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A publication of SKAGIT REGIONAL HEALTH News, Education and Philanthropy

Care for the heart Electrophysiologist joins cardiology team

Hyperbaric Oxygen

Patients benefit from local program to help heal

Training new doctors

First group of residents, new class of students begin

Comprehensive cancer care

Learn more about access to clinical trials, breast cancer risk factors

ParTee Golf Classic a success; welcome to two new board members

The New Norm in Health Care The new norm in health care means every organization involved in caring for patients must change. We have a call to action, and we are proactively on the move. Our mission is firmly focused on patients first. We have an opportunity to improve and enhance patient care across the continuum – from the primary care provider’s office, to the hospital and back to the community. This is also a chance to engage with providers and work with other organizations with the goal of offering local, quality patient care, and lowering costs. Skagit Regional Health is joining with Island Hospital in Anacortes and Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics in Arlington to seek ways for the three public districts to work together to meet this new norm. All three are

committed to local, evidencebased patient care and we each benefit from strong community support and financial stability. We also face challenges to provide adequate access to primary care for the people we serve and are feeling the urgency to prepare for the future when more than a million currently uninsured Washington state residents gain access to coverage under health care reform. Coming together with Island and Cascade is critical to meeting the challenges and building on the good work we have already done together. We have partnered on physician recruitment and the purchase of a local urology practice with Island and opened the new multi-specialty clinic Cascade Skagit Health Alliance in Smokey Point with Cascade.

We also can work together on patient care improvements around engaging patients in wellness and prevention, chronic disease management and seamless, comprehensive care for the people of the communities we serve. Together, we will look at joint negotiations with insurance companies, group supply purchasing and advancing graduate medical education. This is a unique undertaking by three hospital districts and we are confident our patients will be well served by our efforts to work together.

Gregg Davidson, FACHE Chief Executive Officer

Friday, Nov. 23

Fueling Success


skagit valley hospital foundation

10 A.M. – 4 p.m. Family Festival Day

Saturday, Nov. 24 5:30 p.m. Gala and Auction

Sunday, Nov. 25 10 A.M. – 2 p.m. Family Festival Day




Gala auction Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 5:30 p.m. AND

Saint Joseph Center • 215 North 15th Street • Mount Vernon, WA

Mountain Glen Retirement Community – Gala Evening Sponsor

Festival proceeds benefit Cardiac Care Services/ Special Observation Unit at Skagit Valley Hospital. For more information, call 360-814-5747.

Fall 2012 / Volume 9 / Issue 3

Care for the heart


Training new doctors


Electrophysiologist joins comprehensive cardiac care program

HealthQuest is published three times a year by Skagit Regional Health in Mount Vernon and the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. WHERE TO FIND US In Person: Main entrance located on Hospital Parkway in Mount Vernon.

First group of residents arrives at Skagit Regional Health; new group of medical students begins rotations

By Mail: P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Phone: 360-424-4111 Fax: 360-814-2416

Prevention starts with you

Learn more about breast cancer prevention: September visit by pink fire truck

On the Web:


Physician Referral Line: 360-848-5555 or 360-629-5850 SKAGIT REGIONAL CLINICS Anacortes: 360-293-0308 Anacortes Urology: 360-293-2173 Camano Island: 360-387-5398 Cardiology: 360-336-9757 Mount Vernon: 360-428-2500 Mount Vernon Urology: 360-424-7991 Oak Harbor: 360-814-6200 Sedro-Woolley: 360-856-4222 Stanwood: 360-629-1600 Cascade Skagit Health Alliance Arlington: 360-618-5000 SKAGIT VALLEY HOSPITAL REGIONAL CANCER CARE CENTER In Person: 307 South 13th St., Ste. 100 Mount Vernon, WA

COVER PHOTO Electrophysiologist Ramy Hanna, MD is the newest member of the cardiac care team at Skagit Valley Hospital.

New Physicians

OB-GYN, nephrologist, pediatrician and surgeon join medical staff


Photo by Linda Wright

Message from the Board


Focusing on the future of health care


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

HealthQuest Classes 29

Skagit Valley Hospital 38 Services

For additional copies or more information, contact Outreach and Media Coordinator Linda Wright at 360-814-2325 or go to our Web site at www.

HealthQuest Classes 27

Stanwood & Camano Island

Mount Vernon

HealthQuest Class 39 Registration

HealthQuest Fall 2012


Electrophysiologist joins award winning cardiac team Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. However, local patients have the opportunity to combat this deadly disease with access to comprehensive and award-winning cardiovascular care. The newest addition to the cardiovascular team is electrophysiologist Ramy Hanna, MD. Cardiac electrophysiology is the study, diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm or electrical disease (arrhythmia). “An electrophysiologist diagnoses and treats heart rhythm disease in many ways. One route is by medicines that we are specifically trained to use. Another is by implanting pacemakers and defibrillators (ICDs) to treat people whose hearts either go too slow or too fast,” said Dr. Hanna. “The final treatment is by using catheters that are inserted into the heart through blood vessels in the legs in order to diagnose and ablate abnormal circuits in the heart muscle.” Area cardiologists are pleased to offer electrophysiology locally and welcome the addition of Dr. Hanna to the team. “Dr. Hanna comes from the internationally renowned University of Washington electrophysiology program and brings with him the latest techniques and procedures

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for treating cardiac arrhythmias. His addition to the cardiology team will mean that patients can get state-of-the-art heart rhythm treatment right here and rounds out the Skagit Regional Heart and Vascular Institute as providing a full line of cardiovascular services to our community,” said Cardiologist Robert Stewart, MD. Electrophysiology is also a cornerstone of the comprehensive program at Skagit Valley Hospital, which is home to the area’s only cardiac catheterization labs. Skagit Valley Hospital is ranked number one in Washington State for coronary interventions from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading health care ratings company. For the third time in the past four years, SVH received the HealthGrades Coronary Intervention Excellence Award in recognition of being in the top 10 percent in the nation and received a five-star rating for coronary intervention procedures, including angioplasty and stent placements.

Dr. Hanna works closely with the cardiovascular team at Skagit Regional Clinics. Cardiologists typically diagnose, treat and prevent disease in the “plumbing” of the heart. An electrophysiologist is trained to do the same for the “electricity” of the heart. “The two systems are inseparable,” said Dr. Hanna, “Diseases in the plumbing often lead to diseases in the electrical system of the heart and vice versa. As we age, we are more apt to develop disease in both the plumbing and electrical systems. Most often a cardiologist and electrophysiologist work together to treat the same patient.” Dr. Hanna moved to the Pacific Northwest four years ago following completion of his medical training at the University of California, Davis and his residency at UCLA. He completed cardiology and electrophysiology fellowships at the University of Washington prior to joining Skagit Regional Health in August. The blend of science and personal connections he develops with patients make Dr. Hanna’s job enjoyable. “Growing up with a father who is a physician, I became interested in the medical field early on in life. That interest grew into a goal as I became intrigued by human anatomy and

physiology as a college student,” he said. “Ultimately, aside from the science, what I love most about being a physician is my interaction with patients. I put as much value in that interaction and its powerful benefits as I do in the science of medicine.” Dr. Hanna has found that the key to building successful relationships with his patients is clear communication, good listening and active investigating. “I like to build trusting relationships with my patients because I feel that trust is integral in, and just as important as, the technical aspects of the care I provide for them,” he said. Regular technologic advances keep Dr. Hanna intrigued with his field. “One of the things that drew me to electrophysiology is the fact that the field is heavily driven by advances in technology. The procedures that previously had to be performed surgically can now be safely performed via catheters with an overnight hospital stay. For me, that is very exciting and only a glimpse into the potential the field has,” he said. Improving the cardiovascular health in the local community is among Dr. Hanna’s top priorities. “I feel that there is an immense patient population here that can benefit from the services that we can provide, whether it is from device implantation or ablations for abnormal heart rhythms. I hope to grow with what is already an excellent and very well established cardiology group here at Skagit Valley and, in turn, provide these additional services to our patients so that they do not have to travel in order to receive complete cardiac care,” said Dr. Hanna.

Foundation raising funds for new cardiac care space The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation has launched a $350,000 fund-raising campaign to create a new Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit at Skagit Valley Hospital. More than 50 percent of the patients who utilize the special observation unit are cardiac patients and many are seen in the cardiac catheterization lab. The new nine-bed unit will provide enhanced space and privacy for patients. For more information go to www.

Congestive Heart Failure Clinic offers helping hand to patients The newly formed Congestive Heart Failure Clinic at Skagit Valley Hospital provides education and follow up to keep patients healthier and out of the hospital. The clinic opened in March 2012. Prior to the clinic start, the readmission rate for patients with Congestive Heart Failure within 30 days was 28 percent, while the national average was 23 percent. With the support of the clinic staff, the readmission rate dropped to 16 percent in the first three months of the program and 100 percent of patients referred to the program avoided returning to the hospital. Inpatients referred to the program are visited daily while in the hospital by the Congestive Heart Failure nurse who then follows up with the

patient by phone after discharge and schedules an appointment with Joel Meckstroth, ARNP in cardiology within five to seven days. The patient then participates in five additional weekly sessions in the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic with a focus on lifestyle, diet, weight, medications and exercise to improve patient management of their illness. For more information about the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic, call 360-428-2122. (Above) Skagit Valley Hospital's Congestive Heart Failure Clinic team includes, from left, Allyson Watts, RN; Juanita Wolf, RN; Joel Meckstroth, ARNP; Trish Magill, RN; and Arlene Peregrino, RN.

Top 100

• Recipient of the HealthGrades Coronary Intervention Excellence Award™ in 2012 • Ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Coronary Interventional Procedures in 2012 • Ranked #1 in WA for Coronary Interventional Procedures in 2012 • Five-Star Rated for Coronary Interventional Procedures in 2012

For more information about HealthGrades®, the leading independent health care ratings organization, visit HealthQuest Fall 2012


Hyperbaric Oxygen Program

Two Mount Vernon residents are among the many local patients to receive healing help with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) treatment at the Wound Healing Center at Skagit Valley Hospital.

“HBO is the only thing in the world able to heal tissue damaged by radiation and it works,” said Dr. Zwick. “For patients with radiation damage, they need to know it’s treatable.”

For Randy Koster, the treatments helped heal tissue damaged by radiation treatment for prostate cancer prior to a major surgery in March 2011. Having HBO treatment available locally, rather than having to travel to Seattle, was a major advantage, he said. “I feel that it definitely helped,” he said. “I was healthier and more prepared going into the surgery.”

The hyperbaric oxygen chamber allows 100 percent oxygen to be delivered under pressure to each patient. These conditions allow the lungs to drink in up to 10 times more oxygen than would be possible when breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. This infusion of oxygen helps promote the growth of new blood vessels, which aids in healing.

HBO is successful in treating patients after radiation therapy, said Orthopedic Surgeon Robert Zwick, MD, medical director of the Wound Healing Center.

For Billee Metcalf, the treatment has helped her recover from April 2011 surgery on her jaw. As a result of a serious infection, she broke her jaw, which required reconstruction. Her physicians recommended hyperbaric oxygen treatment to enable her recovery.

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“Hyperbaric oxygen is helpful for many facial surgeries so they decided it was something I should try,” Metcalf said. “My doctor believes hyperbaric did a world of good for me. I feel blessed that I was cared for here close to my home.” Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has been available at Skagit Valley Hospital since 2010 and is frequently used to help heal chronic wounds, diabetic ulcers, bone infection, failed skin grafts and post-radiation therapy injuries. “With HBO, these oxygen-starved tissues start growing blood vessels,” said Dr. Zwick. “Once the wound is healed, the increased metabolic demands of wound healing are no longer present and you no longer need HBO.” Patients receive 90-minute treatments, five days per week totaling 20 to 40 treatments, depending on the condition being treated and the body’s ability to grow blood vessels. The patient wears scrubs and lies down in an individual chamber made of clear acrylic, which allows the patient to see what is going on in

(Below) Orthopedic Surgeon Robert Zwick, MD and patient Randy Koster stand in front of one of two hyperbaric oxygen chambers in the Wound Healing Center at Skagit Valley Hospital.

the room and allows the hyperbaric technologist to have constant visual contact with the patient. An intercom system provides for conversation between patient and technologist and accommodates patient viewing of the personalized television screen mounted on the outside of the chamber.

Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends supports wound center

Koster and Metcalf report that the treatment is comfortable and they felt very well cared for by staff.

Since forming in 2009, this dedicated group of volunteers has raised more than $143,000 to benefit the Wound Healing Center. They have helped to fund formation of the hyperbaric oxygen program and fully funded the recent remodel of the Wound Healing Center’s lobby.

“It was very relaxing. You can watch TV and relax. I was very comfortable,” Koster said of his experience with 30 hyperbaric oxygen sessions. “I have never been around kinder, more concerned people than they were there in the clinic,” Metcalf said of her 30 treatments. “I was really impressed. It was entirely pleasant.” Both patients are thankful that the service is available close to home. “It’s wonderful to have it locally, right here, where it is accessible,” Koster said. “The experience was really good, I thought.” 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. The Sonya Beard Hyperbaric Oxygen Program opened Summer 2010 and features two hyperbaric chambers. The HBO program is named for Mrs. Beard of Mount Vernon, who, before her death in May 2010, donated $165,000 to pay for two Sechrist monoplace hyperbaric oxygen chambers at Skagit Valley Hospital. The program has ongoing support from the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends.

The Wound Healing Center at Skagit Valley Hospital benefits from the loyal, ongoing support of the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends.

The Circle is named in memory of Gail Iverson, whose family is appreciative of the care Mr. Iverson received at the Wound Healing Center.

The group’s fund-raising total just took another jump after the Circle’s annual fund-raising event. This year, the group hosted a “1930’s Bluegrass Picnic” in August. In years past, the event themes have included polo and “Under the Big Top.”

New Mental Health Center opens U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, state Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and Skagit Regional Health Chief Executive Officer Gregg Davidson mark the opening of the new Mental Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital in May. Federal and state funding combined with $1 million from the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation and capital funds committed by the hospital’s Board of Commissioners paid for the $3.2 million project. The new Mental Health Center offers enhanced privacy, safety and a healing environment, more

than doubling the space dedicated to inpatient mental health services. The new facility features private patient rooms, allowing the unit to operate at its 15-bed licensed capacity, improving access to mental health care in the community. The unit includes a large common room for meals and activities, a small outdoor patio space, two seclusion rooms, and a secure corridor to allow visitors access to meet with a patient, without walking through the unit. Colors, lighting and artwork were carefully selected to create a healing environment.

For more information call the Sonya Beard Hyperbaric Oxygen Program at 360-814-2600.

HealthQuest Fall 2012


Residents arrive at Skagit Regional Health

Inaugural group of

Skagit Regional Health welcomed its first group of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residents in July 2012.

Eight residents started orientation and training in June 2012 at Skagit Regional Health, including six in Family Medicine and two in Internal Medicine. Here is a brief introduction to our Graduate Medical Education Program’s first group of residents:

Residency is a stage of medical training following graduation from medical school. A resident is a physician who has earned a medical degree and is receiving in-depth training in a specific medical specialty. Each resident at Skagit Regional Health has received a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. “Beginning the residency program is a milestone for Skagit Regional Health,” said Director of Medical Education Jeanne Crump, DO, PhD. The inaugural group consists of eight residents who offer outpatient appointments to patients at Skagit Regional Clinics’ Mount Vernon and Stanwood locations. Some residents also staff a hospitalist service, caring for patients at Skagit Valley Hospital. The residents practice under the supervision of local, established physicians who confirm their findings and approve all treatment decisions to ensure high quality care. “The residency program will benefit patients in our community by increasing primary care access over time. It will take a couple years to build this capacity, but we will see more availability of doctors for patients,” said Dr. Crump. “I expect that patients will enjoy interacting with the residents, who are all bright and enthusiastic young people.”

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The Graduate Medical Education program at Skagit Regional Health began in 2010 with a group of 12 third-year medical students. Two years later, the program has expanded to include two residency programs with six Family Medicine and two Internal Medicine residents. Jhoanna Santos, MD, Internal Medicine physician at Skagit Regional Clinics Mount Vernon, serves as Residency Program Director for the Internal Medicine program while Dr. Crump serves as Residency Program Director for the Family Medicine program. Dr. Crump said she anticipates that the Graduate Medical Education program will continue to grow to meet the needs of the community. “Over the next few years, we will increase the number of residents. Both Family Medicine and Internal Medicine are three-year programs, so as we admit a new class each year, our numbers will go up. It is the goal of Skagit Regional Health’s residency program to fill community needs, so we will be looking at ways to interact with the community and support its well-being,” said Dr. Crump. She noted that a psychiatry residency program is planned at Skagit Regional Health in the future. In addition to offering local patients improved access to outpatient appointments with the addition of resident doctors, Dr. Crump expects that the Graduate Medical Education program will help recruit primary care physicians to the area which will benefit the entire community.

Internal Medicine Both residents in Internal Medicine are familiar faces. Trent Sensiba, DO and Heather Preissler, DO both spent the past two years completing medical school rotations at Skagit Valley Hospital and graduated with Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences’ (PNWU) first class in May. The Internal Medicine residency will span three years. Dr. Sensiba is originally from Redmond and holds a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and an EMT certificate from College of the Desert in Palm Springs. Prior to medical school, he worked as a wellness coach and personal trainer. Dr. Preissler grew up in Duvall and attended Bellevue Community College and Central Washington University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in biology. She worked as a dental assistant for seven years before entering medical school.

residents begins training Family Medicine Two of the six residents in Family Medicine are in their second year of residency, having transferred from other programs to Skagit Valley Hospital. Tania Hernandez, DO, spent her childhood in Mexico City and moved as a teen-ager to Monroe. She attended the University of Washington and graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania. She completed an internship at Chino Medical Center in California. Mary Pendergrass, DO, grew up in Missouri, received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated from A.T. Still UniversityKirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri. She completed a traditional rotating internship at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, MO.

Four Family Medicine residents are starting their three-year program. Hanh Hoang, DO, emigrated from Vietnam as a child and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in biochemistry. She is from Seattle and graduated from PNWU in 2012 after completing medical student rotations in Puyallup.

Sharon Brown Kunin, DO, MS, is

originally from Oakland and her parents are both physicians. She has lived in Seattle for the past three years. She earned a Master’s in Maternal and Child Health from the Harvard School of Public Health and received her medical degree from Touro University in Vallejo, Calif. Thomas Carmine Van Deven, DO

is originally from the Chicago area and is a graduate of Midwestern University near Phoenix. He completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science at Illinois State University and graduated from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. Mark Pedri, DO, MPH, earned his undergraduate degree in biopsychology at the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Public Health at Loma Linda University. He earned his medical degree at the University of New England. Originally from Maryland, he plans to follow his residency with a fellowship in integrative medicine.

Class of 2014 arrives at Skagit Regional Health

The third class of third-year medical students from Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima has arrived at Skagit Regional Health.

The Graduate Medical Education program started at Skagit Regional Health in 2010 with the arrival of the first 12 medical students who graduated in May from PNWU and are on to residencies. Eleven more students arrived in 2011 and are entering their fourth-year studies based in Mount Vernon. Ten new third-year students arrived in early July to begin rotations in a variety of fields ranging from inpatient intensive care and emergency medicine to outpatient pediatrics and family practice. Here is a look at the Class of 2014: Dion Booras grew up in Billings, Montana and attended Rocky Mountain College and Harvard University. Upon completing a Master’s in Theological Studies, he decided to pursue medical school in order to better serve the community. He has been a resident of Seattle for the past seven years, lives in West Seattle with his wife Ruby and has a goal to live and work in the Northwest.

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RESIDENTS Group photo 1 - Sharon Brown Kunin, DO, MS 2 - Hanh Hoang, DO 3 - Mark Pedri, DO, MPH 4 - Heather Preissler, DO 5 - Carmine Van Deven, DO 6 - Tania Hernandez, DO 7 - Trent Sensiba, DO 8 - Mary Pendergrass, DO HealthQuest Fall 2012


Class of 2014 Continued FROM page 9 Jordan Collier grew up in Kent and graduated from the University of Washington in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. His interest in medicine started early when he visited his mother in her work as a nurse. He and his wife Laura recently had their first child. He enjoys basketball, soccer, golf, water skiing, painting and traveling. Jessica Dibari grew up in California and moved to Selah, Wash. while in high school. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in biochemistry. She worked as an intern at ZymoGenetics and earned a Master’s in Chemistry at Portland State University. She is involved with the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, was president of the chapter at PNWU and serves as the secretary of the national student board. She enjoys skiing, travel, running, hiking, camping and watching movies. Tomoko Hamma is originally from Japan and came to the United States to attend Eastern Washington University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry. She attended Johns Hopkins University and received a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She served as a research scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. After

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the birth of her son, she decided to become an osteopathic physician. She has lived in Lynnwood for the past 10 years with her fiveyear-old son Kazuhito and husband James. She enjoys spending time with family, crafts, cooking, wind surfing and guitar.

Kirkland and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Seattle University. She worked as an interpreter in the Lake Washington School District before deciding to attend medical school. She enjoys travel, cooking, shoe shopping and napping.

Julie Johnson grew up in Leavenworth and attended Northwest Nazarene University as a biology and chemistry major. She worked with a professor in Alzheimer’s research and spent three months after graduation as a volunteer in a southern India hospital. She enjoys wake surfing, being outside and active, and travel.

Ashley Snyder grew up in Bothell and attended Everett Community College and Pepperdine University where she received a degree in Biology. She has spent time as a physical therapist aide and hospital volunteer. She enjoys time with family and friends, hiking, cooking, camping, gardening, music, reading and sports.

Helen Lee-Garrard grew up in Palatine, Illinois, outside of Chicago, and has lived in Seattle since 1997. She received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a certificate in criminal justice. She earned a Master’s of Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta and for 13 years worked in quality improvement for Qualis Health in Seattle. She is married and has two daughters. She enjoys exercise, reading, hiking and travel. Tara Nair was born in England and moved to the Netherlands and Canada before her family settled in Redmond. She attended the International Community School in

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Erica Swenson grew up in the EverettMill Creek area and attended The College of Idaho, where she received a degree in Biology. She spent a month volunteering at a pediatric hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. She enjoys the outdoors, running, skiing, hiking, biking, swimming, backpacking and playing soccer. Sean Thrush grew up in Ketchikan, Alaska and received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Whitworth University in Spokane. He worked for two years as a lab assistant in a Ketchikan hospital. He enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking and fishing, crossfit and hot yoga, and plays guitar and saxophone.

Group photo 1 - Helen Lee-Garrard, 2 - Julie Johnson, 3 - Tara Nair, 4 - Dion Booras, 5 - Jessica Dibari, 6 - Jordan Collier, 7 - Ashley Snyder, 8 - Erica Swenson, 9 - Tomoko Hamma, 10 - Sean Thrush

What are

PAs& ARNPs Concerns about the number of physicians available to care for an ever-increasing number of patients has been the subject of national news in recent months. In the 1960s, similar concerns were voiced and resulted in the creation of new medical professional positions titled Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) and the Physician Assistant (PA), which are widely used today. The Skagit Regional Health medical staff currently includes more than 20 nurse practitioners and certified physician assistants in a variety of specialties, including family medicine, internal medicine, dermatology, sleep medicine, orthopedics, cardiology, women’s health, surgery and urology. Duke University hosted the first class of Physician Assistants in 1965, which was made up of Navy corpsmen who had received medical training during their time in the military. The PA curriculum was based on the training that allowed

doctors to receive “fast track” training during World War II. The PA medical program was an immediate success and left a lasting impact on the medical world today. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, there are more than 79,000 graduates of PA programs in the United States today.

Nurse practitioner programs also developed during the same time period. The first nurse practitioner program opened in 1965 at the University of Colorado in an effort to help improve access to pediatric health care. Today, there are more than 200 university and college nurse practitioner programs to train nurses to care for patients of all ages. To date, more than 70,000 nurse practitioners have been trained. Both nurse practitioners and PAs are authorized to practice medicine in all 50 states. The PA and ARNP roles are very similar and are described well by

By Rochelle Trussell, MMS, PA-C and Edythe Garvey, ARNP the American College of Nurse Practitioners stating that they, “…are prepared, through advanced education and clinical training, to provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages.” Both PAs and ARNPs perform an array of services, many of which are similar to a physician. This includes taking patients’ health histories, performing physical examinations, diagnosing and treating acute and chronic problems, interpreting lab results and X-rays, prescribing medications and other therapies, referring patients to other health professionals when needed and performing minor surgeries. Nurse practitioners’ level of independence varies by state; some states allow independent practice for nurse practitioners (not requiring any physician supervision), some work with a physician. Physician assistants practice medicine in collaboration with a supervising physician. Nurse practitioners, including ARNP’s who are Certified Nurse Midwives, and physician assistants are playing an ever-increasing role in providing patient care nationally and locally. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of PA jobs will increase by 27 percent between 2006 and 2016 due to this need to improve access to healthcare while keeping it as affordable as possible.

Sheila Kenning, ARNP, examines a patient in Pediatrics at Skagit Regional Clinics, Mount Vernon.

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Skagit Regional Health Names New Chief Operating Officer Mike Liepman, a veteran Northwest health care executive, joined Skagit Regional Health in June as Chief Operating Officer. “I have used Skagit Valley Hospital as an icon of what a medium-sized hospital can do if it really listens to its community and has a mission to grow and provide the best array and quality of services the region can support,” Liepman said. “It is really exciting for me to come and be a part of it.”

Most recently, Liepman served as Chief Executive Officer at Valley General Hospital, a 112-bed facility in Monroe, with more than 400 employees.

Liepman started his health care career on the financial side, but as a selfdescribed “people person” found it limiting.

“It’s all about the patient, the visitor, the physician, the volunteer and the employees,” he said. “My objective is to provide our people with the resources and support they need to take care of those who are coming through our doors. Every encounter is important. The environmental services person is just as important as the nurse and the physician, we are all part of a team dedicated to providing excellence in patient care.”

“I like the financial side and the data side, but I found myself yearning to spend more time with people,” he said, noting he enjoys rounding in hospital departments to visit with employees, visitors and patients. Liepman’s experience includes serving as Vice President of Guest Services and Facilities for the Franciscan Health System in Tacoma and he spent 25 years in Spokane as

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Chief Operating Officer at Empire Health Services and Chief Executive Officer for Valley Hospital and Medical Center.

“I take things away from everywhere I go,” he said. “I have a solid set of experiences that will help me meet just about any situation we’re going to face.” The focus is on the people, he said.

Liepman is a graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Accounting and received a Master of Health Science from Whitworth College in Spokane.

Skagit Regional Health Hires First Chief Medical Officer Connie Davis, MD, is the first Chief Medical Officer at Skagit Regional Health. Dr. Davis, a nephrologist, previously served as Director of the Kidney Care Line and Co-Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant program at the University of Washington, where she is on the faculty of the School of Medicine.

said Chief Executive Officer Gregg Davidson, FACHE. “This is essential to moving forward boldly into the new era of healthcare transformation

Physician leaders welcome the addition of a Chief Medical Officer at Skagit Regional Health. The organization employs 130 primary and specialty care providers, since integrating with Skagit Valley Medical Center in 2010 to form Skagit Regional Clinics.

“I am very excited to be joining such a forward thinking and looking organization focused on improving community health,” said Dr. Davis, who started her new duties in July. “It is a wonderful opportunity to be at the forefront of new developments in care delivery and continuing the improvements in care quality.” The Chief Medical Officer at Skagit Regional Health is a member of the Executive Team and will be responsible for medical affairs, leadership and communications on the clinical components of the health care delivery system. She works closely with providers and administration, to gain alignment throughout the health care community, assure the provision of high-quality patient care and to advance primary care education through the Graduate Medical Education program. “I believe this is an exciting advancement for our health care community and a reflection of the changing health care landscape,”

Dr. Davis earned a certificate in medical management and recently completed the Executive Master’s in Health Administration program at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

as we seek to advance medicine and create a better-aligned health system for the benefit of our patients and the communities we serve.” Dr. Davis received her medical degree at the University of Washington and went on to residencies and a nephrology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Schools Hospitals and Clinics, and a research fellowship at Ludwig Maximillan University in Munich. She is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology.

“I’m excited to have Dr. Davis join the Skagit Regional Health team as the Chief Medical Officer,” said Cardiologist Robert Stewart, MD, chairman of the Skagit Regional Clinics Physician Governance Committee. “Her addition will provide another voice of the providers’ perspective at the executive team level and strengthen the vital relationship between providers and administration as we work collaboratively to solve the upcoming challenges facing healthcare. Her energy and experience will allow us to move forward in developing initiatives that will position Skagit Regional Health for success in the future.” “This will boost a physician to a position of authority, not just influence,” said Dr. Richard Abbott, Quality Medical Advisor. “Having a strong physician leader will help advance our efforts in quality, process improvement, budgeting and operations.”

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Radiation Oncologist Michal Whiton, MD prepares a patient for treatment at the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center.

Regional Cancer Care Center:

Comprehensive cancer care, access to leading research Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center is honored to be a network member of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). SCCA unites Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s. The network membership, in place since 2005, allows providers and their patients at the Regional Cancer Care Center access to the latest in clinical trials and research. Physicians note that the connection to SCCA is an important advantage. Access to clinical trials is among the advantages that the affiliation brings. Clinical trials are the newest treatments for cancer patients, as medicine continues to seek solutions to each cancer diagnosis. “Patients want cutting-edge care which many times is only available at academic centers. This affiliation puts us at the forefront,” said Medical Oncologist Kiarash Kojouri, MD, MPH. “Our affiliation with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is an important component of the services we offer at our cancer center,” said Theodore Kim, DO, Medical Director of The Breast

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Institute at the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center. “As part of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, we have dedicated support from a world renowned cancer center.” Radiation Oncologist David Kantorowitz, MD, PhD appreciates the opportunity to access the latest in clinical trials, including current offerings related to breast cancer and prostate cancer. “Trials are a way we can give our patients the most up-to-date group of treatments,” Dr. Kantorowitz said. “All of the trials are state of the art. Being involved in a trial is an opportunity for patients to help add to the knowledge base of how we manage cancer, and that knowledge is used to treat people in the future.”

Clinical trials, Oncologist Mehrdad Jafari, MD notes, have been the key to improving cancer care. These trials are very strictly reviewed and selected, with patients closely monitored throughout the trial. “Clinical trials are a chance to advance the therapy beyond the standard of care, both for the individual patient, who is enrolled, and for the whole patient population as a group,” says Dr. Jafari, Medical Director for The Regional Cancer Care Center. “Many of the clinical trials being offered here are also done at a regional or even national level at multiple centers simultaneously.” “No significant progress (in cancer care treatment) would have happened if not for these clinical trials,” he said. “Our connection to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance research is a real benefit to the patients of our community”. For more information about our clinical trials program or our network membership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, go to and select Cancer Care.

Breast Cancer Starts with You If there is one cancer that most women worry about, it is breast cancer. Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women, and is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women. This poses the question to women and the providers who treat breast cancer; can breast cancer be prevented? Cancer prevention is being studied for all types of cancer, and includes vaccines, lifestyle changes, eating habits, avoiding things known to cause cancer, and, in some instances, taking medicines to treat precancerous conditions. Risk factors that increase the chance of developing cancer can often be avoided. Smoking is a risk factor for many types of cancer. Choosing not to smoke, or making the decision to stop, eliminates that risk factor. There are protective factors that can lower your risk for developing cancer as well. Maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, eating a healthful diet, and trying to reduce stress in your life are all associated with cancer prevention, including breast cancer. Some risk factors are unavoidable. The top two risk factors for developing breast cancer are gender and age. Heredity also plays a role, as some people have a genetic pre-disposition for developing certain kinds of cancers. Genetic testing can be done for women with a family history of breast cancer, and may help motivate them to take charge of the risk factors

that are in their control. Active participation in preventive activities such as eating well, getting regular exercise and taking care to decrease the stressors in your life are all part of a cancer free lifestyle. In addition, studies indicate that early detection is your best protection for a good outcome if you are diagnosed with breast cancer. Annual screening mammography is still recommended for women over 40. The Breast Institute at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center exists to connect patients with the right specialists at the right time, so the newly diagnosed patient receives rapid, accurate and organized information regarding your treatment options. Care is coordinated by a patient navigator who will assure patients are seen by a team of highly trained and educated physicians, all committed to the patient’s recovery. Since opening in 2009, the volume of breast cancer patients has doubled, with nearly 200 women receiving care each year in the comprehensive program that spans diagnosis through survivorship. Do your part and take ownership of your health to prevent breast cancer: know your risks, get screened, be a survivor! For more information on breast cancer or The Breast Institute, please visit us at www.

The Pink Heals Tour is coming to Mount Vernon! Watch for the pink fire truck from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13 in the former G.I. Joes parking lot on College Way in Mount Vernon. A portion of the proceeds from T-shirt sales will benefit the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center.

Physician, breast cancer survivor to share her story Kimberly H. Allison, MD, Director of Breast Pathology at the University of Washington Medical Center, was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer at age 33. During her treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, she found reading about and talking about the experiences of other survivors gave her strength and helped calm her fears. As a result, at the end of her treatment, Dr. Allison wrote Red Sunshine, reflecting on her journey through breast cancer treatment to enlighten other patients. Dr. Allison is the keynote speaker at the Oct. 18 Women’s Health Luncheon. For more information, see page 29.

Radiation oncologist published An article by David Kantorowitz, MD, PhD, radiation oncologist at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and Peter Jiang, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at Everett Clinic, is the top article quoted in the field of chemo radiation for a rare form of facial sarcoma. The article, titled “A novel effective therapy for refractory angiosarcoma of the face and scalp” was published in Clinical Advances in Hematology and Oncology in June 2011, is now widely cited in the field. “In our field, this is a primary way that we disseminate information on what works for patients and allows us to share our results and help everybody to learn,” Dr. Kantorowitz said.

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Certified instructor Natalie Gustafson, MS, LMFT, encourages Renee Sexton in strength training in a Fit4Baby session at Hillcrest Park in Mount Vernon.


New program helps prepare pregnant women for childbirth, provides social network Motherhood is physically demanding, especially for pregnant women and new moms. The labor and delivery process, plus holding, lifting and moving the new baby, can take a huge physical toll on a woman’s body. Skagit Valley Hospital now offers a class for pregnant women to help improve strength and stamina while providing a social network that continues beyond the birth of the baby. The class called Fit4Baby is a pre-natal fitness class that is part of a national program. The certified instructor, Natalie Gustafson, MS, LMFT, said she is very excited to offer this class through the Family Birth Center at Skagit Valley Hospital.

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Gustafson, a mother of two children, has always had an interest in working with families. She has a master’s degree from Seattle Pacific University in Marriage and Family Therapy. “Being a mother is a very physical job and women are thrown into it, often when they are feeling most depleted; they are not sleeping normally while still recovering from labor and delivery,” Gustafson said. In the eight-week Fit4Baby class, moms work on cardio fitness, build strength using simple exercise equipment, and work on core exercises to strengthen the stomach and back that can help lifting and holding baby, feeding and moving the car seat.

“This class can help prepare moms for the physical demands of labor and delivery while helping them get back to feeling like themselves again shortly after the birth,” she said. Physical activity has also been proven to help improve mood and decrease depression. Each class ends with stretching to help alleviate the aches and pains of pregnancy, plus a relaxing meditation. “The social networks that form during the class often last beyond the baby’s birth,” Gustafson said. She helps facilitate building those relationships through moms’ nights out and other activities. Gustafson also teaches a class for new mothers called Stroller Strides through the local parks department. For more information about the Fit4Baby program see page 34 or call 360-814-2424.

Family Birth Center earns honors The state Department of Health and the March of Dimes recently recognized the Family Birth Center at Skagit Valley Hospital for leadership in reducing the number of elective deliveries before 39 weeks.

Cascade Skagit Health Alliance:

Multi-speciality clinic opens in Smokey Point Cascade Skagit Health Alliance, a 42,000-square foot multi-specialty medical facility in Smokey Point, is open and offering a wide variety of health care services in a convenient location just east of Interstate 5. The clinic is located at 3823 172nd Street NE and is a collaboration by Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics in Arlington and Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon. Providers offer primary and specialty health care services

including cancer care, cardiology, urology, family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, occupational medicine, women’s health, pharmacy, lab, X-ray and MRI. Urgent Care is open extended hours from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For holiday hours, see the Web site at

Family physician enjoys chance to care for the entire family Carmen Oprea, MD, new family medicine physician at Cascade Skagit Health Alliance in Smokey Point, was inspired to pursue a career in medicine because of her desire to help others. She completed her medical training at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. Upon completion of her training, she worked as an OB/GYN for seven years.

Dr. Oprea’s desire for a diverse practice that allowed her to use the skills she developed as an obstetrician, led her to complete a family medicine residency program at Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) South Arkansas in El Dorado, Arkansas. This residency program trained her to care for the health care needs of patients of any age while continuing to use her obstetric knowledge and expertise.

In 2010, the rate at Skagit Valley Hospital was 20 percent. In 2011, the rate dropped below the goal of 7 percent and efforts continue to bring the rate below 5 percent. “There are lots of important things happening during those last few weeks of pregnancy and it makes a big difference,” said Pat Proctor, RN, Director of the Family Birth Center. “Our big effort is on educating patients on the consequences of early deliveries. It’s for the healthy baby and for the baby’s benefit.” For more information, go to www.

Top 10 percent by HealthGrades Skagit Valley Hospital is among the top 10 percent in the nation for gynecologic surgery and the recipient of the Gynecological Surgery Excellence Award from HealthGrades, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital. Skagit Valley Hospital, one of 461 hospitals to receive a 5-Star designation in this category by HealthGrades, is committed to providing the women of Mount Vernon with the highest possible quality care. This is the second year in a row Skagit Valley Hospital has received this HealthGrades rating. “We’re doing more kinds of gynecologic surgery here than we have ever done before and this speaks very well to the totality of how well our patients are treated here at Skagit Valley Hospital,” said Robert Rosenfeld, MD, OB/GYN with Skagit Regional Clinics.

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Physician joins Mount Vernon Women’s Clinic Casey Graybill, MD says she found her calling when she discovered obstetrics and gynecology in medical school. “I had no clue I would go into OB-GYN when I started school, but once I did it, I really loved it,” she said. “I love taking care of women throughout so many different parts of their lives including the challenges that come with each one. I love the variety that comes with the field from clinic, to hospital, to surgeries to deliveries.” Dr. Graybill joined Mount Vernon Women’s Clinic in May, providing obstetrics and gynecology services. Dr. Graybill is a graduate of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, Calif. and completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

From 2009 until arriving in Mount Vernon this spring, Dr. Graybill served as department head in obstetrics and gynecology at the Guam SDA Clinic in Tamuning, Guam, and then participated on the faculty of a community residency program in Asheville, N.C. “I missed having more patient continuity and I missed building relationships with patients,” Dr. Graybill said. “That’s what drew me here. I enjoy developing a rapport with women and listening to their concerns. I like helping women understand their options and what’s available to them. I love helping women recognize what they need and how to keep themselves healthy and take charge of their health.” Dr. Graybill has also shared her skills internationally, taking humanitarian medical mission trips to Malawi, Africa; Pune, India; and Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

“These experiences have shown me how blessed we are here to have resources to meet our basic needs, which is something that we often take for granted,” she said. “It has impacted me to be grateful for what we have because there are so many women who are lacking those things. They are so appreciative when we come to help and that really puts things in perspective for me.” In her free time, Dr. Graybill enjoys spending time with her husband, Aaron, and young daughter. The family enjoys being outdoors, especially hiking, backpacking and camping. Longtime Mount Vernon Women’s Clinic physician John Knudsen, MD, has shifted his practice to gynecology only. Mount Vernon Women’s Clinic providers also include OB-GYNs Sara Rowland, MD and Daniel Bynum, MD and ARNPs Ruth Dolly Joern and Judith Chilcote.

Nephrologist joins local practice Hooman Hajian, MD, MPH brings an interest in research, engineering and human physiology to his practice as a nephrologist – or kidney disease specialist. “Nephrology is a system-based approach, which, from an engineering perspective makes more sense. It is based on a certain set of physiologic rules,” Dr. Hajian said. “If you know how the system works, then you know if you do something to the system, you can expect a specific outcome.” Dr. Hajian takes his interest in engineering and physiology, and folds it with the compassion as a physician working with patients who are at a vulnerable stage and often undergoing regular dialysis treatments.

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“I keep that in mind and am cognizant of this vulnerability and do my best to help them through the tough times,” he said. “I will do my best and everything in my power to help my patients. I respect their goals and welcome their input.”

of British Columbia, where he conducted prostate cancer research in conjunction with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Hajian joined North Sound Kidney Physicians and nephrologist C.J. Kuan, MD, in July and will serve patients at the practice’s offices in Mount Vernon, Everett and Coupeville.

He completed an internal medicine residency at Penn State University and in June finished a nephrology fellowship at the University of Washington.

He will support patients receiving dialysis at the Skagit Valley Kidney Center and with inpatient dialysis at Skagit Valley Hospital. Dr. Hajian received a Doctor of Medicine from Tehran University of Medical Sciences and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University. He completed a clinical research fellowship at the University

“That was a great opportunity for me to do first-time research from the ground up,” he said.

He said he values his education and experiences in his path to nephrology as a specialty. “I have been exposed to different health care systems, different patient populations and different patient expectations,” he said. “I have tried to keep the best of all of them and use that approach in my work.” Dr. Hajian and his wife have two daughters. Away from work, he said he enjoys time with family, movies, political satire and reading.

Cesar Dua, MD: Pediatrician inspired by JFK President John F. Kennedy once said, “Children are the world’s most valuable resources and the best hope for the future.” This sentiment led Skagit Regional Clinics’ newest physician, Cesar Dua, MD, to pursue a career in pediatrics. Dr. Dua received his medical degree from Cebu Institute of Medicine in Cebu City, Philippines where he said he found the study of the human body awe-inspiring. He chose to focus his studies on pediatrics because of the unique opportunity the specialty offers to follow a child from birth to adulthood. “Over time, I really feel like I become part of the extended family,” said Dr. Dua. Following medical school, Dr. Dua completed his residency training at Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children in Falls Church, Virginia.

Dr. Dua said he believes it is both an honor and privilege to care for his young patients and he sees the practice of pediatrics as a gift. “I have an indelible impact on the lives of so many people from patients to parents to caregivers and others,” he said. “Equally important, I can be a potential role model to my patients and others.” Dr. Dua describes himself as kind, compassionate and competent – attributes that many parents seek in a pediatrician. Dr. Dua comes to the Skagit Valley after practicing at non-profit, federally qualified health centers in central California for the last 15 years. “Their mission is to improve the health of patients in the community by providing quality health care services regardless of financial and cultural barriers. Undoubtedly, Skagit Regional Clinics remind me a lot of them,” said Dr. Dua.

In addition to being drawn to the mission of Skagit Regional Health, Dr. Dua has an affinity for the area. “Moving to Skagit Valley is a dream come true for me,” he said. “I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest on one of my excursions to Canada. The diverse geography, ranging from beautiful lakes to majestic mountains, enthralls me endlessly.” Dr. Dua looks forward to becoming a part of the local community. “I see myself serving the community, especially in places where my service is needed the most,” he said. “I also see myself deeply entrenched in teaching students, residents and others on medical issues ranging from the simplest to the most serious and complex conditions – as knowledge and skills allow.” Dr. Dua is fluent in the Filipino dialects of Tagalog, Cebuano and Chavacano, and speaks Spanish. In his free time, Dr. Dua enjoys traveling, having visited nearly threequarters of the world to date.

Joshua Hawkins, MD: SRC adds new surgeon From the time he was a young child, Joshua Hawkins, MD knew that he wanted to be a physician. His father and mother, an internal medicine nurse practitioner, encouraged and supported his desire to pursue a medical degree. After graduation from the University of Washington, Dr. Hawkins had the opportunity to work in the operating room of a local hospital, prepping the room for surgeries, and became fascinated by surgical specialties. “That experience put me on track to becoming a surgeon when I entered medical school,” he said. Dr. Hawkins received his medical degree from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York where he was the class valedictorian.

He completed his general surgery internship and residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. He joined Skagit Regional Clinics in August. “A good surgeon is the total package – an astute clinician in terms of medical knowledge who also has the necessary technical skills. Surgeons require an artistic side as well,” he said. Dr. Hawkins is trained in the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive surgery. He has a special interest in hepatobiliary surgery for the treatment of cancerous or benign conditions of the liver, bile ducts and pancreas. Dr. Hawkins has found general surgery to be an enjoyable and rewarding specialty.

“For me, it’s about being able to intervene in a patient’s life and make a profound impact for the better. I can help patients facing cancer or a painful illness and positively impact their life in a short amount of time,” he said. Dr. Hawkins looks forward to settling into life in the Skagit Valley. “My wife and I love the geographic area, the size and pace of life. We also appreciate the close access to mountains and water,” he said. In addition, the move brings them closer to family who live in the area. Dr. Hawkins and his wife have two young children. They enjoy being active outdoors including hiking, biking, skiing and sailing. Dr. Hawkins is also an avid climber and mountaineer.

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Hospice Foundation names new director The Hospice of the Northwest Foundation is proud to introduce the selection of Wendy Rohrbacher as the new Executive Director. Rohrbacher was formerly the Director of Philanthropy and Community Relations with Hospice of Kitsap County. Her prior experience also includes working as Director of Development for Olympic College Foundation as well as a non-profit agency she founded, Friends of Avery, which is dedicated to providing education and resources to people caring for a loved one with cancer.

Singin’ in the Rain set for October On Saturday, October 13, 2012, the Hospice of the Northwest Foundation will be “Singin’ in the Rain” at the organization’s 12th annual fund-raising auction. The event begins at 5 p.m. at Corporate Air Center at the Port of Skagit County for an evening that will include silent and live auctions, games, and a delicious dinner catered by Max Dales. Visit newsandevents.cfm for more information on the event, including ticket sales, sponsorship and donation information. Thank you to Jennifer Bowman for creating our wonderful “Rain People” 2012 auction artwork.

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New director, liaisons at Hospice of the Northwest Three staff appointments and a new referral center at Hospice of the Northwest have changed the public face of the organization in an effort to reach out to the four counties served by the nonprofit as well as simplify the admission process. Hospice of the Northwest provides care to patients in Skagit, San Juan, Island and north Snohomish counties. Jean Leib, RN, became the Executive Director of Hospice of the Northwest in May. She is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care nurse who graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin. Leib directed a home health agency in Colorado before relocating to Skagit County. First serving as an on-call nurse for Hospice, she then managed a full patient caseload before assuming the position of Quality Resource Manager in 2011. Leib served as Hospice’s Interim Executive Director before being appointed Executive Director. “My hope is to make meaningful, positive change in our communities’ enhanced understanding of the essential role of hospice in each of our lives,” Leib said. “We are all touched by death, in some fashion, at an expected or unexpected point. Hospice is here to make any related journey a bit less painful, a touch more beautiful.” Olivia Dozier, LPN serves as the new Clinical Liaison at Hospice of the Northwest. Dozier graduated with honors from the practical nursing program at Bellingham Technical College. She manages outreach to physicians and other clinicians at area hospitals, clinics, private practices and facilities.

Dozier makes informational visits to prospective patients and their families to explain hospice philosophy, goals and services. “I pride myself on being approachable, knowledgeable and able to form positive, effective professional relationships,” she said. Julie Pryor Barr, MA, is the new Community Liaison for Hospice of the Northwest. A graduate of University of Oregon, she is responsible for community relations and volunteer services. Barr coordinates more than 75 volunteers who offer support to hospice patients and their families, assist in the office or perform complementary services including massage and bedside music. She is also active in the community, giving presentations, and networking with area businesses, clubs and organizations. Barr has had a 35-year career directing public relations, marketing and volunteer programs. “I feel that my career has come full-circle as it has led me back to hospice,” Barr said. “Having recently taken care of a friend who was dying, I believe that this is where I am meant to be.” In order to accelerate the hospice admission process, Hospice of the Northwest has restructured its Referral Center. Services may be requested by calling 360-814-5586 or 814-4483.

F rom the B oard

Focusing on the future of health care The Board of Commissioners has been very busy the past few months while working in cooperation with two neighboring public hospital districts, Island Hospital to the west and Cascade Valley Hospital to the south.

We are each very proud of our independence and truly appreciate and recognize the significant community support we all enjoy. The three hospital districts are at the very beginning of the process and look forward to

"… we look forward to engaging with the residents of the communities we serve to make sure that we provide the services people need…" The reality of the need to improve the health of patients in our communities spans the continuum of care from within the hospital to the clinic setting, and leads to our desire to work together within our geographical service area for the benefit of all. The future of health care will be graded on the quality of services our patients receive in the hospital and clinics. More importantly, we look forward to engaging with the residents of the communities we serve to make sure that we provide the services people need and encourage access to the appropriate levels of care – including primary care and urgent care – to avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room or avoidable readmissions to the hospital. The initial conversations between the Skagit, Island and Cascade have led us to pursue the concept of reaching out to a larger system that may be able to provide the expertise, guidance and financial resources to meet the future demands that will exist with the community health concept.

providing opportunities for community involvement in the months to come. We also want to remind our community of the significant step in the process of meeting community health needs that opened five years ago: our beautiful expanded Skagit Valley Hospital. We remain grateful to the voters of Public Hospital District No. 1 for their overwhelming support of the $62.1 million bond issue to help build the 220,000 square foot expansion. When the opportunity arose this spring to look into refinancing the bond, we did not hesitate to see if there was a significant opportunity for savings to be realized for our taxpayers. The end result was not only a savings of $3.7 million to our taxpayers, but the process showed that we have a strong community and achieved a Moody’s Investors Services bond rating upgrade from A3 to A1, a rare achievement that illustrates financial strength.

Health care is a very complex industry and one that impacts everyone. Our vision “Each of us will contribute to making Skagit Regional Health the best regional integrated health system in the Northwest, dedicated to understanding and exceeding our patients expectations” is not just a platitude on our wall. This vision, with a firm focus on the patient, thrives within our walls, and is the focus of all we do. It is our privilege to serve you and know that we work diligently to govern the hospital with a close eye on financial stewardship and in the best interest of the community health.

(Above) Public Hospital District No. 1 Board of Commissioners: James Hobbs, Sr., Stan Olson, Jeff Miller, Pattie Lewis, Bruce Lisser, Balisa Koetje and Clark Todd.

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Assuring the availability of quality health care Our Mission 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 at Skagit Valley Hospital. The Foundation will foster awareness of and community support for Skagit Valley Hospital through the involvement of the people it serves.

New board members

The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is pleased to welcome two new members to our Skagit Valley Hospital family:

Board of Trustees Volunteers are the key to the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation’s efforts in securing philanthropy. We are pleased to acknowledge the efforts of our trustees, who unselfishly give their time and resources as an example to all, and who provide leadership in the Foundation’s prudent stewardship of gifts. Carmen AndersonBruner Dee Berglin Susan Brown Chris Cammock Jill Christensen Debbie Connolly Gregg Davidson Gary Fiedler Marcia Johnson June Jordan Virginia Learned Bruce Lisser Corey Mendoza Kevin Mendoza Jean Miller Christie Peterson Jill Pickering Jaynie Roozen

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Richard Roozen Deanna Scott Brett Simbe Jim Spane Bob Taylor Shirley Watkinson Dr. Rob Zwick

Staff Linda Frizzell Executive Director Wendy Ragusa Development Coordinator Becky Wells Development Associate

Jill Pickering is the co-owner and catering director for Max Dale’s Steak and Chop House and the Stanwood Grill. She lives in Mount Vernon with her husband Danny and their children. Jill is a volunteer at First Lutheran Church and is also a yoga instructor at Riverwalk Yoga Studio.

Jim Spane, owner of Spane Buildings, Inc., resides in Mount Vernon with his wife Lacey and their family. Jim is active in the Skagit-Island County Builders Association and many other community organizations.

Remodel of Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit Will Benefit Patients The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is proud to be championing a $350,000 fund-raising campaign to create a new Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit at Skagit Valley Hospital. More than 50 percent of the patients who utilize the special observation unit are cardiac patients who are seen pre or post procedure.

Many are utilizing the cardiac catherization services or are receiving cardiac diagnostic services. The new nine-bed unit will be created in the hospital’s diagnostic wing, adjacent to the cardiac catherization labs. The new unit will allow the same level of excellent observation care in an updated, private setting.



May 28 - Ju ne


17, 2012

Please cons ider makin g Campaign today. Gifts a gift to the Employe e Giving of any size will make a difference!

$42,200 Raised Jeanne Crum p

156 golfers played in the ninth annual Par Tee Golf Classic, which took place on July 13, 2012 at Eaglemont Golf Course in Mount Vernon. The tournament, played in scramble format, began at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start. Golfers were treated to lunch, dinner, putting contests, use of a golf cart, activities and refreshments at each hole. Other features included hole-inone prizes, raffle, silent auction, • Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts • BAC Enterprises, Inc. • Big Lake Fire Auxiliary • Chad Fisher Construction LLC • Comprehensive Pharmacy Services • CPI Plumbing & Heating • D.A. Davidson – Reep/Elliott Group • EMC Electric, Inc. • Express Employment Professionals • Foster Pepper PLLC • Reed Harlow • Hilde Family Dentistry • Alfie Hill • Jack Carroll’s Skagit Hyundai • Judd & Black • Labcorp Inc./Dynacare Laboratories • Leverage Information Systems • MacGregor Publishing Company/Yellowbook • McAdams Wright Ragen – Corey Mendoza & Jeff Stewart • Meyer Sign & Advertising • Lithtex NW • North Sound Kidney Physicians • Optimum Properties

progressive poker and many giveaways! This year’s event raised a gross $47,200 with a net of $32,200. Proceeds will benefit the Cancer Care Patient Assistance fund and the Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit remodel project. The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation would also like to thank the following sponsors for contributing to the success of this year’s tournament: • Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences • Pat Rimmer Tire Centers – Les Schwab • Keith & Christie Peterson • Piper Jaffray • Premera Blue Cross • Ravnik & Associates • Resource Corporation of America • Richard & Jaynie Roozen • Riverside Chiropractic Clinic • S B & C, LTD • Seattle Cancer Care Alliance • Steve Schultz • Sims Honda • Skagit Valley Hospital Guild • Skagit Endodontics LLC • State Farm Insurance – Carol Lawson, Brad Methner & Keith Sorestad • Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. • The Unity Group • Thomas Cuisine/Skagit Bistro • TRICO Contracting, Inc. • Washington Casualty Company • Washington Lettuce & Vegetable Company • Val & Rob Zwick

Director of Gra Medical Edu duate cation

Julie Dean

Patient Car e Supervisor spons



Skagit Regional Health Employees Care! The incredible employees of Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Regional Clinics gave generously during the 2012 Employee Giving Campaign titled “i care.” An amazing $25,595 was given to the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation through payroll deductions, cashed out vacation time and direct gifts. Funds were also raised through a raffle. Employees designate their gifts to care areas of Skagit Valley Hospital to provide program support and equipment purchases. It is the mission of the Foundation that these gifts and other funds raised throughout the year will enable us to continue to support high quality care for the patients we serve. The Foundation thanks the employees of Skagit Regional Health for their continued support!!

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A Sense of Community The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is delighted to continue its partnership with Associated Petroleum Products (APP) on the foundation’s signature fund-raising event – the annual Festival of Trees. Since 2006, APP has served as the event’s title sponsorship. “We are grateful for this relationship and APP’s commitment to focus on organizations and issues that benefit the well-being of their customers’ communities,” says Linda Frizzell, Foundation Executive Director. Founded in Tacoma, Washington in 1972, APP is one of the largest fullservice providers of fuel, lubricants and propane products in the State of Washington with offices in Tacoma and Sedro-Woolley. Gary Fiedler, APP’s Sedro-Woolley plant manager joined the Foundation board in 2007 and serves as the board’s assistant treasurer and logistics chair for the Festival of Trees. “My family has lived in the Skagit Valley for 40 years and has utilized Skagit Valley Hospital many times. When my mom developed cancer, I knew I wanted to be part of the campaign to raise funds to build the hospital’s Regional Cancer Care Center. I was pleased to join the board to help make this a reality,” shares Gary.

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Fuels Generosity

Standing outside of APP's Tacoma headquarters are (left to right) Gary Fiedler, SVHF Trustee and APP Manager, Wendy Ragusa, SVHF Development Coordinator and Frank Pupo, Jr., Executive V.P. and COO.

APP’s leadership has always been a family affair. Lifelong friends Luke Xitco, President and CEO and Frank Pupo, Jr., Executive Vice President and COO, took the business over from their fathers in the mid-1990s. The blending of Frank’s background in accounting and economics and Luke’s professional experience in marketing and management lent itself naturally to have the second generation lead APP into the 21st century. The gentlemen have created a “family business culture.”

“We are first and foremost APP employees,” says Frank. “We strongly believe in our business and its’ mission of high quality products and service. Our partnership and leadership styles have helped foster our success.” With company revenues exceeding $650 million and more than 200 personnel of which many boast long tenures with the company, Frank says, “We are blessed!” In April of this year, Luke was recognized as “Business Leader of the Year” by the University of Washington Tacoma Milgard School of Business.

Like their fathers, Luke and Frank are true philanthropic leaders. “Our fathers told us both that you owe the community that has given to you which in turn leads to your business’ success.” APP has donated more than $3 million to non-profits, including their support of the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. Their civic engagement has led both of them to leadership roles on Tacoma’s MultiCare Health System boards Luke serves on the board and Frank currently serves on the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Foundation. Community-based projects are important to APP. The company encourages and supports their employees’ and suppliers’ charitable efforts with a matching funds program. With a strong passion to help non-profit health systems, the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation’s board of trustees appreciates APP’s dynamic support of Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Regional Health. “It is rewarding to give back to my community by serving on the hospital foundation board,” says Gary. “I am proud that our hospital provides services that allow my family, my friends and my neighbors to receive high quality health care right here.”

A Berry Good Way To Give Don Kruse, of the family-owned Skagit Sun Farm in La Conner, has set up a berry stand in the Skagit Radiology parking lot off of Division Street in Mount Vernon. For every flat of berries sold at the location this year, Skagit Sun Farm will give $1 to the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. “This is a great way to give back to the community and the hospital, “ says Kruse. (Above: left to right) June Jordan, Skagit Valley Hospital Guild member and Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation trustee and Gail Thompson, President of the Skagit Valley Hospital Guild.

Let there be Light!

Thank you Skagit Valley Hospital Guild! On behalf of the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation board and staff, we thank our friends in the hospital guild for their generosity in purchasing new lighting for the corridor where the foundation’s recognition wall and the hospital’s heritage wall reside.

(Below) Burlington-Edison High School softball team

(Above) painting by Ron Farrell/Skagit Valley Hospital Fine Art Collection

Give the Gift of Art

With gifts from our donors to the Fine Art Fund, the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation’s Fine Art Committee has procured and purchased a collection of art, which boasts 300 pieces by local and regional artists. Our regional hospital continues to grow and the need for art is ever present. Please help us continue to expand art opportunities at Skagit Valley Hospital and consider a gift to the Fine Art Fund. The Foundation also manages long-term loans of art. For more information, please contact Wendy Ragusa in the foundation office at 360-814-5747.

The Skagit Sun Farm berry stand is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week through October and will feature all seasonal berries. The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation thanks Skagit Sun Farm and Skagit Radiology for their support of this endeavor!

Burlington-Edison High Students Continue to Support Regional Cancer Care Center The Burlington-Edison High School (B-EHS) Girls Softball team recently donated $460 and the B-EHS 2012 Leadership Class presented $1,235 to the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center. B-EHS students raised and donated more than $3,000 to the cancer care program during the 2011-2012 school year. The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is very grateful for their support of the Cancer Care Fund!

(Above) Burlington-Edison High School 2012 leadership class

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New duo at Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Island Two new faces greet patients at Skagit Regional Clinics - Camano Island (formerly Camano Community Health Clinic). Family Medicine providers Joshua Griggs, MD and Anne Herbert, PA-C care for patients of all ages, from birth through geriatrics, at the clinic. “I was drawn to family medicine because it affords me the opportunity to care for patients of all ages and multiple family members at one time,” said Dr. Griggs. “I wanted a career where I could help people and use critical thinking skills.” He has special interests in preventative medicine, women's health, pediatrics and dermatology. Dr. Griggs, a resident of Camano Island, is a graduate of Loma Linda Medical School. He completed his residency training at Kaiser

Permanente in Santa Ana, Calif. and is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Anne Herbert, PA-C completed her Physician Assistant training at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Her special interests include women’s health, sports injuries and disease prevention. “As a Camano Island resident, I feel blessed to have an opportunity to work in my community. I hope to be a participant in the process of making Camano Island a healthier, happier place to live,” she said. Skagit Regional Clinics – Camano Island is located at 127 N. East Camano Drive on Camano Island and offers appointments five days per week. To schedule an appointment, patients may call 360-387-5398.

Grierson honored with Health Hero Award James Grierson, MD, a Family Medicine physician with Skagit Regional Clinics in Stanwood, was honored by Island County officials in May with the Linda Lee Martens Health Hero Award. Dr. Grierson helped organize Safe Harbor Free Clinic in 2008 and is currently serving as is the chairman of the clinic board. “This was a bit of a surprise and a big honor,” Dr. Grierson said. Safe Harbor Free Clinic is a stateof-the-art walk-in clinic providing professional health care and

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referral services to uninsured and under-insured patients. The clinic uses the Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood facility on Friday evenings and was recognized for “extraordinary efforts contributing to the health and well being of Island County citizens.” Many of the providers and nurses who volunteer at Safe Harbor each week are on staff at Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Regional Clinics, Dr. Grierson said. Medical students in Skagit Valley Hospital’s Graduate Medical Education program also perform rotations through the free clinic.

“These are the people who help out and make this possible,” he said. Safe Harbor is outgrowing the space at SRC and is planning a capital campaign to build a new clinic. “We would love to eventually have our own space so we could have clinic times and specialty clinics more often,” he said. Safe Harbor Free Clinic is open from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday evenings and offers monthly specialty clinics focused on women’s health, podiatry and an appointment-only clinic for management of chronic issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. For more information, go to www.

Skagit Regional Health offers the following health screenings and education programs at the Skagit Regional Clinics Stanwood, 9631 269th St. NW, Stanwood or the Skagit Regional Clinics – Camano Island, 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.

Stanwood/Camano neighborhood Screening to Detect Peripheral Arterial Disease, Elevated Cholesterol and More! The Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute offers this popular community screening on Tuesday mornings for all adults over age 18. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a common condition that affects approximately 8 million adults in the U.S. About 5 percent of people over the age of 50 are believed to suffer from PAD. The condition is more common in 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.

AARP Driver Safety Program

• 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 $35 and it is held on Tuesdays 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.

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, your AARP card or number (if you are a member), and your driver’s license number to the first class – do not mail check. Pre-registration is required. To register call 360-814-2424.

October 9 and 10 (Tue/Wed)

9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B Pay at the class

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.

Skagit Regional Clinics A department of Skagit Valley Hospital

Camano Island

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


9631 269th St. NW Stanwood 360-629-1600 HealthQuest Fall 2012

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Cholesterol, Diabetes and Vitamin D 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). Vitamin D: This screening can help you identify the level of Vitamin D in your blood. Results are mailed to your home. This screening is not recommended for patients on anticonvulsant medication. Fasting is not required. The cost is $35 (cash or check payable to SVH). No appointment required. For information call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481. No appointment or pre-registration is required.

October 4 (Thur)

7:30 - 9 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Island 127 N. East Camano Drive

November 1 (Thur)

8 – 9:30 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B

Bone Density Screening

Blood Drive

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.

Donating blood is a simple and generous gift that can save a life. Did you know that one blood donation can help up to three patients? The Puget Sound Blood Center urges you to donate the “gift of life” at the following blood drive:

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.

December 28 (Fri)

October 4 (Thur)

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (except 12:30 – 1:15 p.m.) Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Mobile van in parking lot Pre-registration required by calling 1-800-398-7888.

November 1 (Thur)

are held at various locations in Stanwood. Call the North County Regional Fire Authority at 360-6521246 for more information.

7:30 - 9 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Island 127 N. East Camano Drive 8 – 9:30 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B

Skin Cancer Screening Corinne Sayler, PA-C, with Skagit Regional Clinics – Dermatology 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.

November 14 (Wed)

1 - 4 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B

CPR and First Aid Classes

Heart Saver Adult/Child CPR and First Aid Classes are held at the

Camano Island Fire and Rescue. For more information call 360-387-1512.

The Island County Health Department is located at 127 N.

East Camano Drive, down the hall from the Skagit Regional Clinics – Camano Island. They offer services ranging from TB testing, counseling and surveillance, WIC, adult and child immunizations, Healthy Baby Visits, Maternal Child Health and home visiting, travel vaccines and communicable disease. For more information call 360-387-0184.

Skagit Regional Clinics Stanwood offers Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Orthopedics, Podiatry, Lab and Radiology. For more information, call 360-629-1600.

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

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. Pre-registration is required for all classes unless otherwise noted.

Women’s Health Luncheon Red Sunshine: A Physician’s Journey with Cancer Dr. Kimberly Allison diagnoses breast cancer for a living. But as a 33-year-old healthy new mother, she never expected to be looking at her own malignant cells under the microscope. Dr. Allison’s book, Red Sunshine, is a memoir about her sudden journey from physician to stage 3 patient and her attempt to make the most of this terrifying and unexpected ordeal. An uplifting story of survival, Dr .Allison will share all the intimate details of her emotional journey with both humor and honesty in the Women’s Health Luncheon presentation on October 18. It is difficult to find someone who hasn’t been touched by a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Allison’s presentation offers an in-depth look at the experience through the eyes of a breast cancer pathologist, young mother and wife. The audience will be inspired to embrace life and will enjoy Dr. Allison’s vivid imagination, wit and familiar voice. This event is sponsored by Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and co-sponsored by Mira Vista Care

Center, Ashley Gardens of Mount Vernon, Walgreens, Country Meadows, Janette Carroll, DDS, Home Attendant Care, Josephine Sunset Home, Creekside Retirement Center, and The Bridge at Mount Vernon.

October 18 (Thur)

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon $15 includes lunch Pre-registration required by October 15

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 held at Skagit Valley Hospital.

DOC TALK Coping with Anxiety and Depression Please join Dr. Jeff Berger for a lively discussion of depression and anxiety. Bring your stories, your questions, and ideas in order to help all those in attendance better understand the nature of, and consider wise responses to, these common afflictions. Jeff Berger, MD, is a physician in the Skagit Valley Hospital Mental Health Center and also in private practice in Mount Vernon.

October 11 (Thur)

6 - 7:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room This event is FREE, but RSVP is required

DOC TALK Stand by Your Man Urologist Laurence Lee, MD, of Skagit Regional Clinics - Urology and radiation oncologist David Kantorowitz, MD, PhD, of Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center will describe the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment options for prostate cancer. This presentation is directed toward those with a current diagnosis of prostate cancer or community members seeking more information about the disease. Please bring your questions.

September 27 (Thur)

6 – 7:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center Lobby 307 S. 13th Street, Mount Vernon This event is FREE, but RSVP is required

DOC TALK Palpitations and Skipped Beats: Should I be Worried? Palpitations, extra heart beats and irregular heart rhythms are very common complaints that bring patients to see their doctors. Sometimes these heart rhythm symptoms are benign. Other times, they can indicate serious problems that require further investigation. Rhythm disturbances that are not serious can still be very bothersome and can even have a strong impact on an individual’s daily life.

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The cardiologists at Skagit Regional Clinics Cardiology can treat these heart rhythm problems with both medicine and more invasive catheterbased procedures. Ramy Hanna, MD, cardiac electrophysiologist with Skagit Regional Clinics, is specifically trained to treat arrhythmias. Dr. Hanna finished his medical training and residency at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine and UCLA, and completed his cardiology and electrophysiology training at the University of Washington. Dr. Hanna will be speaking about the most common arrhythmias and how they are treated. The presentation will be tailored to be very interactive. A portion of the session will be dedicated to answering questions.

November 6 (Tue)

6 – 7:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room This event is FREE, but RSVP is required


Take Charge of Your Health! Living Well with Chronic Conditions

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 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.

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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.” Participants will also receive a free sixweek membership at the Skagit YMCA for new members.

Sept. 25 – Oct. 30 (Tue)

2 – 4:30 p.m. The Bridge at Mount Vernon 301 South La Venture Road Mount Vernon $39 includes course book and CD; $69 for couples who share 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.” “Jan Hodgman is a gift…An excellent class.” Meditation is now scientifically recognized to help alleviate stress, mild depression, and anxiety. Decluttering 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 than eight 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.

Oct. 10, 17 and 24 (Wed)

6 – 8 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid St. entrance $39

Elder Care Options Many of us will one day find ourselves needing care for ourselves or a loved one. This one-evening program brings clarity to the maze of support options available. Learn about alternative living situations, transportation, nutritional and medical services, in-home care (including home-health and hospice), as well as how to access these options. Discover the costs of each and the role of Medicare, Medicaid, LTC insurance, and other funding options. Instructors Debbie Gann and Jim Darling, both with Home Attendant Care, have more than 50 years of healthcare experience between them.

Oct. 22 (Mon)

6 – 8 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street entrance No charge but pre-registration required

Diabetes Management: Dental Care, Heart Health and Blood Sugar Control Did you know that you are more at risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke if you have gum disease? In fact, one out of three diabetics have gum disease. This class will help you understand how dental care contributes to your total health. Learn how inflammation affects the disease process for both diabetes and heart disease. The presenters are Kriston Reisnour, RDH, BSDH, with Skagit Valley Hospital and Joel Meckstroth, ARNP with Skagit Regional Clinics Cardiology.

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

In this program you will learn to: • Identify signs and symptoms of different phases of gum disease • Describe treatment options (medical and dental) for health issues • Learn simple lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes and heart disease

October 23 (Tue)

6:30 - 8:30pm Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room This event is free, but preregistration is required

Spanish for Health Care Providers Workshop Learn essential Spanish vocabulary and phrases common in your health care workplace, in order to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients on a basic level, while addressing several cultural differences. Topics include greeting patients and family, discussing pain/part of the body, medical conditions, simple commands/instructions, dates and times.

member), and your driver’s license number to the first class – do not mail check. Pre-registration is required. To register call 360-814-2424.

Sept. 24 and 25 (Mon/Tue) 1 - 5 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital San Juan A/B Pay at class Please see page 27 for information about classes in Stanwood/Camano Island.

Certified Diabetes Education Program Skagit Regional Health 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;

The instructor is Sarah Rowan, owner of Salud! Spanish Programs.

• At least two hours of one-on-one education in nutrition;

This program is approved for six contact hours of continuing nursing education.

• Individual appointments to review medication issues related to diabetes self- management, including maximizing the use of insulin, are also available.

Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 (Tue/Thur) 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Shuksan Room Enter through Kincaid Street $125 includes course materials Pre-registration required

Continuing Health Education 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, your AARP card or number (if you are a

Program instructors include registered nurses, registered dietitians, a pharmacist, a certified physician assistant, and certified diabetic educators. Hospitalist Geoffrey Spielmann, MD, 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 our Diabetic Education Program Scheduler at 360-814-2184.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Do you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and want to improve the

quality of your life? This intensive program can help patients with chronic lung disorders including emphysema, chronic bronchitis or asthma, reduce respiratory symptoms, improve functional independence and complications and reduce hospitalizations. The program is provided by a multi-disciplinary team. Participants learn self-management and relaxation techniques to improve emotional well-being, skills to help regain control of their breathing, and pursue activities to the fullest extent of their abilities. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. for approximately 10 weeks. For more information call 360-814-2236.

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 360-814-2424. 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 at Skagit Valley Hospital. 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, cost and class times, call 360-8148368.

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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 physician-referred program and Medicare and most insurances cover cardiac rehab. For more information call 360-814-8368.

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 billc@

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).

• 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 8 million American adults in the US. 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 associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.

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Screenings are provided by Skagit Valley Hospital in cooperation with Dynacare Skagit Laboratories 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). Vitamin D: 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.

• High blood pressure affects one in three adult Americans. Untreated high blood pressure may result in a stroke.

For information call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481. No appointment or pre-registration is required.

• Elevated levels of body fat may lead to problems such as hypertension, elevated blood lipids (fats and cholesterol), diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease, all related to obesity.

Sept. 26; Oct. 24 (Wed) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street

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 $35 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.

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.

Sept. 26; Oct. 24 (Wed) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street

• 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.

Cholesterol/Diabetes and Vitamin D Screenings

This screening is supported by Soroptimist International of Burlington Also see Stroke and Aneurysm Screenings on page 33 for a screening of the aorta and carotid arteries.

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

Skin Cancer Screening Local dermatology providers 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.

Sept. 19 (Wed) 1 - 4 p.m. Provided by Corinne Sayler, PAC, Skagit Regional ClinicsDermatology Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Heart & Vascular Institute Enter through Diagnostic Services entrance on 13th Street November 7 (Wed) 1 - 4 p.m. Provided by J. Semmes Mickelwait, MD with Advanced Dermatology Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through the Kincaid Street entrance

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 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 to schedule an appointment.

ultrasound screening test is noninvasive, 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 followup 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.

A service provided cooperatively by Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Radiology.

Blood Drive Donating blood is a simple and generous gift that can save a life. Did you know that one blood donation can help up to three patients? The Puget Sound Blood Center urges you to donate the “gift of life” at the following blood drives:

September 13 (Thur)

Presbyterian Church Mount Vernon 1511 E. Broadway

December 26 (Wed)

Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (except 12:30 – 1:15 p.m.) Pre-registration required by calling 1-800-398-7888.

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

Skagit Regional Clinics – Mount Vernon

Oct. 19 (Fri) 1 - 3 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital San Juan A/B Enter through Kincaid Street entrance

Skagit Regional Clinics – Stanwood

Stroke and Aneurysm Screening

Remember the steps to breast health

Skagit Valley Hospital – Kincaid Street Entrance

Is it Time for Your Mammogram?

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.

1. Do a monthly breast self-exam.

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

1320 East Division Street Mount Vernon 360-428-7270 Open Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fridays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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 360-428-7270.

The Breast Care Center

Childbirth & Infant Care Pregnancy and Childbirth 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. Classes are offered at Skagit Valley Hospital. Pre-registration required. HealthQuest Fall 2012

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Family Birth Center Tours Free tours of the Skagit Valley Hospital Family Birth Center are offered twice a month. Call 360-8142424 or 360-629-6481 to schedule a tour.

Breastfeeding and Newborn Care 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. Pre-registration required. The class fee is $25. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 for class dates and times.

Fit4Baby Fit4Baby is an eight-week program designed to strengthen the body for all the changes it will experience during pregnancy. The class includes cardio, strength, flexibility and balance training. Fit4Baby is designed to accommodate all stages of pregnancy and various fitness levels. Regular activity, such as the Fit4Baby exercise classes, can help reduce many maternal aches and pains, increase energy during pregnancy and may speed the labor, delivery and recovery process.

one of the most inclusive lactation services programs in the region. There are six Internationally BoardCertified Lactation Consultant Registered Nurses available to visit you during your hospital stay and help you experience a successful start to breastfeeding your baby. 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.

Gestational Diabetes Program Gestational diabetes affects approximately 7-14 percent of all pregnant women. Careful control of blood sugar and weight is important to prevent complications for both mother and baby. Skagit Valley Hospital offers a referral-based education program to improve gestational diabetes selfmanagement skills. Our highly trained and dedicated diabetes education team provides participants with the skills to manage their blood sugar through healthy eating, stress management, increased activity, and blood glucose monitoring. The program offers a one-hour group class plus individual nutrition therapy appointments. For more information please contact our Diabetes Education Program at 360814-2184.

The class is taught by Natalie Gustafson, MS, LMFT, certified preand post-natal fitness instructor. For more information see page 16.

Sept. 24 – Nov. 12 (Mon) 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Family Birth Center Waiting Room $79 Pre-registration required by calling 360-814-2424 or visit

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

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Child Safety Seat Checks Certified child safety seat technicians will assess your seat for age- and size-appropriateness, 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.

Sept. 20; Oct. 18; Nov. 15 (Thur) 1 - 3 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital at main entrance covered area Mount Vernon Co-sponsored by Skagit Safe Kids. Pre-registration 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 billc@

Kidney Dialysis Education Kidney Failure Treatment Options 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 recurring education class from 1:30-3:30 p.m., the third Thursday of every month. For more information and registration, call 360416-5717.

Cancer Support Services

All programs are provided for cancer patients and survivors and are free of charge. For additional information on any of these services or events please contact Cancer Care Community Outreach at 360-814-8287.

Cancer Transitions Cancer Transitions™ is a free twohour, six-week workshop designed to help cancer survivors make the

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

transition from active treatment to post-treatment care. Expert panelists will discuss exercise tailored to each participant’s abilities, training in relaxation and stress management and tips for nutritious eating. Cancer Transitions will answer many of your questions about cancer survivorship post-cancer treatment. The course covers the following topics:

Fourth Monday of each month 1 - 3 p.m. (Meets 5 – 7 p.m. in September) Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center Safeway Conference Room (3rd Floor)

treatment. Please note that artistic “skills” are not required! Come and join this fun and welcoming group. Instructor: Margaret Carpenter Arnett, BSN, ATR. For more information call 360-814-8287.

Women’s Cancer Support Group

Session 1: Get Back to Wellness: Take Control of Your Survivorship

Second Monday 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 ANY type of cancer. This group was previously limited to patients/survivors with breast and/ or gynecological cancers. We are pleased to provide this supportive environment to a larger group of patients and survivors. This is an open group and no RSVP is required. Facilitated by Amber Ford, LICSW, OSW-C, Oncology Social Worker, with frequent guest speakers arranged. Call 360-814-8255 for additional information.

Grief Support Services

Session 2: Exercise for Wellness: Customized Exercise Session 3: Emotional Health and WellBeing: From Patient to Survivor Session 4: Nutrition Beyond Cancer Session 5: Medical Management Beyond Cancer: What You Need to Know Session 6: Life Beyond Cancer This class is free and open to men and women who have experienced any type of cancer. Participants must be at least 21 years of age and pre-registration is required. Class will meet Wednesdays from September 12 – October 17 (booster session on November 14), from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center. Light meal and refreshments are provided during each session. Pre-registration is required. Please call Amber Ford, LICSW, at 360-814-8255 to sign up or for more information.

Look Good, Feel Better Cancer can rob a woman of her energy, appetite and strength. But it doesn’t have to take away her selfconfidence. 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. Pre-registration is required; please call 360-814-8287.

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 Margaret Carpenter Arnett, BSN, ATR, has been doing art therapy with cancer patients for more than 20 years. Creating art can promote healing by reducing anxiety and stress and improving emotional well-being. It is a great opportunity to process and integrate the challenges of serious illness and

Hospice of the Northwest 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 and to receive a current grief group schedule, please phone 360-814-5589 or 360-814-5550.

Hospice of the Northwest Resource Center: A free lending library open to the community Books and other materials are available for adults, teens, and children. Topics include caregiving, 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 360-8145589.

In-Service Education For grief and loss presentations for your organization or employees, contact the Hospice of the Northwest Bereavement Coordinator at 360-8145589.

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Hospice Program Seeks Volunteers

Skagit Valley REACH Center

A unique and meaningful volunteer opportunity is available through Hospice of the Northwest, serving Skagit, Island, San Juan and north Snohomish counties. Volunteers offer support and companionship to individuals with a life expectancy of six months or less. They improve the quality of life and provide respite at a time when it matters most. Volunteers are being recruited now for the October training session. To learn more, please contact Julie Pryor Barr, Community Liaison at 360-814-5588 or

For more support, adults living with a mental illness may drop-in at the Skagit Valley REACH Center anytime, Monday through Saturday between 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at 1413 E. College Way, Mount Vernon. There are support groups, classes, hobby time, computers, and always someone to talk to and keep company with. For more information call 360-873-8635.

Community Education Want to learn more about hospice services and what they might mean for you and your family? Hospice of the Northwest staff is available to give educational presentations to community groups. For more information, please call 360-814-5550.

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 Mental Health Support Group NAMI Skagit Open Group meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 – 9 p.m. in the Shuksan Room at Skagit Valley Hospital. Family members and those living with mental illness are welcome. For more information contact Trish Rodriguez at 360-540-0795 or Marti Wall at 360770-5666.

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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 such as ADHD, bi-polar and others. 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 about future class dates and to register. Space is limited.

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 next class date or more information. Space is limited; reservations being taken now.

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 about future class dates and to register. Space is limited.

Support Groups Call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481 for current Skagit County Support Group information.

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.

Community News & Resources 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 Val at 360-814-2424.

Volunteer Services at Skagit Regional Health The Volunteer Services Department at Skagit Regional Health coordinates the activities of more than 500 volunteers throughout the organization. Today’s volunteers are doing work, in core areas, that is vital to the success of our organization. Whether you’re retired looking to use your experience to give back to your community, looking for job experience, or just wanting to learn more about what the world of healthcare has to offer, volunteering can be rewarding and satisfying.

Find us on

Check out our facebook page at

Some of the volunteer opportunities at Skagit Regional Health include: Information Desks In addition to information desks at Skagit Valley Hospital, Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and Skagit Regional Clinics (SRC) Mount Vernon, Volunteer Services also operates a volunteer information desk at SRC in Stanwood, and at the Cascade Skagit Health Alliance at Smokey Point.


If you are an accomplished pianist who would like to share your talent for others to enjoy, call 360-8142142.

Junior Medical Volunteers

The Junior Medical Volunteer program is for students age 15-18. For more information or to become a member please call 360-814-2142.

For Students and Job Seekers

While volunteering can be a great way to explore job opportunities, network or get required school credits, we do ask volunteers to complete a minimum of 100 hours before requesting recommendations or receiving credit for hours volunteered. The number of positions are limited so prospective volunteers should apply at least a year in advance of any school deadlines that may be applicable. High school students seeking course or club credit should apply and begin volunteering before their senior year.

Guilds and Auxiliaries

Many volunteers choose to serve through membership in one of our volunteer service and fund-raising groups including the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends, Grace Cochrum Guild, J.E.M. Guild, SVH Auxiliary and SVH Guild.

retail gift items for sale. The gift shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the main lobby. All proceeds from the Gift Shop are returned back to help Skagit Regional Health in areas of need.

Contact Us

To inquire about volunteering or request services, please contact Steve Schultz at 360-814-2142 or contact our main information desk at 360-8145059.

Visit us at You can watch HealthQuest shows to learn about a variety of health topics from local physicians, find out about hospital services and more on our channel. Visit us at

Watch HealthQuest on Cable-Access Television Station 10 If you are a Comcast cable subscriber in Skagit County, be sure to tune in to channel 10 to watch HealthQuest TV. The show airs at 11:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. every day. This half-hour show features a new guest each week showcasing our local providers 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 and cooking shows. You can also view our HealthQuest shows online at www.

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 800-584-3578. 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.

(Below) Linda Frizzell, HealthQuest TV host and Peter Roberge, Skagit Regional Health executive chef, filming HealthQuest cooking show.

Other Volunteer Department Services: Hospital and Clinic Tours

Tours of our facility for groups and individuals are available. Reservations are required. Call 360-814-2142 to schedule a tour.

Gift Shop

The Skagit Valley Hospital Gift Shop has many wonderful hand-made and HealthQuest Fall 2012

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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 • Acute Care • Breast Care Center • Cancer Care • Cardiac Rehabilitation • Cardiac Catheterization Lab • Case Management • Chemotherapy • Children’s Therapy Program • Clinical Education • Clinical Services/Infection Control • Computed Tomography Imaging (CT Scan) • Congestive Heart Failure Clinic • Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery • Critical Care • DEXA Scan • Diabetes Education • Diagnostic Imaging • Echocardiography • Electrophysiology • Emergency Trauma Center • Endoscopy • Family Birth Center • Food Services • Gift Shop • Health Information Management • HealthQuest • Heart & Vascular Institute • Hospice Care

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• Hospice of the Northwest Foundation • Hospitalists on site 24/7 • Hyperbaric Oxygen Program • Interpreting - Translating • IV Therapy • Kidney Dialysis - outpatient and inpatient • Laboratory • 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 • Palliative Care • Pastoral Care/Chaplains • Patient Advocate • Pediatric Hospitalists on site 24/7 • PET/CT • Pharmacy • Physical Therapy • Physician Referral Services • Positron Emission Tomography

• Pulmonary Rehabilitation • Quality Management • Radiation Therapy • Rehabilitation Services • Respiratory Therapy • Skagit Regional Clinics: - Anacortes - Arlington - Camano Island - Cardiology (Anacortes, Arlington, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley) - Mount Vernon - Oak Harbor - Sedro-Woolley - Stanwood - Urology (Anacortes and Mount Vernon) • Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation • Sleep Center • Speech Therapy • Spine Program • Sunrise Inn • Surgical Services • The Breast Institute • Ultrasound • Volunteer Services • Wound Healing Center • X-ray

Choose your menu with

‘Cuisine on Call’

A menu full of fresh food choices greets patients at Skagit Valley Hospital. Patients, whose health allows, may order breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Orders may be phoned in to food service staff and preorders can be set up for the following day. Food service staff visit patients in the Family Birth Center and Orthopedic and Surgical Care, taking meal orders on hand-held computer tablets.

(Above) Food Services staff member Nadia Ostapchuk delivers lunch to Jessica Sedgwick in the Family Birth Center as part of Skagit Valley Hospital’s new ‘Cuisine on Call’ room service program.

Meal orders are entered into the computer, which cross-references the order with patient information to make sure the requests match up with any dietary restrictions or special needs.

Each meal is prepared to order, fresh and from scratch, and delivered by uniformed food service staff members when the patient wants it.

Just like in a restaurant, meal orders print out as they are received and an expediter puts together each unique tray, with the promise of delivering the food within 30 to 40 minutes.

“Cuisine on Call” allows patients to order what they want, rather than a standardized menu for all. This individualized approach can bring food costs down by as much as 30 percent

and sharply reduces waste. Skagit Valley Hospital contracted with Thomas Cuisine two years ago to provide food service in the Skagit Bistro in the hospital and for patients. Thomas Cuisine has successfully launched room service programs at many health care locations across the Northwest.

Class Registration Please fill out this form and include your check or charge card number along with the requested information (use one copy for each participant - feel free to duplicate this form or register on our Web site,

Class or Screening





Skagit Valley Hospital P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Phone Total amount enclosed: Name:________________________________________________________________________ Address:______________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip Code:____________________________________________________________ Day Phone:___________________________ Home Phone:_______________________________ E-mail address:________________________________________________________________

Type of Payment (Please do not send cash) Check (make checks payable to SVH-HealthQuest) Mastercard


Credit Card Number: ____________________________________

Expiration Date:________________________ Signature: ____________________________________

Find our refund policy online at:

360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481



360-814-8222 Complete this form and fax it to the number above.

Questions? Call Skagit Valley Hospital at 360-814-2424, from Stanwood and Camano Island call 360-629-6481 or for hearing impaired, please call TTY 360-814-2219 HealthQuest Fall 2012

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


Fall 2012 HealthQuest  

A publication of Skagit Regional Health providing news, education, philanthropy and health information.