After Years of Planning, It’s Groundbreaking Time for New Snoqualmie Valley Hospital

After years of planning and even having to land-swap to make it happen, groundbreaking for the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital is just a couple of days away.

The community is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital happening from  2PM to 3PM, Wednesday, Sept. 25th at the new site – just west of Snoqualmie Parkway, near I-90 and Highway 18. This event marks the official commencement of construction on the hospital building.

Gregory Malcolm, Executive Director of Encompass, will emcee the event. Speakers include Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners President, Dick Jones; Snoqualmie Mayor, Matt Larson; Manager of The Benaroya Companies, Larry Benaroya; and Former Secretary for the WA State Department of Health, Mary Selecky. Light refreshments also will follow the ceremonial shovel turning.

Scheduled to open to patients in late 2014, the 70,000 square-foot hospital will be nearly three times larger than the current facility, offering 25 single-occupancy rooms, an expanded emergency department, larger rehab and lab departments, expanded imaging and diagnostic services, larger primary and specialty care clinics and an education facility.

The existing hospital will remain open to serve the community during the construction.

To attend, please RSVP email groundbreaking@snoqualmiehospital.org.

SnoValleyHospitalSketch

Comments

  1. This has now become too little too late, and a waste of property taxpayer money of us here. With so much broader healthcare services available within 15 minutes of most residents here, and certainly no more than the same distance for our remaining residents, in Issaquah, and a few minutes beyond that in Bellevue at other non-profit hospitals that are not taxpayer funded, this new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital will not only continue to be an unprofitable drain on local taxpayers here but most likely will become worse as the profitable non-profit hospitals and clinics continue to grow out way with more competitive offerings. Because SVH is a “Critical Access Hospital”, it will be limited to 25 beds into the foreseeable future, thus no room to expand and compete in that manner as it seeks profitability equivalent to its competition.

    Meanwhile, emergency responders will continue to bypass SVH taking patients to Overlake and Swedish Emergency Rooms, thus it will continue to be a struggle for SVH to justify taxpayer funding for ER services. I have personally had very good service at SVH ER on a few occasions during the past, but the situation is very different today with a world-class ER a few minutes further down the road. SVH has had one of the best Physical Therapy treatment clinics on the Eastside IMO, but we don’t need a hospital to house that.

    There are so many other healthcare needs that our valley communities need that are not well addressed presently and that would justify taxpayer funding for services, and present opportunities for SVHD to benefit us well beyond what they are doing today…teen mental healthcare to address our high and growing teen suicide rate, and a fulfillment of other teen healthcare services proposed several years ago by the SnoValley Youth Council and Snoqualmie Valley Community Network…drug abuse treatment for both adults & youth…more focused support for healthcare career training for both unemployed adults and new high school graduates…just to name a few. Unfortunately, SVHD has not performed good strategic business planning that addresses competitive analysis, a vision of our local future needs, and healthcare offerings beyond an increasingly un-needed hospital, and have not documented what little planning they have done (they call a simple fold-out brochure their “business plan” and as their board told me it is the only documentation they have on their planning discussion). Our taxpayers who are funding this debacle at great expense deserve much greater clarity than the failing grade awarded by one of our local newspapers to SVHD regarding their transparency & governance.

    Yes, it will be another beautiful building when finished. No, it will neither lighten the burden on home property taxes or attract any more customers than the present building does and therefore will not increase home values for those wishing to resell at some point. For those who wish to take pride in our community, it does not do enough address the real issues that our residents care about and need solutions for. Therefore, I submit that SVHD needs to visit re-purposing this new building and its business, as a result of some real planning involving our communities and outside experts. That in turn most likely means some changes to the board of commissioners.

    • I would like to address a few misconceptions Stephen Kangas wrote in his comment regarding the new hospital groundbreaking ceremony. The new hospital will be funded solely by operating revenue and not taxes. The Hospital District has an annual budget of almost $35 million, of which, only about $3 million comes from tax revenues. This amounts to only about 8% of hospital funding, which is significant given that the Hospital District donates approximately $2 million in uncompensated charity care back to the community each year.
      The hospital is not “an unprofitable drain on local taxpayers” as he states in his comments. In fact, the current hospital and clinics have been profitable three out of the last four years.
      Instead of competing with larger hospitals like Swedish, Overlake and Evergreen, we actually collaborate with them. We refer and transfer some of our patients to them for their specialty services, including baby deliveries, severe trauma cases, strokes and heart attacks. Likewise, they refer patients to us for our intensive hospital-based rehabilitation/recovery care.
      Our current hospital has 14 double-occupancy patient rooms. We are unable to utilize all of our beds due to isolation issues, patient gender and patient equipment needs. There are times when we have to turn patients away because we do not have a bed to accommodate them. The new hospital will expand to 25 private inpatient rooms, allowing us to utilize every bed. We are also expanding the services our patients use the most, including lab, imaging and our emergency department.
      Our hospital and clinics serve over 10,000 community members each year. The growing population and our increasing patient base is strong evidence that we do, indeed, need a new hospital to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve.

  2. Darryl Wright says

    I am thankful for the proximity of the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, and I look forward to the new medical campus just off the Snoqualmie Parkway. I grew up in the Edmonds-Woodway area, and although there were excellent hospitals just 15 minutes away in Seattle and Everett, the proximity of the emergency room at Steven’s Hospital (now Swedish Medical Center Seattle – Edmonds Campus) saved many lives in Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace.

    Even though it may be just 15-25 minutes away to an emergency room in Issaquah for residents of Snoqualmie and North Bend, these are critical minutes the emergency-care patients can spend in the emergency room at the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital instead of riding along I-90. Three years ago, during a severe snow storm, my sister experienced an accident on I-90 were her vehicle was totaled by a semi-truck. I am thankful she was taken to the emergency room at the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, so she and her one-year old daughter could receive immediate care.

    My family benefited from local medical care (both in Edmonds growing up, and now in Snoqualmie), and I look forward to attending the official ground breaking for the new Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. I admire the business model of our local, rural hospital, as well as its continued growth. In order to help promote the continued growth of our local hospital, and increase private revenue streams, I joined the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital Foundation just last month as one of its newest board members. Our hospital’s groundbreaking is a good thing for our community and makes fiscal sense.

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