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HealthQuest FALL 2013

A publication of

Skagit Regional Health

Coming Soon! New online patient portal for you

Residency Clinic 14 providers accepting patients at spacious new clinic 7

Ernie Santiago, RN STAT Nurse, teacher, veteran


New board members join trustees


skagit valley hospital foundation and associated petroleum products PRESENT THE 25TH ANNUAL


Our team begins with you. Outstanding care designed for you. World-class cancer care for you.

Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, 5:30 p.m. Saint Joseph Center 215 North 15th St. Mount Vernon, WA

Sponsored by Mountain Glen Retirement Community

Friday, Nov. 29

9 a.m. – 11 a.m. ~ Snow Bunny Breakfast Sponsored by InSight Design Studio

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ~ Family Festival Day Sponsored by Skagit State Bank

Sunday, Dec. 1

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. ~ Family Festival Day Sponsored by Thomas Cuisine Management

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


Skagit regional health

These are more than just advertising statements, this is our commitment to you – to bring excellence in health care for you, your family and your neighbors. It takes teamwork – you, your provider, your nurse, your therapist, your hospital and your family. To stay true to our commitment to bring outstanding care to you, we continue to bring more physicians to the community. Health care begins with primary care and Skagit Regional Health is making room for more providers to care for all ages. We just finished an expansion at Skagit Regional Clinics – Camano Island and are building the new Skagit Regional Clinics – Riverbend in Mount Vernon, which will include pediatrics and urgent care when it opens in spring 2014. Another way we’re adding more providers is by training the next generation as a teaching hospital. We have added our second group of residents, bringing the total to 14 doctors who will see patients in our new Residency Clinic on 13th Street near the hospital. These physicians are available to see new patients. Call 360-814-6230 for an appointment.

We are also bringing in more specialists to serve your needs in gastroenterology, urology and plastic and reconstructive surgery. Most importantly, we are always open to hearing from you. That’s why we are starting a new Patient and Family Advisory Council so we can include patients, family members, community representatives and health care providers in an ongoing conversation (see page 22 for more information). Hearing from the community has been an essential element to our search for a larger partner, along with Cascade Valley Hospital and Island Hospital, and we appreciate the many comments, letters and e-mails we have received. For the latest on the process and timeline, please go to our Web site at Recruiting, retaining and training providers; adding clinic locations and seeking community input are all ways we are working to bring local, quality, advanced health care to you.

Gregg Agustín Davidson, FACHE Chief Executive Officer


FALL 2013 / Volume 10 / Issue 3

HealthQuest HealthQuest is published three times a year by Skagit Regional Health and the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation.


In Person: Main entrance located on Hospital Parkway in Mount Vernon. By Mail: P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Phone: 360-424-4111 Fax: 360-814-2416 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 By Mail: P.O. Box 1376 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 Phone: 360-814-2146 Fax: 360-814-2445


STAT Nurse

Ernie Santiago, RN brings experience, compassion to the bedside


Residency Clinic

14 resident physicians accepting patients at new Mount Vernon clinic


New providers

Plastic surgeon, Family Medicine providers join medical staff


New board members; community projects help raise funds

The Breast Institute 360-814-8148 SKAGIT VALLEY KIDNEY CENTER AND WOUND HEALING CENTER 208 Hospital Parkway Mount Vernon, WA Kidney: 360-814-8260 Wound: 360-814-2600 For additional copies or more information, contact Outreach and Media Coordinator Linda Wright at 360-814-2325 or go to our Web site at

HealthQuest Classes


HealthQuest Classes


HealthQuest Class


Stanwood and Camano Island

COVER PHOTO Ernie Santiago, RN, brings intensive care experience, compassion and a desire to teach to the bedside in his role as a STAT Nurse at Skagit Valley Hospital.

Mount Vernon Registration

Photo by Linda Wright HealthQuest FALL 2013


STAT nurses : Ready, willing and able Skagit Valley Hospital started a STAT RN program in July 2010 with goals to provide support for nurses in quickly evaluating a patient whose condition was changing or deteriorating, and to decrease the number of Code Blues occurring outside of the critical care unit. The STAT nurse program, an addition to the Rapid Response Team program initiated in 2003, has achieved these goals and more, said Bobbi Hallberg, BSN, MSN, RN, Director of Progressive and Critical Care. In the first year, the number of instances of Code Blue, when a patient’s heart or breathing stops, dropped by 79 percent outside of critical care and a 24 percent reduction in codes was recorded within critical care. In addition, having a dedicated team to respond to the bedside also enhanced the education of primary nurses, as a critical care trained and experienced STAT Nurse was available to partner with them as a mentor, coach and educator. “We found as you elevate and increase education at the bedside, you really end up improving patient care and outcomes,” Hallberg said. STAT nurses, who work 12-hour shifts 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., do not take over the care of the patient, they come alongside the primary nurse to observe, make suggestions and teach. “They come in and say ‘I’m here to help,’ they want to know what’s going on and ask ‘Have you tried this? And ‘What about that?’ Then they use their critical thinking expertise to help make decisions to benefit the patient,” Hallberg said. For nurses newer to the profession, the STAT nurse program provides support and a resource as they see a patient’s condition change. The


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more experienced STAT nurse can be called to help stabilize or transfer the patient to a higher level of care. “They have been my savior on more than one occasion,” said Denenne Linke, RN, BSN, a nurse on the Medical and Pediatric Care unit. STAT Nurse Ernie Santiago, RN, BSN, said he enjoys the opportunity to educate fellow nurses, drawing from his vast experience over nearly 40 years in health care. “Newer nurses really want knowledge and I want to share that knowledge,” Santiago said. “I am a resource person. I believe in making a difference one nurse and one patient at a time.”

The Emergency Department calls in the STAT nurse frequently. Charge Nurse Kandi Devenere, RN, said she admires the STAT nurses for their skills, teamwork and teaching ability. “This may be something the primary nurse has limited experience with, and the STAT nurse has done it many times. We feel comfortable asking the STAT nurse to help us and to be a second set of eyes on this patient,” Devenere said. “They are very approachable. They come in and hold your hand and help you. They know the physicians. They know the nurses. They know what they need to do. That’s their gift.”

Ernie Santiago , RN Nurse, teacher, veteran In the 1960s, a young Ernie Santiago, RN, BSN, was looking for a path in life. A high school drop out of Puerto Rican decent, he decided the military was the ticket to move on. That decision to join the U.S. Army would mean Santiago was exposed to some of the harshest experiences of his life as a medic in Vietnam, where many friends and colleagues died. It also provided an excellent foundation of medical training and his first exposure to working with nurses, a career he found to be his calling in life for nearly 40 years. Today, Santiago is among a cadre of six experienced and respected critical care nurses who make up the STAT nurse team at Skagit Valley Hospital. STAT nurses respond to calls to help quickly evaluate a patient whose condition is changing or deteriorating. “I feel like I was born for this job. This is the job for me,” said

Santiago, who came to Skagit Valley Hospital five years ago. The path to his dream job started in the ravages of war, but quickly advanced as he got his GED, attended community college, graduated from Robert Packer Hospital School of Nursing in Pennsylvania in 1974 and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Seattle Pacific University in 1979. While he has succeeded in an extended career in critical care and acute rehab, it has not been without challenges. “When I first started, I loved the work, but I was not accepted. In those days, men were not accepted in nursing very well,” Santiago said. “I was pretty stubborn and there were those who felt men should not be in nursing. The more they tried to

push me out, the stronger I became. Today, there are lots of men in nursing.” Emergency Department Charge Nurse Kandi Devenere, RN, calls Santiago “rock solid” and said he has a special ability to engage with patients. “He connects well with patients. No matter where they are at, he connects with them,” Devenere said. “He is a strong, confident, excellent nurse.” Santiago said he benefits from his experience and training from the 60s and his continued thirst for learning today. “I can remember something from 1968 as easily as I can something from 2010. I’ve learned the old way of doing things and also the new way of doing things, so I can fall back on my experience and teach,” he said. Educating and mentoring fellow nurses is at the heart of the STAT nurse job Santiago has come to embrace with passion and a quiet energy. He becomes part of the patient’s care team at an urgent time, assessing, evaluating and organizing care. “It’s a physiological photograph and when the picture changes, you need to train

nurses to be vigilant,” Santiago said. “We need to look at what is normal and what is not normal. When it is not normal, I can help and teach.” Santiago said nursing has come a long way since he started, requiring a higher skill level and involving a team approach to patient centered care. The team includes the doctor and nurses, right along with the aides, housekeepers and others. “The advantage is now you have a more holistic approach,” he said. Santiago is proud of the “incredibly good hospital” where he has worked for the past five years, and where he met his wife Jill, a hospice nurse, at the hospital holiday party more than four years ago. Santiago is determined to follow through on the promise he made to himself as he served in Vietnam. “I made it a priority, for all the friends I lost there, that I would live a life that respected their sacrifice, that I would live a life that they would be proud of,” he said. As he considers retirement from full-time work in a couple of years, he says he will do so “at the best hospital and at the top of my game. Here, I have the opportunity to be on the cutting edge right until my last day of work.” He is hopeful that STAT nursing will become a separate category within the field and encourages others to join in. “What I’m hoping is that new nurses will say ‘I would like to be a STAT nurse some day,’ ” he said. Given his joy in helping others, Santiago said he knows he will not ever stop working entirely, but will find ways to volunteer and continue to share his knowledge. “Wherever you go, you are an example and a light,” he said. “Whether you know it or not, they are learning.”

STAT Nurse Ernie Santiago, RN enjoys his role as a teacher and mentor among fellow nurses. Away from the job, below left, Santiago enjoys woodworking, quilting and travel.

HealthQuest FALL 2013



Six new residents join Skagit Regional Health

The Graduate Medical Education program at Skagit Regional Health continues to grow with the addition of six new residents who arrived on June 24, joining the eight residents who have spent the past year working in Skagit Regional Clinics and Skagit Valley Hospital. These residents, two in Internal Medicine and four in Family Medicine, have graduated from medical school with a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO). They are continuing their training in a three-year residency which includes teaching time with experienced physicians and handson time in patient care. They will see patients in the new Skagit Regional Clinics -- Residency Clinic on 13th Street, which opened in July.

The six new residents include: Matt Becker, DO grew up in the Portland area and completed his bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University. Before medical school, he worked for two years as a Certified Nurse Assistant and two years as a Physical Therapy Aide. He received

his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences in 2013 and is an Internal Medicine resident. David Escobar, DO was born into a military family and lived in a variety of states and countries during his childhood. He considers the Northwest home and is a graduate of Washington State University. He is passionate about osteopathic medicine, with a special interest in osteopathic manipulation, sports medicine and integrative medicine. His residency is in Family Medicine. Brian Gutshall, DO grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and attended Montana State University. He attended medical school in Pomona at Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. His residency is in Internal Medicine. David Hoschek, DO grew up in Walnut Creek, California, and graduated from Pacific Northwest University and received his undergraduate degree from University

of California Davis. Before going to school for his undergraduate training, David worked as an OB Tech and an Ortho Tech for a total of 10 years and pursued a career in technology for four years. His residency is in Family Medicine. Mark Litton, DO attended Skagit Valley College and graduated from Western Washington University. He spent several years volunteering for a non-profit organization in developing countries. He is a graduate of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima and completed his last two years of medical school at Skagit Regional Health. His residency is in Family Medicine. Chelsey Miller, DO grew up in Des Moines, Washington, with a few years spent in Kobe, Japan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish at Western Oregon University and is a graduate of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. Her residency is in Family Medicine.

(Left to right) David Hoschek, Matt Becker, Brian Gutshall, David Escobar, Chelsey Miller and Mark Litton


Skagit regional health

Residency clinic opens; accepting new patients Skagit Regional Clinics Residency Clinic opened in July 2013, offering local patients expanded access to primary care. The facility is located at 819 S. 13th Street, one block west of the main Skagit Regional Clinics campus in Mount Vernon. Skagit Regional Health resident physicians, or “residents” as they are commonly called, have received their Doctor of Osteopathic medicine degree (DO) and are continuing training in a medical specialty. Skagit Regional Health offers residency training in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine and each program lasts three years. The residency programs at Skagit Regional Health have been active for more than a year, but with the recent addition of six more residents in July, a larger office space was needed for outpatient appointments. Now all appointments with resident physicians are in one location. The program includes ten Family Medicine residents and four Internal Medicine residents. “This is a dynamic group of young professionals who are

interested in helping people in the community,” said Jeanne Rupert, DO, Director of Graduate Medical Education at Skagit Regional Health. During the program’s first year, physician residents provided 1,836 patient visits in the clinic setting. Dr. Rupert estimates that the number will increase to 8,000-10,000 patient visits this year. The Residency Clinic operates much like other primary care offices. Patients establish care with a resident, just as they would with a physician who has completed specialty training. Dr. Tania Hernandez, a third-year resident, noted that her patients don’t think of her practice any differently than that of an established physician. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, though there will be time allotted each day to allow the residents to participate in educational experiences and lectures. Patients may notice some differences when compared to a traditional doctor’s office, but most patients see these differences as positive.

“This is a learning environment,” explained Dr. Rupert. “Residents, medical students and attending physicians often work as a team to care for patients.” This offers patients the benefit of multiple perspectives and extra attention, she said. Each patient encounter is reviewed by an established attending physician. “The attending physician is on site,” said Dr. Rupert, “They hear about every patient and often go into the room to verify a diagnosis, assist with a procedure or to provide education.” Many familiar faces make up the group of supervising physicians, including Dr. Robert Slind who practiced medicine in Mount Vernon for 35 years before retiring from full-time practice in 2010. Dr. Deborah North, Dr. Rico Romano, Dr. Joshua Griggs and Dr. Jonathan Ploudre offered clinical supervision during the first year of the program in addition to caring for their own patients. Dr. Jimmy Grierson and Dr. Suzanne Robertson have joined the team supervising residents this year. Jhoanna Santos, MD and Dr. Rupert serve as the Residency Program Directors for the Internal Medicine and Family Medicine residents. “The supervising physicians are really serving the community by helping to grow the next generation of physicians,” Dr. Rupert said. Patients of all ages are welcome at the Residency Clinic. Appointments may be made by calling 360-814-6230.

E. Division St.

819 S. 13th Street Mount Vernon

Residency Clinic

A department of Skagit Valley Hospital

Accepting new patients

Phone: 360-814-6230


(1 block from SRC – Mount Vernon and Skagit Valley Hospital) E. Kincaid St.

Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Residency Clinic E. Broad St.

E. Kincaid St. E. Broadway St.

13 St.

Appointments available:

Skagit Valley Hospital

HealthQuest FALL 2013


Students, resident take leadership roles Students in rotations at Skagit Regional Health continue to take on leadership roles with the Washington Academy of Family Physicians. Third-year medical student Amber Sinicrope will serve as the Student Trustee to the Board of Directors of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP). She follows Jordan Collier, now a fourth-year student at Skagit, who served in that position for the past year. In addition, Thomas Carmine Van Deven, DO, a Family Medicine resident at Skagit Regional Health, is serving as the Resident Trustee on the WAFP Board. WAFP is comprised of physicians who specialize in Family Medicine, residents in Family Medicine training programs, and medical students interested in the specialty. With more than 3,100 members, WAFP is the largest medical specialty organization in Washington state.

GME director receives fellowship Jeanne Rupert, DO, Director of Graduate Medical Education at Skagit Regional Health was selected for a 2013-14 Health Policy Fellowship by the American Osteopathic Association. Dr. Rupert, who is GME director and oversees the Family Medicine residency program at Skagit Regional Health, will attend monthly seminars to prepare for leadership in developing health policy. The program is offered by the New York Institute of Technology/ New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in collaboration with colleges in the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association.


Skagit regional health

TEN students begin rotations at Skagit Regional Health

A new group of 10 third-year medical students from Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima arrived in July for two years of rotations at Skagit Regional Health: Shyam Bhansali, from Seattle, is a 2009 graduate of the University of Washington, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology while minoring in Bioethics. At the University of Washington, he worked in the Department of Biological Structure as a student laboratory assistant participating in aging research using C. elegans nematodes as a model organism. He spent two years as an AmeriCorps Volunteer serving at Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, a comprehensive health clinic where he worked as a medical assistant and homeless outreach worker. In his spare time, he participates in and promotes the Yakima Badminton Club. Melanie Estrella is a native of northern New Hampshire who received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Colby College in Waterville,

Maine in May 2000. She conducted wildlife research with the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colorado for four years and has worked as a physical therapy aide, caregiver and patient services representative. While at PNWU, she has been involved with the Infectious Disease Club and partnered with the Yakima County Health District and a local pharmacist to certify students to administer and read TB tests. She is an outdoor enthusiast and participates in rock climbing, backcountry skiing, tennis, and plays guitar. Melissa Horton is from Seattle and earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health at the University of Washington. She hopes to be a pediatrician and serve in a low income community in Western Washington. Before starting medical school, she

spent a year volunteering through AmeriCorps at an underserved school in Lynnwood. Horton is also interested in research and has contributed to several published studies on plant genetics, and has conducted field research in Ecuador on local wildlife. She is married and enjoys reading, swimming, and planning her next trip abroad. Tyler Klein grew up in Everett and is a graduate of Western Washington University where he majored in biology and received minors in geology and anthropology. He previously worked at Discount Tire Co. and recently got married. He enjoys the Seahawks, camping, puzzles, and spending time with family and friends. Katherine Peterson is from Satsop, Washington and has spent most of her life in rural areas of Washington, including her undergraduate education at Washington State University and employment at Grays Harbor Community Hospital. In Grays Harbor, she gained experience in the health care field by working as a medical secretary. She is interested in providing health care to rural communities in Washington. Andrew Quisumbing grew up in the Philippines for 18 years before moving to the United States to attend Seattle University, where he received a degree in General Sciences with a minor in Psychology. His family lives in the Philippines and he visits them whenever possible. He has volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission in Yakima, the Children’s Literacy Project Seattle, and Serenity, a rehabilitation

clinic for marginalized youth and adults in the Philippines. He enjoys martial arts and playing the guitar.

at the North Helpline Food Bank and went on medical mission trips to Costa Rica and Panama.

Amber Sinicrope is from Kirkland and completed her undergraduate studies at Bellevue Community College and Oregon Institute of Technology, earning an Associate of Arts and Science, a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and a minor in Psychology. She was a four-year collegiate scholarship athlete playing softball and running crosscountry. She completed an internship at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center working in the Virology department and won an award for her poster presentation and published in American Society of Microbiology. At PNWU, she is involved with the family medicine club and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians. She enjoys yoga, meditation and running. She is also interested in developing a First Nations Longhouse on campus to honor the Native Americans.

Morgan Wise grew up in Issaquah and earned a degree in Physiology from the University of Washington, where he founded the American Medical Student Association Premedical Chapter, volunteered in Harborview’s Emergency Department, and was awarded the Mary Gates Research Scholarship for his work on extracorporeal shock wave therapy. He also spent a month in Guadalajara, Mexico taking a medical Spanish course. He received his EMT-B license from North Seattle Community College, and worked as an Emergency Department Technician at Swedish and Group Health in Seattle. In his free time, he is an avid fly fisherman, tennis player, scuba diver and has a passion for cooking and baking.

Jackelin Tran emigrated from Vietnam at the age of seven and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Environmental Health and Safety in 2007. She then furthered her studies obtaining her masters degree in Exposure Sciences. After graduation she worked at an occupational health clinic in Tukwila, prior to entering into medical school. She enjoys traveling and experiencing adventures foreign destinations and cultures have to offer. She has volunteered

Francisco Zaldana graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology from University of Texas at San Antonio in 2008. He worked as a research assistant at UTSA doing Nanotechnology research before obtaining a job as a Medical Assistant in the office of Family Practice physician Esther Cruz, DO. At PNWU, he is involved in many clubs and volunteers regularly at the Union Gospel Mission Medical Clinic as a student doctor and a translator. He enjoys fencing, swimming, scuba diving, boxing, learning languages, and traveling.

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RESIDENTS Group photo 1 - Andrew Quisumbing 2 - Tyler Klein 3 - Jackelin Tran 4 - Shyam Bhansali 5 - Francisco Zaldana 6 - Melanie Estrella 7 - Katherine Peterson 8 - Amber Sinicrope 9 - Morgan Wise 10 - Melissa Horton HealthQuest FALL 2013


SRC adds new family medicine provider Trista Pendergrast, ARNP realized her calling to become a nurse while in high school when she helped a friend recuperate following an accident. The experience drew here towards a career that would allow her to help others improve their health. Pendergrast attended the University of Portland for her undergraduate degree and Gonzaga University for her Master of Science in Nursing. Pendergrast joined Skagit Regional Clinics in Mount Vernon in June. She chose to pursue Family Medicine because of the specialty’s emphasis on preventative care and its similarities

to the nursing model of care, which focuses on the whole person. “Mental well-being is as important as physical,” said Pendergrast, who enjoys helping her patients manage mental health issues. Pendergrast also appreciates having the ability to care for patients of all ages. “During school, I really enjoyed caring for kids, but also enjoyed geriatrics. Family Medicine is a specialty that allows me to do both,” she said. Pendergrast sees her role as her patients’ partner and advisor,

rather than someone who tells her patients what to do. “My focus in promoting good health and quality of life is to develop partnerships with my patients and their families to achieve their personal health goals,” said Pendergrast. “I enjoy helping patients meet their goal, whether that is weight loss, reducing cholesterol or getting ready for surgery. It is rewarding to see those goals met.” Pendergrast grew up in the Skagit Valley and is looking forward to building her practice in Mount Vernon. In her free time, she enjoys running, gardening and spending time with her husband, family, friends and her chocolate lab, Willie.

New provider joins Cascade Skagit Health Alliance in Smokey Point Cascade Skagit Health Alliance recently welcomed Scott Fetty, MD who cares for patients of all ages. Dr. Fetty practiced as a chiropractor in Bellevue for 17 years before returning to school to earn his medical degree. The career change was motivated by his desire to be a well-rounded physician and to secondarily advance his training in preparation for a general practice and for those who are underserved. Dr. Fetty has a heart for medical mission and hopes for future opportunities. He has travelled extensively to parts of Asia in the past, and provided care to those underserved populations. He said he is encouraged when he makes a difference in the life of a child and decided that he would have the ability to care for more people by returning to school and becoming a physician.


Skagit regional health

Dr. Fetty received his medical degree from Medical University of the Americas and completed a combined pediatrics and internal medicine residency program at the University of Oklahoma that prepared him to care for both children and adults. Following residency, he returned to western Washington to join Cascade Skagit Health Alliance in Smokey Point. As a health care provider, Dr. Fetty said he sees himself not only as a physician to his patients, but as a coach in the arena of health care. He assists his patients in making decisions related to their health with an emphasis on disease prevention. He takes time to listen and he is encouraged when his patients ask questions. Dr. Fetty’s previous role as a chiropractor helps him to be a well-rounded physician, he said.

His knowledge of the allied health professions helps him to point his patient to beneficial services. “I do not hold bias, for or against, I just want to give my patient the best opportunity at healing,” Dr. Fetty said. He has considerable experience in joint mechanics and soft tissue injuries from his role as a chiropractor, which makes treating patients with musculoskeletal ailments and sports injuries of great interest. In addition, Dr. Fetty has special interests in the patient with diabetes and COPD, pediatric asthma and those children with special needs. Dr. Fetty said he is excited to build his practice at Cascade Skagit Health Alliance. “The more patients I see, the more people I can help,” he said. In his free time, Dr. Fetty enjoys spending time with his wife and sixyear-old son. He also enjoys outdoor recreation including mountain and water sports. He is an avid cyclist.

New Family Medicine physician knew her path at an early age Surrounded by physicians for much of her life, Christine Bridges, MD knew that she would pursue a career in medicine from a young age. She was the recipient of the Future Doctor award in the fifth grade and never looked back. Dr. Bridges attended the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City, where she received her medical degree and also completed family medicine residency training. Dr. Bridges joined Skagit Regional Clinics Family Medicine Department in Mount Vernon in August. The decision to focus on family medicine was a natural fit, much like

her decision to pursue medicine. “I like all groups of people and the range of medical challenges the specialty offers,” said Dr. Bridges. She enjoys caring for newborn babies and watching them grow up. “I have longitudinal exposure to patients and families which is very exciting to watch,” she said. Many facets of Family Medicine appeal to Dr. Bridges, including women’s health, family planning, geriatrics and chronic pain. She also has a passion for adolescent health. “Adolescence is an age group that can be missed. They are not

children, but not yet adults,” she said, adding, “It’s a tricky time in life.” During residency, Dr. Bridges studied complementary medicine and found that acupuncture, herbal remedies and massage therapy offer benefits to patients. She is able to help patients in her practice find the right supplement and can recommend non-traditional techniques that can help a wide range of conditions. Dr. Bridges said she looks forward to being an active leader in the community and building her medical practice at Skagit Regional Clinics. Outside of the office, she enjoys cooking and spending time outdoors with her husband, golden retriever and lab.

SRC welcomes new plastic and reconstructive surgeon Edwin Chang, MD had an interest in medicine from the time he was a young boy, growing up in Bellevue. He saw medicine as a noble profession that would allow him to make a significant contribution to society. Dr. Chang received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. Dr. Chang found that plastic and reconstructive surgery offers artistic elements that he was drawn to when deciding which medical specialty to pursue. He completed an integrated plastic and reconstructive surgery

residency program at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor. For the past five years, Dr. Chang has practiced in Spokane, and in September he joins Skagit Regional Clinics in Mount Vernon. His experience has taught him to be creative and think outside of the box. “I am able to talk to my patient and determine the best solution because the same problem can often have many solutions. There is always more than one option,” he said. Patients of Dr. Chang are active participants in their care plan. “Undergoing surgery can be a daunting consideration for many people,” he said. “It is important to

provide a comforting environment where there is time to fully discuss all the options, risks and benefits. Whether it is for a cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, my goal is to help people arrive at an informed decision that will achieve the result they desire.” Dr. Chang is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He provides a full range of plastic and reconstructive services, including breast surgery, body contouring, head and neck surgery (facelifts, brow lifts, eye lid surgery and ear reshaping), reconstruction procedures and hand surgery to treat hand trauma, carpal tunnel, trigger finger and Ganglion Cysts. In his free time, Dr. Chang is an avid reader and enjoys playing tennis.

HealthQuest FALL 2013


(Below) Gerrit Kuipers and Oncologist Mehrdad Jafari, MD.

Clinical Trials

Raising the bar in cancer treatment Cancer was not on Gerrit Kuipers list of things to do for 2010. An active, healthy and busy man, the Mount Vernon resident knew something was wrong when he felt a lump in his groin. “I wasn’t feeling sick at all, and didn’t think that the lump could be very serious. I was devastated when I heard the words ‘You have cancer,’ ” Kuipers said. Kuipers’ work up at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center involved many specialists and included imaging studies, tissue testing and a bone marrow biopsy before the final diagnosis of advanced stage B-cell lymphoma was made. It was then the job of medical oncologist Dr. Mehrdad Jafari to put all the pieces together in order to determine the best therapy options available. “Characterizing the subtype and stage of the lymphoma of an individual patient requires meticulous integration of information from body imaging to communication with expert pathologists,” reports Dr. Jafari.


Skagit regional health

“Treatment can’t begin until we know exactly what we are dealing with.” Once a definitive diagnosis is reached, the oncologist is able to evaluate the most appropriate standard therapy based on the unique features of the patient’s cancer. Standard therapies used to treat cancer are developed by experts in the field, and are the outcome of decades of research and clinical trials. Guidelines set by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of 23 of the world’s leading cancer centers, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, are used by physicians at the Regional Cancer Care Center to assure patients receive the most current therapies and treatment options available to them. One very important first step in the treatment planning process, in addition to evaluating the appropriateness of current standard therapy options, is the consideration of a clinical trial. Clinical trials are a critical part of assuring that work continues to improve

patient outcomes as new discoveries are made in the fight against cancer. “Clinical trials can offer a potential advantage when a new agent (drug) is combined with established treatment protocols at the onset of therapy,” Dr. Jafari said. “They can also offer a real solution for patients who have previously received standard therapy and might now have a recurrence.” Not every patient meets the criteria for clinical trials, as trials are based on very specific types of research questions. Standard therapy for the treatment of Kuipers’ lymphoma involved chemotherapy with a combination of different drugs. When evaluating the options for Kuipers, Dr. Jafari identified that he met all the admission criteria for a current trial for the treatment of advanced stage B-cell lymphoma. He then worked with Clinical Research Nurse Tammy McNeil, RN, OCN to get the ball rolling. Clinical trials in cancer care are strictly regulated by federal law to ensure patient safety and privacy. Facilities enrolling patients in a research trial must meet strict guidelines of both clinical performance and data management that is overseen by both an internal and many times external Institutional Review Board (IRB). Patients must undergo a thorough informed consent process that is specific to each trial, in order to verify that the patient understands the implications of the trial protocol, and what research question the trial is meant to answer. As a network member of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, providers at the Regional Cancer Care Center are able to offer additional trials to patients. “Many trials that the SCCA offers have requirements for frequent travel to Seattle in order to participate. “As a network member, our close collaboration with SCCA physicians and researchers enables our patients to get the majority of their trial treatment in our facility. Patients appreciate the ability to stay close to home,” McNeil said. One of the most common misconceptions patients have related to clinical trials is idea that they will receive experimental or substandard treatment.

“At the Regional Cancer Care Center, we participate in trials that will offer you standard of care plus or minus another approved therapy. We do not offer trials that would include substandard treatment or placebo only trials,” McNeil said. “The more we learn about how a drug works for one cancer, the more questions we have as to how they might work in helping to treat other cancers”. Kuipers met with McNeil to discuss participating in the clinical trial that Dr. Jafari identified as the best treatment option. “Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea that clinical trials even existed,” he states. “Tammy met with me and said I was a perfect candidate for this trial. She said it would be beneficial for treating my type of cancer, and did a great job explaining everything to me. After my initial meeting with Tammy, I felt that this was the best choice, so I went for it!” All patients seeking treatment at the Regional Cancer Care Center can expect to receive the highest standard in cancer treatment. In addition to state-of-the-art therapies and leading-edge technology, the center’s research program offers on-site access to a wide variety of the latest in national clinical trials. “We must remember that what is today the ‘standard treatment’ started out as a clinical trial that was proven superior over a previous standard treatment,” Dr. Jafari says. “As the scientific advancements are becoming more rapid, it is imperative that patients of today are screened for participation in trials that are potentially the standards of the future.” Three years after his initial diagnosis, Kuipers is in the maintenance portion of his clinical trial protocol. He is enjoying an active life, and reports that he is feeling great. His last treatment is scheduled for August of 2015, after which he will be followed for seven years to evaluate the effects of the trial protocol. When asked if he would recommend participation in a clinical trial to patients who are eligible, he enthusiastically states, “Go for it!” To learn more about the clinical trials in cancer care, please visit our web site at

Accreditations illustrate quality cancer care If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, you may feel like you are in a fight for your life. How can you be sure you are receiving the best treatment possible? What should you look for in a cancer center that speaks to the quality of the care they give? This is when a stamp of approval through accreditation really matters. Cancer care is complex and constantly evolving, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach to most effectively diagnose and treat the disease. Cancer centers that are accredited through the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) have met rigorous standards that speak to the clinical quality of the care they administer. Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center, a comprehensive program offering radiation oncology,

medical oncology, access to clinical trials, complementary medicine and support services, has provided state-ofthe-art cancer care to our community and maintained ACOS CoC accreditation since 1975. The Breast Institute at the Regional Cancer Care Center gained NAPBC accreditation in 2010. The program features care coordinated by a patient navigator to connect newly diagnosed patients with the right specialists at the right time. The Regional Cancer Care Center is a network member of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), a partnership of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s, which provides patients with the best of both worlds - care in your own community by skilled and dedicated oncologists, nurses and staff, plus access to the resources and clinical trials at SCCA.

“From the moment you walk through the doors there is a calming sense of security. The doctors are efficient and knowledgeable and the staff is loving and caring; they want you to be a survivor. The Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center is an incredible place to recover from cancer.” ~ Jan Taylor

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Act Remember to act FAST and call 911 if you have new symptoms or see someone else having them.

F: A: S: T:

Face-uneven smile, facial droop or numbness, sudden change in the way you see Arm and leg-weakness, numbness, difficulty walking

Speech–slurred, wrong words, or unable to speak Time-Call 911 immediately; then, check the time so you will know when the first symptoms started

Know the risk factors What are the treatable risk factors for stroke? High blood pressure. Know your blood

Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). TIA

pressure. It should be lower than 140/90.

is a “warning stroke,” sometimes called a “mini-stroke.” Warning signs are the same as stroke but last only a short time and symptoms disappear. They are good at predicting if a stroke will appear but not when it will happen. Call 911 for TIAs as well as strokes.

Tobacco use. Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 preventable risk factor. Heart disease. Common heart disorders: atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, or heart failure have a higher risk for stroke than hearts that work normally. Working with your doctor to manage heart disease decreases your risk for stroke.

Diabetes. Diabetes causes destructive changes to the vessels throughout the body, including the brain. Treating diabetes can delay the onset of complications that increase the risk of stroke. Carotid or other vascular disease. Arteries narrowed by fatty deposits from atherosclerosis may become blocked by a blood clot.

High blood cholesterol. A high level of total cholesterol in the blood (240mg/ dL or higher) is a major risk factor for heart disease, which raises your risk of stroke. LDL (“bad”) cholesterol should be 100 mg/dL or less. Physical inactivity and obesity. Go for a walk, take the stairs, and do whatever you can to make your life more active for at least 30 minutes total on all or most days of the week. For more information and a quiz regarding stroke symptoms, go to www.

Wellness Challenge garners honors Skagit Regional Health is proud to play a role in the Mount Vernon Mayor’s Wellness Challenge. The 2012 month-long project offering free, daily open-to-the- public wellness events across the city garnered the Association of Washington Cities Municipal Excellence Award for Community Engagement.


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Skagit Valley Hospital hosted weekly events during the 2012 Wellness Challenge. In total, more than 1,500 participants took part in the 31 free events held during August 2012. The 2013 Mayor’s Wellness Challenge continues through mid-September. Skagit Regional Health will host a “Walk with the Mayor” on September 11.

The new Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit features private patient rooms and the latest technology.

Stroke care , close to home Stroke – also known as brain attack – is a medical emergency and every second counts in getting immediate medical attention. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, longterm disability in the United States where someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, according to the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association. Skagit Regional Health is a Certified Primary Stroke Center, accredited based on quality and patient safety by Det Norske Veritas (DNV). The accreditation from DNV was originally received in 2011 and was renewed in 2013 after a rigorous survey of records, charts, processes and facilities. The status as a Certified Primary Stroke Center is in recognition of the availability of acute stroke care, 24/7 emergency care and Skagit Valley Hospital’s connection to experts at the

Swedish Neuroscience Institute with the TeleStroke program. In 2012, Skagit Valley Hospital treated 200 stroke patients and had an average “door-toneedle” time for administering clotbusting medications of just 54 minutes. In addition to diagnosing and treating stroke patients, Skagit Regional Health is actively involved in helping the community be aware of stroke signs and symptoms and encouraging proactive prevention. Skagit Regional Health participates in a consortium of hospitals across the Puget Sound and staff recently participated in an event at a Seattle Mariners game “Strike Out Stroke.” Several Puget Sound area hospitals attended the June game, where stroke information was handed out and experts were available for questions and blood pressure checks. Skagit Regional Health is also participating in the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s Get With The

Guidelines® - Stroke program, a quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by following evidence-based guidelines. The program focuses on acute stroke management, primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and secondary prevention of strokes. The program provides training and staffing recommendations, care maps, discharge protocols, standing orders, data collection and measurement tools. “The time is right for Skagit Valley Hospital to be focused on improving the quality of stroke care by implementing Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke. The number of acute ischemic stroke patients eligible for treatment is expected to grow over the next decade due to increasing stroke incidence and a large aging population,” said Jessica Bell, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Emergency Department.

Foundation funds upgrade to cardiac care unit The newly remodeled Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit opened in June, offering additional privacy, space and technology to patients and families. The $350,000 project was fully funded by the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. The space, which previously served as the emergency room before the new department opened in 2007, replaces an area that lacked adequate amenities for patients, families and staff. “This is so nice. This will really help serve our patients and staff

much better,” said Bobbi Hallberg, BAN, MSN, RN, Director of the Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit and Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Skagit Valley Hospital. “It’s been just a wonderful change for us and we appreciate the support of the Foundation to make it happen.” The Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit is located adjacent to the Cardiac Procedure Suites, also known as cardiac catheterization labs. Patients spend time in the unit before and after a cardiac procedure.

Skagit Valley Hospital is the only facility in Skagit County with cardiac catheterization labs. Currently, 10 cardiologists including three interventional cardiologists and an electrophysiologist utilize the catheterization suites for diagnostic procedures, to perform angioplasty and place stents and to implant devices including defibrillators. In addition, interventional radiologists use the catheterization labs for peripheral vascular procedures.

HealthQuest FALL 2013


Patients benefit from growing spine program The spine program at Skagit Regional Clinics has flourished since it began nearly two years ago. Earlier this year, neurosurgeons David Baker, MD and Barry Landau, MD joined David Goldman, MD and Jenna Beh, PA-C who started the program in 2011. Neurosurgeons are trained to treat ailments of the brain, spine and peripheral nerves. However, nearly 80 percent of patients who visit a community-based neurosurgery practice, like Skagit Regional Clinics, are seen for issues related to the spine. Common diagnoses include lumbar radiculopathy and lumbar stenosis causing pain, numbness or weakness. They also treat patients suffering from broken bones in the back or neck and pinched nerves from herniations or bone spurs. Patients treated by neurosurgeons are often unable to perform daily tasks without immense pain. “I feel blessed to have a job where I get an opportunity every day to do so much good,” said Dr. Goldman. “It is a great joy for me to have a patient come to my office after surgery and say ‘I got my life back’ and smile.” Dr. Baker noted that before the spine program was developed at SRC, more than 50 percent of spine surgeries were being performed outside of the county.

“Before the clinic was established (at SRC), I would do 20 – 30 spine operations at Skagit Valley Hospital in a year,” said Dr. Goldman. “The first year that our group worked at SRC, we increased the number of surgeries to 150 in one year.” He anticipates the number of spine surgeries will continue to increase, even exceeding 250 in 2014.

For nearly 12 years, the physicians, who also practice at Fourth Corner Neurosurgical Associates in Bellingham, have been performing minimal access surgeries. “This is a spine surgery performed through small tubes placed through incisions in the skin that are less than an inch. This reduces pain, blood loss, speeds recovery and often makes it possible to discharge patients on the day of surgery,” said Dr. Goldman. Dr. Baker recalled a recent patient who benefitted from minimal access or minimally invasive surgery. The patient had an appointment in the office because she was unable to stand. She had surgery at Skagit Valley Hospital the same afternoon as her appointment and walked out of the hospital the next day. This was possible because of minimal access techniques used during surgery. Prior to the development of these techniques, patients would spend multiple days recovering in the hospital before they were discharged. Studies have shown that there is no difference in outcomes one year out when compared with traditional surgery, but with less pain and quicker recovery for the patient, said Dr. Baker. Because of the benefits, the SRC neurosurgeons have expanded the use of minimally invasive surgery to treat a number of different spine problems.

High definition in the operating room General Surgeon Morrie Johnson, MD uses the new high definition camera system installed in all six operating rooms at Skagit Valley Hospital in April. The camera system is the latest in visualization equipment offered by Stryker, an industry leader in medical optics. “The image quality is fantastic,” said Kelly Bradford, RN, BSN CNOR, Director of Surgical Services at


Skagit regional health

Skagit Valley Hospital. The $400, 000 system provides enhanced visibility for surgeons, including multiple image viewing. The system is used by general and orthopedic surgeons, urologists and gynecologists for laparoscopic or arthroscopic procedures. The video and images are also uploaded into the patient’s medical record.

Riverbend: New clinic to open in May 2014 Work is now well under way on Skagit Regional Clinics – Riverbend, located at 2320 Freeway Drive in Mount Vernon. The foundation has been poured and walls for the 39,000 square foot clinic are being raised. Construction will continue through the fall and winter with the facility’s grand opening slated for May 2014. The new clinic will offer patients a convenient location to receive a variety of services including internal medicine dermatology, pediatrics and urgent care. On-site lab, X-ray and pharmacy services will also be available. Pediatrics

and dermatology will relocate from existing space on Skagit Regional Clinics’ main campus to the new clinic, with easy access and ample parking. Urgent Care will be open extended hours, including weekends and holidays, to care for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. The location affords easy access from Interstate 5. Urgent Care is currently available at Skagit Regional Clinics’ main campus, across from Skagit Valley Hospital, and at Cascade Skagit Health Alliance in Smokey Point.

The total project cost for SRC – Riverbend is $15.5 million. It will be paid for with revenue bonds issued by Skagit County Public Hospital District No 1. and cash reserves.

SRC – Riverbend will offer: • Urgent Care • Pediatrics • Dermatology • Internal Medicine • Lab • Pharmacy • X-ray

Join our team: New technology assists job candidates

Skagit Regional Health has implemented advanced new technology that will enhance the candidate experience when applying for job opportunities. The new technology will allow applicants to receive electronic notification that an application was received, check their application status online, and much more. To learn more about Skagit Regional Health and to view current career opportunities, go to www.skagitvalleyhospital. org/ and select Careers.

Smokey Point clinic earns construction and design award Cascade Skagit Health Alliance, a clinic partnership between Skagit Regional Health and Cascade Valley Hospital, earned first place in the healthcare category in the annual Associated Builders & Contractors of Western Washington Excellence in Construction awards. The clinic features 58 examination rooms and four procedure rooms

for primary care, plus 10 exam rooms and two procedure rooms for urgent care, along with MRI, digital X-ray and full lab services. The honor was announced in April. General contractor on the 42,000 square foot clinic at Smokey Point was Synergy Construction of Woodinville and the architect is Botesch, Nash & Hall of Everett. HealthQuest FALL 2013


Camano clinic

Joshua Griggs, MD serves patients of all ages at Skagit Regional Clinics – Camano Island.

expansion complete

A remodeling project and 1,000 square-foot addition is complete at Skagit Regional Clinics – Camano Island to better serve the health care needs of the 15,000 island residents. The project expanded clinical space with the addition of five new exam rooms, all featuring state-of-theart equipment. A new nurse’s work station was added and the reception area was revamped for increased patient privacy. Power doors were installed in the main entry, making the clinic more easily accessible.

Fresh paint, a new roof and updated landscaping helped to freshen up the exterior. The facility, which was built in 1999, is Camano Island’s only clinic and a partnership between Island County and Skagit Regional Health. The clinic offers a full range of Family Medicine and lab services under the care of two health care professionals, who are also Camano Island residents, Joshua Griggs, MD and Anne Herbert, PA-C. In addition to enhancing the building’s appearance and making

the facility more comfortable, the expansion project will ensure that the clinic will be able to support the people of Camano Island in the future. “The clinic can now grow with the needs of the community and eventually house three full-time providers,” said Dr. Griggs.

To schedule an appointment at SRC – Camano Island, call 360-387-5398.

New fellowship in health administration Ben Landsman has a passion for making the patient experience the best it can be. He was drawn to a career in health administration after a personal experience with the health care system left him frustrated and realizing there were gaps in communication and coordination within the system. His goal was to be part of the solution to make the patient experience the best it could be. Towards that end, Landsman graduated in the spring of 2013 from the University of Washington with two graduate degrees – first a Masters in Public Administration and second


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a Masters in Health Administration. He was chosen from a pool of 10 applicants to be the first Skagit Regional Health Administrative Fellow. The Skagit Regional Health Post Graduate Administrative Fellowship program provides an opportunity for a recent Masters-prepared graduate from an accredited program in health administration, public health, business administration or degree equivalent at Washington State University or University of Washington to develop their leadership potential, project management skills, and grow valuable professional

experiences and relationships within the SRH organization. During his one-year fellowship which began in July 2013, Landsman will be doing rotations and working with members of the Skagit Regional Health executive team as well as service line leaders to map out a variety of projects focusing on the areas of finance, strategic planning and human resources. Landsman is looking forward to his involvement in developing and implementing projects in the coming year that will make a positive difference in the quality of the health care experience.

Kidney and Wound project

complete thanks to donor support

A new, enclosed foyer outside the main entrance of the Skagit Valley Kidney Center and Wound Healing Center is complete, courtesy of the generosity of the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends. The foyer provides a warm, outof-the-elements space for patients and others to wait for transportation. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow full visibility and the space is furnished with benches, potted plants and an automatic door.

The Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends fully funded this project which totaled approximately $36,000. In addition, a remodel to the Kidney Center lobby was complete in late July. The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation fully funded the $142,000 project. The update of existing space included a facelift of flooring, paint and reception desk improvements, plus two staff offices, a new patient refreshment center and an area to store wheelchairs. “The Kidney Center staff and

patients were very grateful to move forward with this project,” said Debbie Woodard, RN, CNN, Program Director for the Skagit Valley Kidney Center. “The remodel was made possible through the many generous donations from the family and friends of patients we have had the pleasure to serve. On behalf of the Kidney Center Staff, thank you for your generosity and kindness.” Angell & Co. Inc. of Lake Stevens was the contractor on both projects.

CT scanner offers benefits The Skagit Valley Hospital Diagnostic Department is proud of its newest addition, a Siemens Definition 64-slice CT scanner which is able to perform more than 50 computerized tomography or “CT” procedures per day. CT is a tool to visualize nearly any part of the body, including bone and soft tissue areas. The high- tech equipment offers patients a range of benefits, including rapid scanning speed which decreases the need for a prolonged breath hold. This benefits pediatric patients or those who have difficulty holding still for long periods of time. The

new technology also provides less radiation exposure to the patient. The new CT unit was built with patient comfort in mind. It has a larger opening and is less intimidating than other models, making it ideal for patients who suffer from claustrophobia. The CT room, which is located within the Emergency Department for immediate access in emergency situations and enhanced patient privacy, features a calming color scheme and has a bright artificial skylight to help put patients at ease. For more information about CT studies and other diagnostic tests available at Skagit Valley Hospital, visit our Web site:

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Finding help locally Starting Oct. 1, the following organizations will be available to offer help to people seeking to sign up for health insurance including: • Community Action of Skagit County, Mount Vernon • Mount Baker Planned Parenthood, Mount Vernon • Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Mount Vernon • Skagit Regional Health, Mount Vernon • Island Hospital, Anacortes • United General Hospital, Sedro-Woolley

Countdown to coverage Beginning in October, currently uninsured residents will have an opportunity to enroll in Medicaid and other health insurance programs as part of health care reform. Skagit Regional Health is partnering with a variety of agencies in our communities to assist people in learning more about their eligibility and get to know the Washington Healthplanfinder, which is a new way for people to find, compare and enroll in health insurance. The goal is to help residents enroll in a qualified health plan starting Oct. 1, 2013 for coverage that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2014. “This is another example of Washington State being ahead of the curve – making sure our residents have a marketplace where they can get the health insurance they need and want. This consumer support is essential to getting every Washington resident covered so they can get the health care they need,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.


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Watch for announcements of events and locations where residents will be provided with assistance in enrolling and offered impartial information to help them determine which health insurance option best fits their needs. These efforts may take place through in-person meetings, online communications and over the phone. “The Exchange is fortunate to partner with community organizations who are eager to help make health care coverage a reality for the individuals and families they serve,” said Kelly Boston, Navigator Manager for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The Washington Healthplanfinder is an on-line system that will serve as a single point of entry for individuals and families to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage. More information about Washington Healthplanfinder and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange is available at or

About Washington Healthplanfinder Washington Healthplanfinder will be a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. Washington Healthplanfinder will begin enrolling consumers on Oct. 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

About the Washington Health Benefit Exchanges The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) with the goal to redefine people’s experience with health care through the creation of a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board appointed by former Gov. Chris Gregoire in Dec. 2011.

Back to School:

Immunization Update As summer comes to a close and the first day of school approaches, many parents wonder what immunizations their children may need. “Childhood immunizations are important,” said Krista Galitsis, MD, PhD, pediatrician at Cascade Skagit Health Alliance in Arlington. Infants today receive vaccinations to prevent a host of diseases. “There are now fourteen diseases that we immunize against before the age of two,” said Dr. Galitsis, who has practiced pediatrics for nearly 20 years. This is an increase from the 1980s when there were only seven. Recommendations for infant vaccinations include: • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) • Hib to prevent meningitis • Hepatitis A • Hepatitis B • Influenza • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) • IPV to prevent polio • PCV (pneumococcal) • Rotavirus • Varicella Over the years, parents of some young children in Dr. Galitsis’ practice have expressed concerns regarding the high number of vaccinations for children. “There is a lot of research that shows that we are not offering too many vaccines and the diseases that we are preventing are much more serious than the vaccines’ minimal side effects,” she said.

Side effects from vaccinations can include soreness or redness at the injection site or low-grade fever which will resolve within a few days. Very rarely a child will have an allergic reaction to a vaccine, said Dr. Galitsis. There is ongoing analysis and reporting of all serious side effects from vaccines through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. This is a national safety surveillance program operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. In the late 1990s, a medical journal called The Lancet published a study linking the MMR vaccine to autism, causing widespread concern. In 2010, the journal retracted the study citing unethical actions of the lead author whose medical license has since been revoked. No other study has found a link between vaccinations and autism. “The study has been thoroughly debunked,” stressed Dr. Galitsis. “I would not recommend vaccines if I thought that they did cause autism.” Though multiple studies have shown that vaccines are safe, Washington state has seen an increase in parents who have opted their children out of vaccines at the kindergarten level. That led to an

epidemic in 2012 in which there were 1,000 cases of Pertussis in Washington in the first four months of the year, said Dr. Galitsis. “We’ve really pushed for the immunization of these children and adults, and it’s had an effect,” she said. This year there has been a significant decrease in the number of Pertussis cases in the state - down to 193 cases in the same time period. Recommendations for children 4 – 6 years of age: • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) • Influenza • IPV to prevent polio • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) • Varicella Adolescent recommendations: • Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) booster • HPV (human papillomavirus) now available for both boys and girls. • Influenza • MCV (meningococcal) for protection against meningitis Dr. Galitsis urges parents of her patients to have their children vaccinated saying, “Vaccinations provide for the health of our future generations.” Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s health care provider to learn more about vaccine recommendations and to discuss any questions or concerns. If you need a health care provider, call the Skagit Regional Health Physician Referral Line: 360-848-5555. HealthQuest FALL 2013


Immunizations, physicals for students Skagit Regional Health hosted a free kindergarten immunization day in May and a follow up for kindergarteners and high school freshmen this Fall to help students who do not have access to a physician and wellness exams get started for the school year. The immunization clinics are a collaboration between the Skagit County Public Health Department, which received vaccinations through the state Vaccinations for Children program, Mount Vernon School District and Skagit Regional Health. Medical professionals, medical students, resident physicians and community members volunteered at the immunization events. In addition, medical students and resident physicians, assisted by Director of Graduate Medical Education Jeanne Rupert, DO, have provided a series of opportunities for free sports physicals for Mount Vernon School District students. More than 50 students have received physicals and become eligible to participate in sports activities.

Eat Local, Mount Vernon Skagit Bistro at Skagit Valley Hospital is participating in September in the Eat Local, Mount Vernon campaign that celebrates the bounty of fresh products available in Skagit Valley. Menu items throughout the month will be focused on fresh ingredients from Skagit Valley farms and Farmers’ Markets.


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New partnership with National Multiple Sclerosis Society Skagit Regional Clinics - Neurology has been designated as a Partner in MS Care with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In particular, this partnership recognizes the work of Skagit Regional Clinics neurologist, Patti Brettell, MD, for her special knowledge and experience in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care and her special interest in treating people living with MS. A National MS Society Partner in MS Care designation can be applied to neurologists who have a particular interest in the comprehensive care of patients with MS. A partner has experience and interest in the field, and is motivated to continuously gain a more in-depth understanding of MS. Piper Reynolds, senior manager of programs for the National MS Society, Greater Northwest Chapter, stated “Our Chapter has had a long-standing

relationship with Dr. Patti Brettell. She has demonstrated her commitment to providing optimal care for people living with MS in the Skagit County area. She has supported the work of the Chapter through her many volunteer efforts, her continuing education about MS and her numerous patient education community presentations in Western Washington. Being identified as a Partner in MS Care is how we recognize the quality services and specialized support Dr. Brettell provides to individuals with MS.” Dr. Brettell will give a presentation titled “Demystifying MS Treatment Options” in November. See page 29 for details. (Above, left to right ) Nicky Flint, SRC Practice Manager; Patti Brettell, MD and Piper Reynolds

Skagit Regional Health seeks volunteers for Patient and Family Advisory Council Skagit Regional Health is forming a Patient and Family Advisory Council to foster an ongoing conversation and partnership between health care providers, patients, family members and community representatives. With a strong commitment to providing quality care and a positive patient experience, Skagit Regional Health staff, nurses and providers would like to hear from patients and their family members who have received care at Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Regional Clinics.

The council, which will meet monthly, will offer a forum to discuss and initiate programs, policies, and health care service to improve patient satisfaction and the healthcare experience. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Patient and Family Advisory Council, contact Patient Relations Coordinator Noelle Couvreur, RN, BSN at 360-814-2312 or via e-mail at

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 as members of the Board of Trustees.

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 Anderson-Bruner Dee Berglin Susan Brown Staff Chris Cammock Linda Frizzell Jill Christensen Executive Director Debbie Connolly Gregg Davidson Wendy Ragusa Gary Fiedler Development Kelli Hutchens Coordinator June Jordan Balisa Koetje Becky Wells Virginia Learned Development Corey Mendoza Associate Jean Miller Debbie Nootenboom Christie Peterson Jill Pickering Jaynie Roozen Richard Roozen Deanna Scott Brett Simbe Jim Spane Shirley Watkinson Dr. Rob Zwick

Skagit County native Kelli Hutchens resides in Conway with her husband Jim. She is the owner of Reality Women’s Clothing and a Silpada Designs representative who looks forward to becoming more involved in the Foundation’s Festival of Trees event.

Debbie Nootenboom, an executive assistant for All West/Select Sires, is a Burlington native. She resides in Mount Vernon and has volunteered for the Foundation’s Par Tee Golf Classic tournament for many years.

Burlington-Edison High School Students Support Cancer Care Center The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation was honored to accept a check for $1,009.59 from the Burlington-Edison High School Leadership Class on behalf of the B-EHS student body. The students raised the funds for the Foundation’s Cancer Care fund at their Coaches vs. Cancer event

during the basketball season and during their annual “Cure Cancer” week. The 17 students pictured above were treated to a tour of the Regional Cancer Care Center. This is the fourth year we have received support from the student body of B-EHS - what a wonderful partnership! HealthQuest FALL 2013


A Quarter Century of Giving At the Foundation’s annual dinner meeting in May, current and past board members celebrated 25 years of giving. Established in 1988, the Foundation has raised more than $13 million to support programs and services at Skagit Valley Hospital! The organization’s fundraising has been instrumental in the establishment of the Skagit Valley Kidney Center, the Sunrise Inn, the Regional Cancer Care Center, the Mental Health Center, the new SOU/Cardiac Care unit and many other programs.

Playhouse Raffle Benefits Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit Project The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce that the Brask family of Snohomish was the winner of the 2013 playhouse raffle. A total of $8,415 was raised through this endeavor to benefit the Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit project. The “stable-style” playhouse was designed and built by Spane Buildings Inc. and Equine Facility Design, in partnership with Cascade Lumber, CB Wholesale, Andersen Windows, Beck & Co. Inc. (painting), and Karl’s Paints.

“We are grateful to all for your generous support of this year’s playhouse raffle! A very special thank you to Foundation trustee Jim Spane of Spane Buildings for selecting the Foundation as the raffle beneficiary and to Foundation trustee Susan Brown for coordinating the ticket sales,” said Linda Frizzell, Executive Director Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. The Spane Buildings playhouse also received the “People’s Choice” Award. This was the fourth annual playhouse challenge sponsored by the Skagit Island Counties Builders Association.

Enter to win a 8ft. x 12ft.

Plunkin’ Shack

Drawing will be held Sunday, December 1 at the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees - Silver Anniversary.

Constructed by Spane Buildings Inc. in partnership with Cascade Lumber, Champion Metal and Karl’s Paints, and designed by DeasyGroup.


Skagit regional health


Tickets are available at the hospital’s north lobby information desk. All proceeds will benefit Cardiac Care Services at Skagit Valley Hospital Winner need not be present to win.



A Record Year!

On June 28, 2013, 152 golfers hit the links in the 10th Annual Par Tee Golf Classic, at Skagit Golf & Country Club in Burlington. The tournament, played in scramble format, began at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start. Golfers were treated to continental breakfast, lunch, dinner, welcome bag, putting and closestto-pin contests, use of a golf cart, activities and refreshments at each hole. Other features included hole• Associated Petroleum Products, Inc. • Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts • BAC Enterprises, Inc. • Big Lake Fire Auxiliary • Board of Commissioners – Public Hospital District No. 1 • Business Bank • Chad Fisher Construction LLC • Comprehensive Pharmacy Services • D.A. Davidson – Reep-Elliott Group • E & E Lumber • ECG Management Consultants, Inc. • Express Employment Professionals • Foster Pepper PLLC • Hilde Family Dentistry • Alfie Hill-Banta • Impact, Inc. • Jack Carroll’s Skagit Hyundai • Judd & Black • Just Peachy Frozen Yogurt • Labcorp Inc./Dynacare Laboratories • Leverage Information Systems • McAdams Wright Ragen – Corey Mendoza & Jeff Stewart • Meyer Sign & Advertising • North Sound Kidney Physicians • Optimum Properties

in-one prizes, a raffle, progressive poker hand, silent auction and many give-aways! This year’s event raised a gross $61,214 with a net of $37,900. Proceeds will benefit the Cancer Care Patient Assistance fund and the Cardiac Care Special Observation Unit project. The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation would also like to thank the following sponsors for contributing to the success of this year’s tournament: • Padgett & Padgett, PLLC • Piper Jaffray & Co. • Premera Blue Cross • PrimeLending • Proliance Surgeons • Ravnik & Associates • Resource Corporation of America • Richard & Jaynie Roozen • Riverside Chiropractic Clinic • SB&C, LTD • SCI Solutions • Seattle Cancer Care Alliance • Sims Honda • Skagit State Bank • Skagit Regional Health – Cardiology • Skagit Transportation • State Farm Insurance – Carol Lawson, Brad Methner & Keith Sorestad, Agents • Swedish Hospital • Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. • Thomas Cuisine • TRICO Companies, LLC • Virginia Mason Hospital & Medical Center • Washington Casualty Company • Whidbey Coffee Company • Val & Rob Zwick


Skagit Regional Health Employees Care! The incredible employees of Skagit Regional Health gave generously during the 2013 Employee Giving Campaign titled “i care.” An amazing $22,525.18 was given to the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation through payroll deductions, cashed out vacation time and direct gifts. The money raised will be gifted back to various areas of Skagit Regional Health 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 top quality care for the patients we serve. The Foundation thanks the employees of Skagit Regional Health for their continued support.

Monica Baca Chief Radiation Therapist

25th anniversary

Above (left to right): Kyle Smith, CSHA, Support Service Tech - Getty Phippen, Director, Pulmonary & Sleep Services - Robert L. Rosenfeld, MD (OB/GYN) HealthQuest FALL 2013



State Farm Friends: The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is pleased to collaborate with State Farm Insurance agents – Carol Lawson, Brad Methner and Keith Sorestad on many of our special events and programs. This long-standing partnership includes sponsorship for the Foundation’s Par Tee Golf Classic, Festival of Trees and more. “We appreciate that these three agencies have come together on numerous occasions to support the work of the Foundation,” says Chris Cammock, Foundation board president. Their personal patient stories make their connection to Skagit Valley Hospital and the Foundation even stronger. Carol, the proud mom of two girls, the oldest starting kindergarten this fall, speaks fondly of the intimate experience of giving birth to her children here at Skagit. “In 2007, I was pregnant with my first daughter. This was the same time that tours were being given in the hospital’s new addition. Both of my girls were born here. It is a special place,” Carol said. Keith cannot say enough about the emergency department staff that helped him recover from a dislocated


Skagit regional health

hip. Suffering excruciating pain, the physician and nurses worked tirelessly to get Keith’s hip back into place. Grateful for the care he received, Keith says, “I was able to walk out that same day.” Brad’s stories also include visits to the ER with his kids, but his family’s special connection with the hospital involved their friend Sonya Beard. Mrs. Beard’s care as a patient of the Wound Healing Center and subsequently her work and gift to the center to create a hyperbaric therapy program made a significant donor experience for Brad and his wife Pam. “It is wonderful when alliances are formed to create the growth of specialty services, like the hyperbaric program. Sonya was a great woman and her charitable commitment to assist in providing specialty care is remarkable,” Brad said. As engaged leaders, their philanthropic activities extend into their business’ communities. Carol, who has been a State Farm agent for the past seven years, serves as a board member on the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Keith runs the family’s 36-year insurance agency and has been a life-long Sedro-Woolley Rotarian

including his service as a past club president. He was president of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County (EDASC) and served as a trustee for the United Way of Skagit County for more than 20 years. Brad joined the State Farm family in late 1996 and manages the Mount Vernon/College Way branch. He was a Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation trustee from 2000 – 2009 and during his tenure served as Par Tee chair and a member of the Festival of Trees committee. He is a member of the Mount Vernon Noon Rotary. The team values the hospital’s partnerships and affiliations to improve the health and wellness of our communities and thus has elected through their financial stewardship to be an integral part of Skagit’s mission of quality compassionate care. Keith sums up the trio’s commitment to the Foundation: “Giving to our local hospital (Hospital District #1) only makes sense. Quality schools and hospitals are key factors to the vitality of a community.”

(Above, left to right ) Keith Sorestad, Carol Lawson and Brad Methner


Skagit Regional Health offers the following health screenings and education programs at Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood, 9631 269th St. NW, Stanwood or 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 (PAD), Elevated Cholesterol and More! The Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute offers this popular community screening on Monday mornings for all adults over age 18. Attend this screening to find out your risk factors for developing PAD, cardiovascular disease and stroke and learn how to reduce it. The screening includes the following tests and results are immediate: • Ankle brachial pressure index to help detect peripheral artery disease (no caffeine or nicotine for one hour prior). • Blood pressure. • Full lipid profile for cholesterol plus glucose requires 12 – 14 hour fast, water and medications only (no alcohol 24 hours prior.) This is a fingerstick test with immediate results. • Body composition testing to detect elevated body fat. • Review results with a health care provider.

Call 360-629-6481 to schedule an appointment for this screening program that takes just 40 minutes! The cost is only $39 and it is held on Monday mornings at Skagit Regional Clinics - Cardiology. 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 for further evaluation if suggested.

Doc Talk

Genetic Screening for Cancer Do you have a strong family history of cancer in your family? Do you have a first-degree relative who recently was diagnosed with cancer? Are you nervous that it may be genetic? Edythe Garvey, ARNP with Skagit Regional Clinics Stanwood, and Jocelyn Soules from Myriad Genetic Laboratories will be discussing genetic testing as a screening tool for those at risk. The discussion will include who should have this test, when, and how it is conducted. Be informed about your health so you can make an informed decision.

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. Nov. 4 and 5 (Mon/Tue) 1 - 5 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B Pay at the class

October 10 (Thur) 6 – 7:30 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics – Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B No charge but pre-registration required

Skagit Regional Clinics A department of Skagit Valley Hospital

AARP Driver Safety Program

Camano Island

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


9631 269th St. NW Stanwood 360-629-1600 HealthQuest FALL 2013


Cholesterol/Diabetes and Vitamin D Screenings Screenings are provided at the following locations by Skagit Regional Health 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. 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. This screening is not recommended for patients on anticonvulsant medication. Fasting is not required. The cost is $39 (cash or check payable to SVH). No appointment required. All results are mailed to your home. For information call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481. No appointment or pre-registration is required. Sept. 26 (Thur) 7:30 - 9 a.m. Skagit Regional Clinics Camano Island 127 N. East Camano Drive Nov. 7 (Thur) 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 360629-6481 to schedule an appointment. November 13 (Wed) 1 - 4 p.m. Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood 9631 269th Street NW Conference Room A/B

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 drive:

CPR and First Aid Classes are held at various locations in Stanwood on the second Saturday of the month. Call the North County Regional Fire Authority at 360652-1246 for more information. 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.

December 30 (Mon)

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. (Below, left to right ) Stanwood providers including Johnna Wilcox, MD, Keith Erickson, PA-C, Carol Hoeksema, MD, Lynn Handy, ARNP, Corinne Bresko, MD, Edythe Garvey, ARNP, James Grierson, MD, Ryan Guanzon, MD.

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

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


Skagit regional health

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

HealthQuest Women’s Health Luncheon

Discovering Hope on a Path for the Cure Join us for this discussion about breast cancer with Theodore Kim, DO, medical oncologist, director of The Breast Institute at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and Michal Anne Whiton, MD, radiation oncologist with the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center. Learn about new successful therapies in the treatment of advanced breast cancer and lifestyle changes to incorporate to help keep it at bay. This event is sponsored by The Breast Institute at Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and cosponsored by Ashley Gardens, Skagit Valley Senior Village, Mira Vista, The Bridge at Mount Vernon, Home Attendant Care, Josephine Sunset Home, Walgreens, and Janette Carroll, DDS. October 24 (Thur) 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon $15 includes lunch Pre-registration required by October 21

Doc Talk Live Life Dry

Do you or a loved one experience embarrassing or troublesome symptoms like leaking or dribbling urine, or not being able to “hold it”? Statistics show you’re not alone. These are symptoms of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). An estimated 52 million men and women cope with urinary leakage. Diabetes can increase the risk and severity of urinary incontinence, but there are options for prevention and treatment. Learn about ways to take control and live your life dry today in this presentation with Mansel Kevwitch, MD, urologist with Pacific Rim Urology. October 15 (Tue) 6:30 – 8 p.m. Cascade Conference Room No charge but preregistration required

Doc Talk

Demystifying MS Treatment Options This presentation by neurologist Patti Brettell, MD with Skagit Regional Clinics, will provide information about the most current treatment options for Multiple Sclerosis

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.

(MS) plus helpful tips for making comfortable decisions. Participants will learn more about how to interpret the benefits and risks of medications, when it is time to discontinue a medication plus more about the medication approval process. This program was made possible through a collaborative partnership with Skagit Regional Clinics and the National MS Society, Greater Northwest Chapter. November 7 (Thur) 6 – 8 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room This event is FREE, but RSVP is required

Estate Planning/ Living Wills Join local attorney Colonel Betz for this popular presentation on estate planning, trusts, powers of attorney, wills, inheritance taxes and probate. He will also speak on the importance of advanced directives/ living wills and how to prepare them. This event is sponsored by the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation. September 18 (Wed) 6 - 8 p.m. Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street No charge but pre-registration required

NEW - Emergency Planning and Preparation Would your family know what to do in case of a fire in your home? How would you respond if a flood or earthquake threatened our community? Emergencies come in many shapes and sizes – some man-made, others acts of nature. While it is impossible to control every outcome, education and planning can help you feel more confident that you and your loved ones will have the skills needed to cope.

HealthQuest FALL 2013


The American Red Cross offers this one-hour presentation teaching individuals how to become better prepared for a disaster by making a plan, getting a kit and being informed. Participants will learn the importance of preparing and planning for each of those three steps. Time will be allowed for questions. September 26 (Thur) 6 - 7 p.m. Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street No charge but preregistration required

NEW - Cooking Classes Come enjoy delicious meals while learning how to cook healthier! These fun classes are taught by Kara Siedman or Megan Gill, both registered dietitians with Skagit Regional Health. For more detailed information about the actual menu items or to register online for each class, please visit www.skagitvalleyhospital/events September 12: Whole Grain Cooking with gluten-free options (Megan) October 10: Splendid Soups (Kara) November 14: Healthy Holiday Cooking: Part 1 – Thanksgiving (Megan) December 12: Healthy Holiday Cooking: Part 2 - Surviving the Holidays (Kara) 6 – 8 p.m. Gretchen’s Kitchen 509 S. 1st, Mount Vernon $19 each

Spanish for Health Care Providers Workshop Learn essential Spanish vocabulary and phrases common in your health care workplace, in order to communicate with Spanishspeaking 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. The instructor is Sarah Rowan, owner of Salud! Spanish Programs. This program is approved for six contact hours of continuing nursing education. October 8 and 9 (Tue/Wed) 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Sauk Room Enter through Kincaid Street $125 includes course materials Pre-registration 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 Hodgman is a gift… An excellent class.” “Jan is heaven sent. She has taught me a unique way to let go of resistance.”

Meditation is now scientifically recognized to help alleviate stress, mild depression, and anxiety. 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. Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and 13 (Wed) 6 – 8 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street 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. Instructor Debbie Gann has more than 25 years of healthcare experience. October 14 (Mon) 6 – 8:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street entrance No cost but pre-registration required

Photo by Linda Wright


Skagit regional health

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

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 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 23 and 24 (Wed/Thur) 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 multi-disciplinary, comprehensive education program for adults with diabetes, either newly diagnosed or for those patients needing extra guidance with diabetes control. The program includes: • Group education classes which cover the following topics: Diabetes knowledge, meal planning, physical activity, monitoring blood glucose, medication and insulin management, risk reduction, coping and problem solving; • A one-on-one appointment with a dietitian; • A three-month follow-up group class; • Individual appointments to review medication issues related to diabetes self- management, including maximizing the use of insulin, are also available.

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 multidisciplinary 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. You are encouraged to bring a friend or family member to the class who may be assisting you in your recovery. 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 360-814-8368.

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

HealthQuest FALL 2013


Health & Wellness Screenings

Heart and Vascular Screening: Detect Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), Elevated Cholesterol and More! The Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute offers this popular community screening on Monday 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. The same risk factors associated with heart disease are also linked with PAD. Attend this screening to find out your risk factors for developing PAD cardiovascular disease and stroke and learn how to reduce it. The screening includes the following tests and results are immediate: • Ankle brachial pressure index to help detect peripheral artery disease (no caffeine or nicotine for one hour prior). • Blood pressure. • Full lipid profile for cholesterol plus glucose requires 12 – 14 hour fast, water and medications only (no alcohol 24 hours prior.) This is a fingerstick test with immediate results. • Body composition testing to detect elevated body fat. • Review results with a health care provider.

Call 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 from Stanwood/Camano Island to schedule an appointment for this screening program. It takes just 40 minutes! The cost is only $39 and screenings are held on Monday mornings at Skagit Regional Clinics - Cardiology. 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 if further evaluation is suggested. Also see Stroke and Aneurysm Screenings on page 33 for a screening of the aorta and carotid arteries.

FREE Vein Screening Mark Johnson, MD, surgeon with Skagit Regional Clinics, will be administering screenings to evaluate visible veins and aim to raise awareness of venous disease and the available treatment options. Screenings take less than 10 minutes and are open to men and women. Participants are examined individually in a private environment and should wear loose-fitting clothes (no pantyhose). Shorts or skirts are best. September 30 (Mon) 2 – 5 p.m. Cascade Room Enter through the Kincaid Street No charge but preregistration required

Cholesterol/Diabetes and Vitamin D Screenings Screenings are provided by Skagit Regional Health 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 $39 (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 17 (Thur) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street

Bone Density Screening 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. October 17 (Thur) 7:30 – 9 a.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street

Photo by Aaron Logue


Skagit regional health

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. October 2 (Wed) 1 - 4 p.m. Provided by Corinne Sayler, PA-C, Skagit Regional Clinics-Dermatology Cascade Room Skagit Valley Hospital Enter through the Kincaid Street entrance December 11 (Wed) 1 - 4 p.m. Provided by J. Semmes Mickelwait, MD with Advanced Dermatology San Juan A/B Skagit Valley Hospital Enter through the Kincaid Street entrance

Vision Screening

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

Blood Drives

Free Blood Pressure Screenings

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 is required. Call 360814-2424 or 360-629-6481 to register.

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

A certified ophthalmic technician with North Cascade Eye Associates will conduct vision and glaucoma screenings. This is not an evaluation of cataracts or macular degeneration. It is an acuity (vision) and eye pressure test only. Bring a contact lens case for storage during the screening. No charge. Call 360-814-2424 or 360-629-6481 to schedule an appointment.

Skagit Regional Clinics - Stanwood

November 1 (Fri) 1-3 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Cascade Room Enter through Kincaid Street entrance

1. Do a monthly breast self-exam.

Stroke and Aneurysm Screening No need to wait for a special promotion when you can schedule your screening exams year around and have the exams performed using state-ofthe-art equipment, conducted by board certified diagnostic technologists and reviewed by a board certified radiologist. This ultrasound screening test provided by Skagit Digital Imaging is non-invasive, quick and painless, and will help you identify whether you are at increased risk

Skagit Regional Clinics - Mount Vernon Skagit Valley Hospital Kincaid St. Entrance

Is it Time for Your Mammogram? Remember the steps to breast health 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

1320 East Division Street Mount Vernon 360-428-7270 Open Monday – Thursday, 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Fridays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. A service provided cooperatively by Skagit Valley Hospital and Skagit Radiology.

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 one of the following blood drives: December 23 and 24 (Mon/Tue) 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.

Childbirth & Infant Care

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Childbirth Preparation: Weekend Course We offer a two-day childbirth preparation class on weekends. Plan to begin the course in your seventh or eight month of pregnancy. The class includes the same topics as the six-week course. A tour of the Family Birth Center is included. The fee is $95. Medical coupons are accepted. Pre-registration is required. Call 360814-2424 or 360-629-6481 to register.

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

HealthQuest FALL 2013


Breastfeeding and Newborn Care 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 fee is $25 for this two and one-half hour program. The cost is only $20 when registering for the weekend childbirth preparation class at the same time. 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. The class is taught by a certified pre- and post-natal fitness instructor. Sept. 26 – Nov. 14 (Thur) 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Skagit Valley Hospital Family Birth Center Waiting Room $79 Pre-registration required

Lactation Services at Skagit Valley Hospital Here at the Family Birth Center, we are dedicated to you and your baby’s health. That is why we provide one of the most inclusive lactation services programs in the region. There are six Internationally 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 360-814BABY 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 self-management 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 individual nutrition therapy appointments. For more information please contact our Diabetes Education Program at 360-814-2184.

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-tobe, prior to the birth of your new baby, to learn how to safely install and use your car seat. Sept. 19; Oct. 17; Nov. 21 (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

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 360-416-5717.

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.

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 appearancerelated 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.

Photo by Linda Wright


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

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 (third Floor)

Oct. 15: Doc Talk: Live Life Dry (see page 29 for more information) Pre-registration required. Nov. 19: Tips on nutrition and holiday eating Dec. 17: Open discussion

Women’s Cancer Support Group

Grief Support Services

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 Cyndy Adams, Oncology Social Worker, with frequent guest speakers arranged. Call 360-8148255 for additional information.

Art and Healing Group First and third Mondays of each month, 2 – 4 p.m. in the Safeway Conference Room (third floor) at the Regional Cancer Care Center. Our knowledgeable instructor 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 treatment. Please note that artistic “skills” are not required! Come and join this fun and welcoming group. For more information call 360-814-8287.

Diabetes Support

This group meets the third Tuesday of each month from 7 8:30 p.m. in the Shuksan room at Skagit Valley Hospital (except October in the Cascade Room). Sept. 17: Risk factor management/ lifestyle change (Part 2)

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 Library. 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 227 Freeway Drive, Suite A in Mount Vernon and after hours by appointment. A member of the hospice team can answer questions or help you find what you need. For information call Hospice of the Northwest’s Bereavement Program at 360-814-5589.

In-Service Education For grief and loss presentations for your organization or employees, contact the Hospice of the Northwest Bereavement Coordinator at 360-814-5589. For clinical education or presentations for your organization or employees, contact the Hospice of the Northwest Clinical Liaison at 360-814-5550.

Hospice Program Seeks Volunteers A unique and meaningful volunteer opportunity is available through Hospice of the Northwest, serving Skagit, Island, San Juan and 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. Volunteer trainings are held in the fall and spring of each year. To learn more, please contact Julie Pryor Barr, Community Liaison at 360814-5588 or

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.

Save the Date Saturday, September 14 “Ports of Call” Auction Hospice of the Northwest’s premier fund-raising event in support of dignity and compassion at the end of life is set for September 14. For ticket or sponsorship information, call 360-814-5702 or visit http://www.

HealthQuest FALL 2013


Donors Provide Nearly $240,000 in Funding for Hospice of the Northwest Programs and Services Hospice of the Northwest Foundation raises funds to support the programs and services of Hospice of the Northwest. Donations and memorial gifts help to ensure that no one is ever turned away from Hospice care because of an inability to pay. Donations and memorial gifts also help to provide programs and services that ensure Hospice of the Northwest care is exceptional. At their March, 2013 board meeting, the Trustees of the Foundation voted unanimously to approve Hospice program grant requests totaling nearly $240,000. The 2013 requests include funding to support uncompensated patient care, employee education and training, complementary therapies like massage and music, bereavement outreach and volunteer services, and the purchase and maintenance of new equipment and technology.

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 Brandon at 360421-5784 or Marti at 360-770-5666.


Skagit regional health

Skagit Valley REACH Center

Family-to-Family Education Program

This peer-run center provides volunteer opportunities, community resources, housing education, employment education, public computer access, computer classes, and self-supporting recovery classes. The Center volunteers work with individuals age 16 and older, developing goals to improve recovery. Skagit Valley Reach Center recognizes each person’s unlimited potential and encourages selfdetermination through respect, support, meaningful choices and understanding. People come to Skagit Valley Reach Center to build confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth, being proactive in their mental health recovery and personal wellness. The Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 1413 E. College Way in Mount Vernon. For more information call 360-873-8635 or visit at

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 Marti at 360-770-5666 or Judy at 360-424-5802 for next class dates or more information. Space is limited; reservations being taken now for next class beginning September 2013.

NAMI Basics Education Program A free six-week class for parents or primary caregivers of a child or teen with mental illness or a brain disorder such as ADHD, bipolar and others. The course helps families with communication, coping, schools and education needs, rehabilitation, recovery, and advocacy. NAMI Skagit provides this program. Call Marti at 360770-5666 for more information about next class dates and to register. Space is limited.

Peer-to-Peer Education Program Free nine-week class for adults with mental illness or brain disorders to help them better understand their illness and maintain and improve their recovery. NAMI Skagit provides this program. Call Natasha at 360-856-0267 for more information and about next class dates and to register. Space is limited.

Support Groups Call 360-814-2424 or 360-6296481 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 360-8142600 for more information.

Photo by Aaron Logue

Community News & Resources

Visit for a host of health and wellness resources for you and your family. This Web site offers online tools to learn more about nutrition, weight management and physical activity. Visit MyPlate Kids’ Place to find games and fun activities for children, and SuperTracker which provides a personalized nutrition and physical activity plan. In addition you’ll find sample menus and delicious, healthy recipes. Be sure to check out this useful Web site.

Speakers Bureau

Need an interesting presentation for your club or organization? Skagit Regional Health’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 Volunteer opportunities include:

Information Desks

A wide variety of locations are available.


If you are an accomplished pianist who would like to share your talent for others to enjoy, call 360-814-2142.

Junior Medical Volunteers

The Junior Medical Volunteer program is for students age 15-18.

For Students and Job Seekers

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 fundraising groups including the Gail Edward Iverson Circle of Friends, Grace Cochrum Guild, J.E.M. Guild, SVH Auxiliary and SVH Guild.

Need a Physician? Call our free Physician Referral Line at 360-848-5555 or 360629-5850 from Stanwood or Camano Island. The Physician Referral Line is open weekdays between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For access to community services dial 2-1-1

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 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 360-814-5059.

Watch HealthQuest on Cable-Access Television Station 10 and on

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.

Tobacco Quitline

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 heart disease and cancer care to prevention topics highlighting local walking trails and cooking shows. You can also view our HealthQuest shows online at www.

Washington adults, regardless of insurance status, can call the toll free Washington State Tobacco Quitline for free counseling, a person quit plan, a quit kit and referrals to local tobacco cessation resources. Eligible callers can also get a supply of nicotine patches or gum. Dial 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669), or 1-877-2NOFUME (877-266-3863) in Spanish.

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Board of Commissioners Public Hospital District No. 1

James Hobbs, Sr.

Balisa Koetje

Pattie Lewis

Bruce Lisser

Jeff Miller

Stan Olson

Clark Todd


Skagit regional health

Our search for a partner As a Board of Commissioners, we want to continually improve and expand healthcare services in our communities. Our commitment to continue to do so locally – for the benefit of you, our patients and neighbors – is what is driving our search for a larger partner. The timing of publishing a magazine does not allow us to provide you in this column with the latest information on our work with Cascade Valley Hospital and Island Hospital to find a larger health care partner. For the latest information, please go to our Web site at However, we can emphasize here the depth of work by the boards of these three non-profit Public District Hospitals that have been working together for nearly two years to discuss ways to continue to providing, improving and expanding healthcare and services in our region. The healthcare system is complex. Skagit Regional Health has so far been able to grow and expand our services to patients, while staying financially strong. But we must prepare for change in the new, unstable environment of health care. We know we need a larger partner to help us achieve the needed changes in an effective, meaningful way to retain and expand services; to attract talented providers and staff; and to stay financially viable. Consolidations and partnerships in health care are taking place across the nation and in our state. As you may be aware, the potential partners we have been reviewing include three

non-profit systems that responded to our Request for Proposals: Swedish Health/ Providence Health, Virginia Mason Medical Center and PeaceHealth/University of Washington Medicine. Our review of these proposals has involved a great deal of time, attention, evaluation and discernment regarding what potential partner is best able to meet the needs of our community. In the process, we have learned a lot about each other and the benefits of working together. We understand that as we seek more efficient ways to provide care and bring down the cost, there may be more jobs in some areas and fewer in others. We may also need to decide what services to offer at what facilities in a way that avoids costly duplication. We will be challenging ourselves, with the help of our partner, to find new, more efficient and affordable ways to deliver care. We have listened to input from constituents in public meetings, letters and e-mails and have worked hard to be transparent in our review process. We understand there are concerns in our communities about a potential partnership with a faith-based system. We are taking these and other concerns into account as we consider which potential partner to choose. In the end, however, we will make a decision with the best interests of the entire community in mind. We have sincerely listened to you; we appreciate your interest and support; and we are striving to make the right decision for the future of healthcare in the region and the patients we are honored to serve.


Skagit Regional Clinics provides comprehensive health care for patients of all ages through a network of health care facilities located in Skagit, north Snohomish and Island counties. More than 20 medical specialties are available for complete care, close to home.

10 locations 20 specialties, more than 100 providers Anacortes

Mount Vernon

Oak Harbor

Urology Address: 1213 24th Street, Suite 600 Phone: 360-293-2173

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


Cardiology Address: 2511 M Avenue, Suite D Phone: 360-293-0308

Primary and specialty care Address: 1400 E. Kincaid Street Phone: 360-428-2500

Camano Island

Urology Address: 1311 E. Division Street Phone: 360-424-7991

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


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



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: ____________________________________

Primary and specialty care Address: 1990 Hospital Drive Phone: 360-856-4222 Primary and specialty care Address: 9631 269th Street NW Phone: 360-629-1600

Riverbend Opening Spring 2014


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

Expiration Date:________________________ Signature: ____________________________________

Find our refund policy online at:



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


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 HealthQuest Winter FALL 2013


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


2013 Fall HealthQuest Magazine  

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

2013 Fall HealthQuest Magazine  

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