In 1968, the residents of rural northeast King County voted to create King County Public Hospital District #2 (now known as EvergreenHealth) to provide health care services for the community.
In 1972, Evergreen Hospital opened it's doors to the public.
Since then, the community has embraced EvergreenHealth as the Eastside’s public hospital district, supporting our organization’s evolution every step of the way.
Lifelong residents and new families alike continue to recognize the value of the services we offer close to home, earning community preference and recognition from industry peers, such as our ranking as one of America's100 Best Hospitals (2021). Learn more about our recognition for quality health care
During that time, our system has grown rapidly, fueled by both our area’s population growth and our outstanding reputation for delivering high quality care and service.
We now serve nearly 850,000 residents of our service area in north King and south Snohomish counties, with medical facilities located throughout the region to ensure access close to home and work.
Because EvergreenHealth is a public hospital district it is a Municipal Corporation and is treated as a governmental agency. Unlike private and other not-for-profit hospitals, EvergreenHealth is audited yearly by the State Auditor.
In addition, EvergreenHealth is subject to all State of Washington open public meeting and public disclosure laws. This insures the Board of Commissions and the District’s operations are more transparent to the public than other private and not-for-profit hospitals.
How is EvergreenHealth governed? How is the board of commissioners different from private hospitals?
As a public hospital district, EvergreenHealth is governed by a publicly elected seven member board of commissioners. This is different from private hospitals, which are often led by internally-appointed boards of directors. EvergreenHealth’s publically elected board has ultimate responsibility and accountability for the hospital district and the quality of its medical care and financial stewardship on behalf of the district's residents. The board approves all major financial decisions along with many other responsibilities as provided by law.
In 2016, EvergreenHealth sought to expand our number of board members from five to seven. The Eastside community voted to approve the expansion, to support additional representation of the growing population within our district.
Over the past 47 years, the Board of Commissioners have been committed to making sure EvergreenHealth is a public hospital to serve all the residents of our community. They take their stewardship of your tax dollars seriously to ensure they are spent judiciously to provide facilities and programs that will benefit the entire community whether needed in a time of crisis or for on-going medical needs.
How does the community benefit from a public hospital district model?
Because public district hospitals are created by the community, for the community, the public hospital district model is vital to ensuring citizens have access to the health care services they need.
The public hospital district model also empowers public hospital districts to respond to their population’s changing and growing health care needs over time. The sole mission of a public hospital district is to serve its community and respond to the community’s own unique demands and challenges to ensure the best possible care for patients and families.
Today, the levy money is used to provide much-needed community health services. There isn't profit in providing health classes for seniors, or in helping the community’s underinsured connect with preventative care. Since EvergreenHealth is owned by the community, we believe we have a responsibility to provide these services regardless of their profitability.
Each levy program or service is made possible through levy funding and must directly meet a demonstrated need of the residents of the community. New and existing programs are evaluated based on the need, and whether the overall benefit to the community justifies the resources required.
While some levy-supported programs specifically address the special needs of the under-served, the chronically ill, the disabled and high-risk populations, the other programs meet the needs of the entire community. For instance, if you are one of the 100,000 callers who receives help from the EvergreenHealthline annually, or one of the 1,500 participants who join our health education classes annually, you have directly benefited from levy-supported services.
How are public hospital districts funded?
Public district hospitals are funded in various ways. The majority of financial support comes from private (commercial) and public (Medicare and Medicaid) insurance—like most hospitals. Because EvergreenHealth is a Public Hospital District it also receives funding from the taxpayers of the District in two ways: a Regular Levy which is assessed annually to all property owners and Special Levies which are voted on by the registered voters of the District.
EvergreenHealth’s publicly elected Board of Commissioners is integrally involved in the allocation of dollars received from our community’s taxpayers. These funds are used to pay for capital construction and community programs that contribute to the health and well-being of all our Public Hospital District residents.
EvergreenHealth is committed as a public hospital to providing programs that support our community’s needs and benefit our residents. This core value permeates the philosophy of the Board of Commissioners and its commitment to our community. Taxpayer support allows EvergreenHealth to offer community programs, unlike most private and not-for-profit hospitals.
As we’ve grown, we continuously evaluate the changing needs of our patients and community – while also carefully assessing aging infrastructure and facilities that must be upgraded to meet these needs, safely, well into the future.
Now, with ever growing preference for our services, our expanding community and the aging population who are living longer and needing more care and services, advancing our master facilities plan is more crucial than ever.
Our Master Facilities Plan, known as EverHealthy, was developed to ensure that we continue to provide the best possible care in an environment of absolute safety.
Approved by our Board of Commissioners in 2016, we are currently in Phase Two of the plan, known as EverHealthy.
This phase is immensely important in supporting our current and future patient care, as updates in Phase Two include infrastructure updates to the Kirkland campus for:
As a public hospital district, we will remain transparent and communicative with our community about our facilities plan.
We invite you to join us in our journey throughout our Master Facilities Plan, beginning with an overview of the plan. We'd love to get your feedback and answer any questions you may have - just complete our online feedback form.