202 S. First Street, downtown Mount Vernon Register with Co-op cashiers or by calling 360-336-9777 No charge

Individual Weight Loss and Nutrition Counseling

Lou Kupka-Schutt, PhD, RD, can provide you with the support you need in setting and meeting your nutritional and weight loss goals. Lou has more than

30 | Skagit Valley Hospital

20 years experience in working with individuals providing the most up-to-date information about nutrition and weight control to help them make wise nutritional choices to manage their weight and improve their health. This three-month program begins with a one-hour session, in person or by phone, to create an action plan and set goals. Three half-hour sessions will be held in the first month, then four bi-weekly sessions over the next two months, for a total of three months of support, advice, and education. Follow-up sessions can be done in-person, by phone or via e-mail. The cost is $239. A 10% discount is available with a written physician referral. Call 360-8148274 for more information. Call 360-8142424 to register for the program.

Continuing Health Education Certified Diabetes Education Program

Skagit Valley Hospital offers a comprehensive education program for adults with diabetes, either newly diagnosed or for those patients needing extra guidance with diabetes control. The program includes an introductory one-on-one appointment, six hours of group sessions (two three-hour classes) covering the basics of diabetes management, and at least two hours of one-on-one education in nutrition. Individual appointments to review medication issues related to diabetes selfmanagement, including maximizing the use of insulin, are also available.  Program instructors include Amy Navarre Cantrell, PA-C, Certified Diabetic Educator, Exercise Specialist Michelle Frey and Registered Dietician Christina Sackman. Dr. Geoffrey Spielmann with Skagit Regional Clinics – Mount Vernon serves as Medical Director for the program.  The program requires a physician referral so talk to your health care

provider. The program is covered by most insurance companies. Please check with your insurance provider to confirm. For other questions, or more information about the program, contact Katie Mirante at 360-814-2184.

AARP Driver Safety Program

This two-session program for people older than 50 is designed to enhance the driving skills of the mature adult. Insurance companies are required to give a discount on auto insurance for those over age 55 who complete the course. Course fee is $12 for AARP members; $14 for non-members. Please bring check payable to AARP and your AARP card or number (if you are a member) to the first class – do not mail check. Pre-registration is required.

February 28 and March 1 (Mon/Tue) 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital San Juan A/B Pay at class Please see page 26 for information about classes in Stanwood/Camano Island.

Total Joint Replacement Class This two-hour class helps to prepare patients for their upcoming joint replacement surgery. We have incorporated classroom instruction with procedure-specific therapy. You will learn what to expect before, during, and after joint replacement surgery. Our experienced nurses and therapists will address your concerns and will be available to answer your questions.

The class meets the first and third Wednesday of the month from 1 – 3 p.m. at Skagit Valley Hospital in San Juan B. For more information, directions and to register for this class, please call 360-8142424. There is no charge for this program.

Heart Healthy Fitness Program

Are you having trouble starting an exercise program or staying motivated? Do you need direction and professional guidance? Come join us for exercise in a safe and stress free-environment. The Heart Healthy Fitness Program focuses on

individual goals and plenty of one-to-one attention. We work on strength training, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. For questions and class times, call 360-8148368.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Have you had a recent heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty, heart valve surgery, or stent placement? We have a program to help you return to your active lifestyle and learn how to reduce your risk factors. A Registered Nurse and Exercise Specialist supervise the classes and provide a safe, friendly atmosphere to ask questions and learn how to pace yourself as you recover. This is a physicianreferred program, and Medicare and most insurances cover cardiac rehab. For more information call 360-814-8368.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Our new pulmonary rehabilitation education program is provided for people with chronic pulmonary diseases and their family members/and or support persons. Using a multi-disciplinary team approach, the goal is to help participants improve and maintain their functional status, physical and psychological sense of well-being and quality of life. Call 360814-2419 for more information.

First Aid and CPR

Skagit County Medic One offers CPR and First Aid classes for $20 per person, payable in advance. This fee covers the cost of certification cards and materials. For more information call 360-428-3236 or email

Ostomy Support Group

Second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Sauk Room at Skagit Valley Hospital. Call Cathy Schaeffer at 360-814-2600 for more information. No meeting in February.

Health & Wellness Screenings Heart and Vascular Screening: Detect Peripheral Arterial Disease, Elevated Cholesterol and More! The Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute offers this popular community screening for all adults over age 18 on Tuesday mornings.

Attend this screening to find out your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and learn how to reduce it. The screening includes the following tests and results are immediate:

• Ankle brachial pressure index to help detect peripheral artery disease (no caffeine or nicotine for one hour prior). • Blood pressure. • Full lipid profile for cholesterol plus glucose requires 12 – 14 hour fast, water and medications only (no alcohol 24 hours prior.) This is a fingerstick test with immediate results.

associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. • High blood pressure affects one in three adult Americans. Untreated high blood pressure may result in a stroke. • Elevated levels of body fat may lead to problems such as hypertension, elevated blood lipids (fats and cholesterol), diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular, all related to obesity. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 from Stanwood/Camano Island to schedule an appointment for this screening program. It takes just 40 minutes! The cost is only $29 and screenings are held on Tuesday mornings at Skagit Valley Hospital. A physician referral is not necessary, although we ask that you provide the name of a primary care provider, if you have one, so results can be forwarded. Also see Stroke and Aneurysm Screenings on page 32 for a screening of the aorta and carotid arteries.

• Body composition testing to detect elevated body fat. • Review results with a health care provider.

Why should you attend this screening? Here are the facts • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) caused by plaque buildup in the limbs affects about 10 million American adults in the US. About 5% of people over the age of 50 are believed to suffer from PAD. The same risk factors associated with heart disease are also linked with PAD. The Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABI) is a measure of the reduction in arterial blood pressure of the legs and is used to detect evidence of blockages from plaque buildup (PAD.) Abnormal ABI’s are associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. • More than 100 million Americans have high blood cholesterol levels, also

All classes require pre-registration unless specified. Call 360-814-2424 or see inside of back cover.

“We decided to do the Heart and Vascular Screening just to see how we were doing and what more we could learn about our health. The entire screening was most impressive. Nick and I took home educational materials plus the results of the screenings, itemizing our risk factors. Our results were passed on to our doctors as we requested. We feel it’s important to be proactive about our health and not wait until something bad happens. Going through this screening has prompted us to dramatically improve our diet.” Judi and Nick Seegert, who both attended the Heart and Vascular Screening in 2010.

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Cholesterol, Diabetes and Blood Pressure Screenings

Cholesterol screenings are provided by Skagit Valley Hospital in cooperation with Dynacare Skagit Laboratories. Cholesterol tests are recommended at least once every five years beginning at age 20. Individuals with a strong family history of heart disease or risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes or who smoke, may need to be tested more often. Full Lipid Profile: 12-14 hour fast required, water and prescribed medications only, no coffee or tea. No alcohol 24 hours prior. Results include total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides and glucose (blood sugar) levels and are mailed to your home. Fee: $15 (cash or check payable to SVH only). Blood pressure checks are provided at no cost. For information call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481. No appointment or preregistration is required.

February 1 (Tue) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Screening held in the Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute Enter through the Diagnostic Services entrance on 13th Street

Bone Density Screening

Osteoporosis, or low bone density, affects 10 million Americans, mostly women, and 34 million more have low bone mass. More than 1.5 million fractures are caused each year in the U.S. as a result of osteoporosis. Find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis by having a bone density scan. This is a non-invasive, painless scan of one hand. Results are available immediately. Fee $10 (cash or check payable to SVH). No appointment is required.

February 1 (Tue) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Screening held in the Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute Enter through the Diagnostic Services entrance on 13th Street

32 | Skagit Valley Hospital

Vitamin D Level Screening

Why should you have your Vitamin D level tested? Studies have shown a strong link between an individual’s Vitamin D levels and the risk of developing cancer. New research shows a direct link between Vitamin D deficiency and the risk of developing multiple sclerosis in people with a genetic predisposition for the disease. Vitamin D also plays an integral role in bone health. Other studies have linked low levels of Vitamin D to diabetes and high blood pressure. This screening can help you identify the level of Vitamin D in your blood. Results are mailed to your home. This screening not recommended for patients on anticonvulsant medication. Fasting is not required. The cost is $35 (cash or check payable to SVH). No appointment required.

Feb. 1 (Tue) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Screening held in the Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute Enter through the Diagnostic Services entrance on 13th Street

Stroke and Aneurysm Screening

No need to wait for a special promotion to come to town or stand in line at a crowded community center. You can schedule your screening exams year around and have the exams performed using state-of-the-art equipment, conducted by board certified diagnostic technologists and reviewed by a board certified radiologist.  Skagit Valley Ultrasound Associates provides vascular health screenings that include evaluation of the carotid arteries to screen for disease or narrowing and of the abdominal aorta to screen for aneurysms. This ultrasound screening test is non-invasive, quick and painless, and will help you identify whether you are at increased risk for stroke and vascular disease and provide information so your physician may begin preventive treatment if necessary.

A physician referral is not necessary, although we ask that you provide the name of a primary care provider, so results can be forwarded. The cost is only $59 for the combined carotid and aorta screening and is payable by cash or check only. This exam is not billable to insurance. Individuals whose screening results suggest the need for further evaluation will be referred to follow-up care with their physician.  To register for an appointment, call 360-428-8208, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Screenings are held at Skagit Valley Ultrasound Associates located at 1320 E. Division, Mount Vernon.

Skin Cancer Screening

Local dermatology offices will conduct visual inspections of skin abnormalities you are concerned about. No charge. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481 to schedule an appointment.

February 16 (Wed) provided by Michael Nelson, MD, dermatologist with Skagit Regional Clinics – Dermatology March 9 (Wed) provided by J. Semmes Mickelwait with Advanced Dermatology 1 - 4 p.m. Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute Skagit Valley Hospital Enter through Diagnostic Services entrance on 13th Street

Vision Screening

A certified ophthalmic technician with North Cascade Eye Associates will conduct vision and glaucoma screenings. Bring a contact lens case for storage during the screening. No charge. Call 360-8142424 or 360-629-6481 to schedule an appointment.

February 18 (Fri) 1-3 p.m Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room (enter through Kincaid Street entrance) Provided by North Cascade Eye Associates

Free Blood Pressure Screenings

Breastfeeding and Newborn Care

Automated blood pressure machines donated by the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation are available at the following locations:

In this two and one-half hour program, one of Skagit Valley Hospital’s Family Birth Center’s nurse Lactation Consultants will aid parents in gaining the knowledge necessary to make feeding decisions regarding their new baby. In addition, a local pediatrician will be available to provide information on newborn care – time for questions will be allowed. Preregistration required. The class fee is $25. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481 for class dates and times.

• Skagit Valley Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Center • Skagit Valley Hospital – Kincaid Street Entrance • Skagit Regional Clinics Stanwood

Remember the steps to breast health:

Childbirth & Infant Care

1. Do a monthly breast self-exam.

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Is it Time for Your Mammogram?

2. If you are 40 or older, have a mammogram every one or two years. 3. Have a yearly check-up, including a clinical breast exam. For a screening mammogram appointment, call 360-424-9607.

The Breast Care Center 1320 East Division Street Mount Vernon 360-424-9607 Open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. A service provided cooperatively by Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Radiology.

This six-week course for expectant parents includes information about emotional changes during pregnancy, the labor process, breathing techniques, the role of the support person, breastfeeding and a local Pediatrician to discuss your baby’s first three months. The fee is $110. Medical coupons are accepted. Full payment or a copy of your medical coupon is required two weeks before the class begins. A seven-week option includes breastfeeding and a local pediatrician to discuss your baby’s first three months for an additional $20 (not covered by medical coupons.) Classes are offered at Skagit Valley Hospital. Pre-registration required.

Childbirth Express: One-day Saturday or Two-day Weekend

One-day Saturday and two-day weekend intensive childbirth preparation classes are available. The fee is $95. Full payment or a copy of your medical coupon is required two weeks before class begins. Pre-registration is required. A $5 discount is available on the Breastfeeding and Newborn Care class when registering for it at the same time as the Childbirth Express class, making it only $20.

All classes require pre-registration unless specified. Call 360-814-2424 or see inside of back cover.

Family Birth Center Tours

Free tours of the Skagit Valley Hospital Family Birth Center are offered twice a month. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 to schedule a tour.

Lactation Services at Skagit Valley Hospital

Here at the Family Birth Center, we are dedicated to you and your baby’s health. That is why we provide one of the most inclusive lactation services programs in the region. There are six Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant Registered Nurses available to visit you during your hospital stay and help you experience a successful start to breastfeeding your baby. The Lactation Services’ office serves also as an Ameda rental station, where breast pumps and accessories are available to rent or purchase. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding or know someone who is and would like to know more about Lactation Services at Skagit Valley Hospital, please call 360-814-BABY and one of our consultants would be happy to talk with you.

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recurring education class from 1:30-3:30, the third Thursday of every other month (in January, March, May, July, September, and November), in the Mount Baker Conference room. Class is provided by physician referral. For more information, call 360-416-5717.

Child Safety Seat Checks

Certified child safety seat technicians will assess your seat for age- and sizeappropriateness, proper installation and use, recalls, and visible damage. This screening is highly recommended for parents-to-be, prior to the birth of your new baby, to learn how to safely install and use your car seat.

Jan. 20; Feb. 17; March 17 (Thur) 1 - 3 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital at main entrance covered area Mount Vernon Co-sponsored by Skagit Safe Kids. Preregistration is not required. Call Bill Craig at 360-428-3236 for more information regarding additional dates and times. If you are interested in learning how to install car seats and help parents install their car seats properly, call Bill Craig, Skagit County Medic One at 360-428-3236 or via e-mail at

Kidney Dialysis Education Pre-dialysis Education

This Skagit Valley Kidney Center program is for people with reduced kidney function who would like to explore treatment options for renal replacement therapy. Patients, families, and caregivers will receive information about treatment options, diet, health maintenance, financial, and social concerns.

This introductory session helps reduce many anxieties a person may have related to the “unknown.” The session provides an opportunity for patients to make more informed choices. We have a

34 | Skagit Valley Hospital

Cancer Support Services All programs are free of charge. For additional information on any of these services or events please contact Cancer Care Social Services at 360-814-8255.

CLIMB®: Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery CLIMB is a special support program for children ages 6-12 who have a parent or guardian undergoing cancer treatment. The CLIMB program was developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to the emotional support of children who have parents with cancer. Our facilitators have received special training and resources to provide this program. The CLIMB program offers two-hour group meetings every week for a period of six weeks and dinner is provided for participants. Each child is provided their own workbook to capture their progress, which they can share with their family at home. Additional resources are provided to the parent or guardian for education and support. This program is being offered free of charge and is funded by the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. As an organization, we recognize that cancer affects the entire family and desire to provide support at multiple levels. Receiving treatment at Skagit Valley Hospital is not a requirement to participate.

The program will be offered again in Spring 2011. For dates or more

information about the CLIMB program or to register your child, please contact Amber Ford, Oncology Social Worker, at 360-814-8255. Pre-registration is required. CLIMB group meets Tuesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (3rd Floor) at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center.

Tai Chi/Qigong Class

Tai Chi and Qigong are traditional Chinese exercises that have been a daily prescription for health and longevity for hundreds of years. This class focuses on balance, posture, relaxation, breathing, and visual and mental concentration. The elements of Tai Chi and Qigong help the immune system, central nervous system, blood supply and circulation, as well as strengthen bones, joints, and tendons. The movements are slow in tempo, very low impact on the body, and can be done standing or seated. Please join us for this new and exciting class on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month from 2 – 3:15 p.m. The class is held in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center. Instructor: Bob Shapiro.

Look Good, Feel Better

Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite and strength. But it doesn’t have to take away her self-confidence. This program teaches beauty techniques to women in active treatment or those who are about to start treatment. It helps them combat the appearance-related side effects of treatment.

The Look Good, Feel Better

sessions are led by trained, volunteer cosmetologists who teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetics and skin care products donated by the cosmetic industry. Women also learn ways to disguise hair loss with wigs, scarves and other accessories. Space is limited so be sure to register by calling the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

Fourth Monday of each month (not held in May and December) 1 - 3 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center Safeway Conference Room (3rd Floor)

Women’s Cancer Support Group

Second Wednesday of each month from 5 – 6:30 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at the Regional Cancer Care Center. This group is for women who are undergoing treatment for, or have experienced breast, ovarian, uterine, or cervical cancer. Facilitated by Amber Ford, MSW, LICSW, Oncology Social Worker, with guest speakers arranged. Call 360814-8255 for additional information.

Art and Healing Group

First and third Mondays of each month, 2 – 4 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at the Regional Cancer Care Center. Our knowledgeable instructor has been doing art therapy with cancer patients for over ten years. Creating art may reduce anxiety and stress plus improve emotional well-being. It is a great opportunity to process and integrate the challenges of serious illness and treatment.  Please note that artistic “skills” are not required! Instructor: Margaret Carpenter Arnett, BSN, ATR.

Healthy-Steps: Moving You to Better Health with the Lebed Method

First and Third Thursday of each month, 3 - 4:30 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at the Regional Cancer Care Center.  The Lebed Method is a fun, gentle exercise program designed and proven beneficial for those with breast cancer, lymphedema, other cancers, and chronic conditions. Lebed combines easy stretches, low-impact aerobics, and relaxation techniques with great music. Lebed exercise has been found to increase range of motion, strength, physical stability and quality of life. Please join us for this fun and exciting group. Please note this class is held September through April. Instructor: Joan Weeks-Keppel.

Grief Support Services Hospice of the Northwest, formerly Skagit Hospice, provides support to anyone in our communities coping with grief and loss after the death of a loved one. Call our Bereavement Program for information and referrals, attend a free grief support group, or borrow materials from our Resource Center. For more information, phone 360-814-5589 or 360814-5550.

Evening Ongoing Grief Support First and third Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Sedro-Woolley at the Senior Center, 715 Pacific Street. Daytime Ongoing Grief Support

Mount Vernon: First and third Tuesdays from 12:30 to 2 p.m at the Hospice office at 819 S. 13th Street. Anacortes: Second and fourth Mondays from Noon - 1:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian, 1300 9th Street (alley entrance).

Loss of a Child (at any age) Ongoing Grief Support Second and

fourth Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Mount Vernon at the Hospice office at 819 S. 13th Street. Pre-registration is required. Please call 360-814-5589 to register or for more information.

In-Service Education For grief and loss presentations for your organization or employees, contact the Hospice of the Northwest Bereavement Coordinator at 360-814-5589.

Hospice of the Northwest Services Resource Center A free lending library open to the community

Books and other materials are available for adults, teens, and children. Topics include care-giving, coping with disease, end-of-life concerns, grief and loss and inspiration for challenging times. Visitors will find a comfortable place to sit and read, browse, or find materials to check out.

The Resource Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Hospice office at 819 South 13th Street in Mount Vernon and after hours by appointment. A member of the hospice team can answer questions or help you find what you need. For information call Hospice of the Northwest’s Bereavement Program at 360-814-5589.

Interested in helping Hospice of the Northwest Foundation?

The Hospice of the Northwest Foundation is currently accepting applications to become a volunteer. This group works to raise funds to support hospice programs and to educate the community about available services. The goal of the Foundation is to ensure that everyone who wants or needs hospice care receives services regardless of ability to pay. For information, call the Foundation office at 360-814-5702.

Mental Health Family-to-Family Education Program

Free 12-week course for families of adults with mental illness or a brain disorder. The course focuses on helping family members understand the major mental illnesses and maintain their own well-being while providing needed support to their ill family members. This program is provided by NAMI Skagit, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Call 360-424-5802 for more information or to register. Space is limited.

Peer-to-Peer Education Program

Free nine-week class for adults with mental illness or brain disorders to help them better understand their illness and maintain and improve their recovery. NAMI Skagit provides this program. Call Brandon Nevi at 360-421-5784 for more information and to register. Space is limited.

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Mental Health Support Group

NAMI Skagit Open Group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Shuksan Room at Skagit Valley Hospital. For more information contact Trish Rodriguez at 360-540-0795 or Marti Wall at 360-770-5666.

NAMI Basics Education Program

Free six-week class for parents or primary caregivers of a child or teen with mental illness or a brain disorder. The course helps families with communication, coping, schools and education needs, rehabilitation, recovery, and advocacy. NAMI Skagit provides this program. Call Marti Wall at 360-770-5666 for more information and to register. Space is limited.

For more support, adults living with a mental illness may drop-in at the Skagit Peer Connections Center anytime, Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 1115 Riverside Drive, Mount Vernon. There are support groups, classes, hobby time, free lunch, and always someone to talk with and keep company. For more information call 360-848-8615.

a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds from the Gift Shop are returned back to help Skagit Valley Hospital in areas of need.

Speakers Bureau

Need an interesting presentation for your club or organization? Skagit Valley Hospital’s Speakers Bureau provides speakers on a number of health care related topics, many at no cost. For more information on speaker topics or to schedule a presentation, call Kaye at 360814-2348.

Help Wanted

Caring People with Big Hearts Volunteers make the difference at Skagit Valley Hospital. Our volunteers perform a variety of important jobs, from helping nurses with patient care and conducting hospital tours for school children to working in gift shops, at the information desks, or in clerical positions. The Department of Volunteer Services at Skagit Valley Hospital coordinates the activities of over 465 volunteers in support of the hospital’s operations.

Opportunities for service at Skagit Valley Hospital include: • People with a “Green Thumb” • Pianists • Information Desk • Surgical Services • Gift Shop • Workroom Volunteers • Mail Delivery • Guilds and Auxiliaries - Grace Cochrum Guild - J.E.M. Guild - Skagit Valley Hospital Guild - Skagit Valley Hospital Auxiliary - Gail Iverson Circle of Friends

Community News & Resources

Contact Us

To inquire about volunteering or request services, please contact Steve Schultz at 360-814-2142 or contact our main information desk at 360-814-5059.

Gift Shop

The Skagit Valley Hospital Gift Shop has many wonderful hand-made and retail gift items for sale. Please keep the Skagit Valley Hospital Gift Shop in mind for your gift shopping needs. The gift shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9

36 | Skagit Valley Hospital

Pianists Wanted

Skagit Valley Hospital has a wonderful volunteer opportunity – play our beautiful grand piano for guests of the hospital to enjoy. If you are an accomplished pianist who would like to share your talent for others to enjoy, call 360-814-2142.

Watch HealthQuest on CableAccess Television Station 10

If you are a Comcast cable subscriber in Skagit County, be sure to tune in to channel 10 at 7 p.m. each evening to watch HealthQuest TV. This half-hour show features a new guest each week showcasing our local physicians and health care professionals on a variety of topics ranging from latest treatment options for health disease and cancer care to prevention topics highlighting local walking trails, grocery store tours, and more.

Health Insurance Questions?

Call the SHIBA HELPLINE at 360814-2345. We have a wonderful group of volunteers to help people of all ages with their health insurance needs as well as assistance with understanding insurance options. SHIBA = Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisors.

Need a Physician?

Call our free Physician Referral Line at 360-848-5555 or 360-629-5850 from Stanwood or Camano Island. The Physician Referral Line is open weekdays between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For easy access to community services dial 2-1-1

2-1-1 is a free, easy-to-remember phone number that connects people to what they need, whether that means receiving help, or offering it through volunteer time or donations. By dialing 2-1-1, people will reach a trained information specialist who can help determine the service they need, and refer them to the most appropriate resource among the full range of public and private programs available. Important! The 2-1-1 call line will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 2-1-1 is not a crisis line. If the need can’t wait until the next business day, please call the CARE Crisis Line at 800584-3578. In the event of a life-threatening emergency or a crime in progress, always call 911. If you have difficulty reaching 2-1-1, call 800-223-8145 instead.


‘Scenic route’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19 A resident of Bellingham, he now works for Northwest Emergency Physicians (NEP), the group Skagit Valley Hospital contracts with to provide doctors to staff the Emergency Department.

The experience spurred him to attend the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale and continue on to residency at the University of Nevada’s Medical Center in Las Vegas, which he completed in June 2010.

Because of his osteopathic training, Dr. Markus has applied to become faculty with the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences medical education program at Skagit Valley Hospital where the first 12 students are in training.

Dr. Markus says he chose emergency medicine because it fits his personality and goals. “I like the idea of being a generalist,” he said. “It also provides me with a schedule that allows for other activities. We work hard and play hard.”

Screening/Immunization recommendations

Bone density scan for osteoporosis


65 and older

at least once

Blood cholesterol levels

20 and older physician or nurse

discuss with your physician or nurse

Blood glucose test for diabetes

45 and older therapy and type

depending on an individuals risk

18 and older

2 years

Women in their 20s and 30s

2 to 3 years

50 and older

10 years

Anyone who wishes to avoid the flu, but recommended for adults 50 and older


40 and older

1 to 2 years

Blood pressure

Clinical breast exam Colonoscopy for colorectal cancer

Influenza vaccine Mammogram for breast cancer

Pap test 21 and older 30 to 55 65 and older

Dr. Markus joins a group of more than 20 providers specializing in emergency medicine for NEP at the Skagit Valley Hospital Emergency Department.

What Kind of a Legacy Will You Leave?

Have a healthy 2011:

Screen test/immunization ages

“To be able to get involved at a community and clinical level is wonderful,” he said. “To teach students and, potentially, residents is really appealing to me with my background in education.”

2 years 3 years discuss with your physician or nurse

Pelvic exam

Sexually active or age 21 and older


tetanus-diptheria-petussis booster vaccine

18 and older

10 years

A Bequest is a gift made through your will or trust. There are several ways to make a bequest: • Specific dollar amount • Percentage of your estate • Specific asset • Residue of your estate

For more information on how to create a lasting legacy through a bequest, please contact us at 360-814-2140 or log onto our website at SKAGIT VALLEY


We look forward to helping you!

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List of services at Skagit Valley Hospital Skagit Valley Hospital provides a full continuum of care to our community, ranging from outpatient diagnostics and rehabilitation services to surgery and acute care. Learn more about the following services by going to

(Above) Orthopedic surgeon Lance Ho, MD brings expertise in total joint replacements, including ankles, hips and knees, to his practice at Skagit Regional Clinics – Mount Vernon. For more information about orthopedic surgery, go to www.skagitvalleyhospital. org. To access an orthopedic surgeon, call Skagit Valley Hospital’s free physician referral line at 360-8485555 or 360-629-5850.

fall 2010 Dr. Donna Queyquep recently joined Skagit Regional Clinics’ pediatrics department. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. Following graduation, Dr. Queyquep completed her internship and residency training at Texas Tech University HSC in El Paso, TX. She cares for patients from birth through age eighteen. Dr. Queyquep is accepting new patients. For information, call 360-428-2580.

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• Acute Care • Administration • Breast Care Center • Cancer Care • Cardiac Rehabilitation • Cardiac Electrophysiology • Cardiac Catheterization Lab • Case Management • Chemotherapy • Children’s Therapy Program • Clinical Education • Clinical Services/Infection Control • Computed Tomography Imaging (CT Scan) • Critical Care • Diagnostic Imaging • Echocardiography • Electrophysiology • Emergency Trauma Center • Endoscopy • Family Birth Center • Food Services • Gift Shop • Health Information Management • HealthQuest • Heart & Vascular Institute • Hospice Care • Hospitalists on site 24/7 • Hyperbaric Oxygen Program • Interpreting - Translating • IV Therapy • Kidney Dialysis - outpatient and inpatient • Laboratory • Library • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) • Materials Management • Medical Staff Services • Mental Health Center • Nuclear Medicine • Nursing Administration • Nutrition Counseling

• Occupational Therapy • Oncology • Orthopedics • Outreach and Development • Pastoral Care/Chaplains • Patient Advocate • PET/CT • Pharmacy • Physical Therapy • Physician Referral Services • Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scanning) • Psychiatric Care/Counseling - Inpatient • Pulmonary Rehabilitation • Quality Management • Radiation Therapy • Rehabilitation Services • Respiratory Therapy • Skagit Hospice Foundation • Skagit Regional Clinics: - Anacortes - Arlington - Camano Community Health Clinic - Cardiology - Mount Vernon - Oak Harbor - Sedro-Woolley - Stanwood • Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation • Sleep Center • Speech Therapy • Spine program • Statewide Health Insurance Advisors (SHIBA) • Sunrise Inn • Surgical Services • The Breast Institute • Ultrasound • Volunteer Services • Wound Healing Center • X-ray

Class Registration Refund Policy

A full refund will be granted if the class is cancelled or if your cancellation is received at least three working days in advance of the class date. Cancellations received within two working days of the class date will be charged a $10 processing fee.

4 Easy Ways No refund will be given after the class has begun. To request a refund, call 360-814-2424 or in Stanwood/Camano Island call 360-629-6481 or TTY 360-814-2218, then submit a written request to the adjacent mailing address.

Mail HealthQuest

Skagit Valley Hospital P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Fill out this form and include your check or charge card number.


24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week Call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481 Call us anytime day or night and leave your detailed course information with your name, address and phone number in our voice mail, or with the scheduler. You will receive a confirmation in the mail.


24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week Go to: Click on Calendar


24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week 360-814-8222 Complete this form and fax it to the number above.

Registration Form

Please complete the following information (use one copy for each participant - feel free to duplicate this form or register on our Web site, and click on Calendar)



TYPE OF PAYMENT (Please do not send cash) Check (make checks payable to SVH-HealthQuest) Mastercard


Credit Card Number: ____________________________________ Expiration Date:________________________ Signature: Total amount enclosed: Name:________________________________________________________________________ Address:______________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip Code:_ ___________________________________________________________ Day Phone:___________________________ Home Phone:_______________________________ E-mail address:________________________________________________________________


Questions on Registration?

Call Skagit Valley Hospital at 360-814-2424, from Stanwood and Camano Island call 360-629-6481 or for hearing impaired, please call TTY 360814-2219 HealthQuest Winter 2011

| 39


Skagit Valley Hospital

P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273-1376 Sponsored by Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation


Main entrance located on Hospital Parkway in Mount Vernon. Please call (360) 814-2424 for more information.

2011 Winter HealthQuest  

A publication of Skagit Valley Hospital providing news, education, philanthropy, and health screenings.