EvergreenHealth Seeks Community Support in August Election
Approval of Proposition 1 will fund critical upgrades to the health system’s Kirkland medical center campus without increasing district tax rate
Kirkland, Wash. – This August, residents of Public Hospital District No. 2 will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 1, a measure that will strengthen and expand the EvergreenHealth Medical Center campus in Kirkland. Proposition 1 will support funding for a series of projects included in “EverHealthy,” EvergreenHealth’s strategic master facilities plan, to ensure that the growing population of families can continue to count on safe, quality care within their community well into the future.
Safety is the primary impetus of the projects included in Proposition 1, featuring seismic upgrades to facility infrastructure and disaster readiness; a new and relocated Critical Care Unit; a new medical office building for outpatient programs such as mental health; an expanded and upgraded Family Maternity Center; and the purchase of advanced life-saving medical equipment, technology and facility upgrades to support these projects, and poise the organization for ever-evolving technology and the next generation of care– all of which are critical to ensuring EvergreenHealth remains the community’s most trusted source for health care solutions.
EverHealthy will be funded by a $345 million bond, which will extend the longevity of district residents’ current property tax rate that will otherwise expire in 2023. The funding structure will not increase the tax rate for district homeowners; rather, approving Proposition 1 will maintain the current tax rate.
“As with everything we do, our focus is on maintaining safety and growth that meets the clinical and service needs of our patients and community. After falling just short of reaching the supermajority in the March election by only 900 votes out of 59,000, we’ve had the opportunity to learn what is most important to the families in our district, and the new financing structure for Prop 1 illustrates this: tax rates will not increase for district residents. The projects for which we are pursuing funding demonstrate our steadfast commitment to offering the safest, highest-quality care and exceptional service now, and well into the future,” said Al DeYoung, EvergreenHealth Board Chair.
The most critical component of EverHealthy and the majority of funding will support extensive seismic upgrades to the oldest areas of the hospital, originally built in 1972. While all facilities meet the building codes that were in place at the time of their construction, retrofitting those areas to today’s most advanced seismic standards will enable EvergreenHealth to remain a viable resource in the event of a catastrophic earthquake. Given the medical center’s geographical location, EvergreenHealth is slated by experts to be one of the only viable and accessible options for medical care after a catastrophic earthquake in the region.
Approval of Proposition 1 will also support the construction of a new Critical Care Unit (CCU) and relocate it to EvergreenHealth’s Silver Tower. The new CCU will provide optimum ability to accommodate ever-evolving technology and equipment—ensuring patients receive the highest-quality care during the most pivotal of times as new advances become available. The new unit will mirror other newly constructed floors in the tower to promote family-inclusive care for the best possible experience for patients and their loved ones.
As the expanding population grows, so does the need for comprehensive outpatient services, in addition to the inpatient services offered at EvergreenHealth. Proposition 1 also includes the construction of a new medical building to accommodate expanded outpatient programs such as mental health.
Another key feature of EverHealthy is an upgraded Family Maternity Center (FMC). As the most preferred hospital on the Eastside for childbirth, funding will support significant enhancements to help preserve the hospital’s baby-friendly distinction and uphold the quality of care and experience families trust. Renovations include redesigned rooms to provide space for advanced equipment and technology, and an optimized layout that increases efficiency for provider teams. An updated entrance and OB emergency department will also offer a more comfortable environment for patients in early labor, while expanding the FMC will increase capacity for laboring mothers.
EverHealthy is part of EvergreenHealth’s 10-year Master Facilities Plan, which provides a blueprint for advancing the health of the community by ensuring the health system can continue to provide the best possible care in an environment of absolute safety. The first phase of the plan, completed on time and on budget in 2017, included the opening of the EvergreenHealth Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute in the DeYoung Pavilion; new inpatient units on the fourth and fifth floors of the Silver Tower; and a new primary care and urgent care practice in Kenmore.
For more information about EvergreenHealth’s commitment to meeting the health care needs of its expanding community for generations to come, please visit www.evergreenhealth.com.
To register to vote or ensure your voting registration information is up to date, visit www.sos.wa.gov/elections by July 29, 2019.