EvergreenHealth Approves Plan to Open OB Unit in Monroe; Services to Expand to Meet Needs of Growing Community - Archived

Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth recently approved plans to expand its obstetric (OB) care and establish inpatient maternity services at EvergreenHealth Monroe Hospital. The long-term plan will include expanding prenatal, gynecology and obstetrical outpatient services at the EvergreenHealth Women’s Care, Monroe practice, while simultaneously advancing clinical and facility plans to open an inpatient unit at EvergreenHealth Monroe Hospital to meet the growing needs of families in east Snohomish County.

In advance of inpatient OB services resuming in Monroe, the health system will focus on increasing the number of providers and patients served at the EvergreenHealth Women’s Care, Monroe practice. The practice, which currently includes Dr. Suzanne Hopkins and Dr. Pilar Baquero, will eventually expand to three physicians. Patients seen at the practice will initially deliver their babies at EvergreenHealth Kirkland, until patient volume increases to allow inpatient services to open in Monroe. Timing for the opening of the unit is dependent on the volume of patients and the development of the clinical and facility plans, and the health system anticipates it to occur in the next few years.

“As we continually seek to expand our care and services in east Snohomish County, we are dedicated to advancing planning for an OB unit that would reflect the high standard of clinical care, consistent with the EvergreenHealth model, which has been recognized with the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Hospital designation,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “This plan reflects our health system’s goal of growing services thoughtfully in the communities we serve.”

The hospital’s previous inpatient obstetric unit closed in 2011 when EvergreenHealth Monroe was still known as Valley General Hospital, prior to the organization joining the EvergreenHealth system. The plans for the new OB unit, which would include five birthing suites, call for it to be re-established in the existing space; requiring a remodel and an investment in new equipment and technology. The planned unit would be designed to accommodate normal, low-risk deliveries and planned cesarean sections. More complex deliveries would be directed to the EvergreenHealth Family Maternity Center in Kirkland.

“EvergreenHealth Monroe is pleased to announce our commitment to a comprehensive OB/GYN service line that would adhere to the high standard of care, compliance, service, safety and quality standards for which EvergreenHealth system is known,” said Eric Jensen, chief administrative officer, EvergreenHealth Monroe. “The planning for a new OB unit is symbolic of our dedication to full-service inpatient and outpatient health care services in east Snohomish County.”

This plan joins the many recent improvements and growth initiatives deployed at EvergreenHealth Monroe, since it finalized its alliance with the EvergreenHealth system in March 2015. These improvements include a record number of primary care visits in 2015, a new primary care practice in Sultan, the opening of Fairfax Behavioral Health inpatient adult unit in January 2016 and a new Emergency Care provider group of all board-certified emergency medicine physicians.  

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About EvergreenHealth

EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system that serves nearly one million residents in King and Snohomish counties and offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 1,000 physicians provide clinical excellence in over 80 specialties, including heart and vascular care, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, pulmonary care and home care and hospice services. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland, a network of 10 primary care practices, two urgent care centers, over two dozen specialty care practices and 24/7 emergency care at its Kirkland, Monroe, and Redmond campuses. In 2015, the system expanded to include EvergreenHealth Monroe – an accredited, full-service 74-bed public hospital district, established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. EvergreenHealth has clinical and strategic partnerships with several health care entities, including Virginia Mason, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and dozens of independent practices that are part of the clinically integrated EvergreenHealth Partners network and the Puget Sound High Value Network. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.

In 2016, EvergreenHealth achieved its seventh designation (2009-2012, and 2014-2016) as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades®, placing it among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide, based on its outstanding clinical performance; and was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics™ in the “Large Community Hospitals” category for outstanding achievements in patient care, operational efficiency and financial strength.

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