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About EvergreenHealth—Your Community’s Public Hospital District


What is a public hospital district?
A public hospital district is created and owned by a community and its residents, and authorized by the state to provide health care services to the community it serves. It is similar to a school district or fire district.

King County Public Hospital District No. 2, known as EvergreenHealth, was formed by Eastside residents in 1972 and is one of almost 60 public hospital districts in Washington State.

As a public hospital district, EvergreenHealth is governed by a publicly-elected board of commissioners. This is different from private hospitals, which are 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 on behalf of the district's residents. The board approves all major financial decisions along with many other responsibilities as provided by law.


How does the community benefit from a public hospital district model, rather than a for-profit hospital model?
Because the sole mission of a public hospital district is to serve its community, it’s able to respond to the community’s own unique demands and challenges to provide the best possible care for patients and families.

Public hospital districts also empower its community to address any health care access insufficiencies.


How are public hospital districts funded?
The majority of financial support for public hospital districts come from public (Medicare and Medicaid) and private (commercial) insurance—the same as private hospitals. Typically, only two to three percent of total funding comes from property tax revenue, paid by district homeowners.

From the 2018 EvergreenHealth annual report, the graphic below demonstrates the financial composition of EvergreenHealth, noting that .2 percent of revenue is from taxpayer support.

GRAPHIC-2017-Gross-Revenue-Sources.jpg


About EverHealthy, Proposition 1


Why is EvergreenHealth seeking to pass Proposition 1?
Since opening our doors in 1972, EvergreenHealth has been proud to provide our community with first-class health care. We’ve grown in both size and services to meet the area’s every-growing population.

On occasion, we’ve come to the community to ask for your support to help with that growth. Thanks to that support, we were able to open a hospice center and hospice homecare program in 1991 as well as an expanded emergency department and an eight story inpatient tower in 2007.

With Proposition 1, also known as EverHealthy, we are seeking your help to support new projects we feel are vital to the ongoing health of the community.


What is EverHealthy?
EvergreenHealth’s 10-year facility improvement plan was created in 2015. The successful first phase—made possible in part by community support—was completed in 2017 on time and on budget. It created:

  • A new 31-bed Progressive Care Unit on 5-Silver
  • A new 31-bed Medical Surgical Unit on 4-Silver
  • The Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute in the DeYoung Pavilion
  • A new primary and urgent care facility in Kenmore
  • A new primary and urgent care facility in Mill Creek

This second phase, known as EverHealthy, will address the need for a new critical care unit, an updated family maternity center, technology upgrades and seismic updates to the original hospital buildings on the EvergreenHealth Kirkland campus.

This will ensure that EvergreenHealth can continue to meet the health care needs of the community for generations to come.


How was the EverHealthy plan created?
EvergreenHealth and its publicly-elected board of commissioners utilized strategic insight, trend analytics and third-party projection data to help us understand and anticipate the growing needs of our community.

The impetus for this plan includes:

  • Community growth. Our community has grown significantly in recent years, and shows no signs of stopping. It’s estimated we’ll see 71,000 new residents by 2022.
  • EvergreenHealth preference. More people are choosing EvergreenHealth as their first choice for health care, meaning we need more space to care for increasing patient volumes.
  • Aging infrastructure. Addressing aging facilities in need of improvements means we can continue to deliver the safest care in the safest environment for our community.

What specific projects within the EverHealthy plan will Proposition 1 support?

  • Critical Care Unit: a new critical care unit would be built on the undeveloped third floor of the silver tower. The larger patient rooms would support new lifesaving technologies and provide the best possible experience for patients and their families.
  • Family Maternity Center: the popularity of our childbirth unit means it is frequently at capacity. This refresh and expansion will enable us to continue welcoming new babies in a warm environment with the latest technology to ensure their safety.
  • Disaster Readiness: core areas of the original hospital buildings and parking structures would see seismic retrofitting to help withstand a major earthquake. This will help us continue to provide care during a disaster.
  • Technology and Facility Upgrades: our facilities need updating so they can adapt to new technology and expand to meet the increased need for services from our growing community.

Who will benefit from EverHealthy?
All of us. We will address safety, service and quality needs and strengthen, literally and figuratively, areas that serve patients during some of the most vulnerable moments of their lives.

Additionally, improvements will be made to clinical areas of Kirkland campus including the maternity center, critical care unit, and the oldest parts of the hospital – all to the benefit of our patients and families in these areas, as well as the staff and providers who care for them now and years into the future.


The Need for a New Critical Care Unit  --  This is an accordion section


How will a new critical care unit impact patients?
Patients receiving critical care treatment are experiencing some of the most vulnerable and pivotal moments of their life. Beyond providing them with exceptional clinical care, we want to also provide an environment that supports them during their hospitalization.

Our current critical care unit (CCU) is located in one of the oldest remaining portions of the original hospital. The new CCU will be moved to the third floor of the Silver tower, where the expanded space will support the most recent cutting-edge technology plus future technologies. The unit’s design will promote family-inclusive care, ensuring that we can support the family members while they support their loved ones in the CCU.


When will the new critical care unit be completed?
The timelines for this project will begin to be finalized after the election. We have completed a significant amount of preliminary planning, but the specifics will be mapped out once the project officially begins. Our goal is to complete this project within the next few years. We will keep the community updated regarding its progress through our Monitor magazine and other messaging channels.


The Need to Update & Modernize the Family Maternity Center --  This is an accordion section


If EvergreenHealth is already the preferred birthing center, why are upgrades needed?
Our maternity center has not been updated since it opened in 1992, becoming the first hospital in the area to offer labor, delivery and recovery in the same home-like birthing suite. These upgrades will allow us to continue to welcome babies in an enhanced setting that is supportive of the needs of the laboring mothers, the multi-generational family and our NICU’s littlest patients.


What will the Family Maternity Center upgrades include?
We anticipate a completely renovated Family Maternity Center, with a new entrance that safely and warmly greets patients and families, and modernized, family-focused rooms to accommodate the entire family—with parent and baby’s comfort top of mind.

Because of our reputation for quality and service, our highly regarded childbirth experience is often times near capacity. The upgrades will allow us to increase the number of families we can serve.


When will the unit be updated?
The timelines for this project will begin to be finalized after the election. We have completed a significant amount of preliminary planning, but the specifics will be mapped out once the project officially begins. Our goal is to complete this project within the next few years. We will keep the community updated regarding its progress through our Monitor magazine and other messaging channels.


The Need for Seismic Upgrades --  This is an accordion section


Why are seismic upgrades needed?
Living in the Cascadia earthquake zone, we want to create a facility the community can rely on in the event of a historic natural disaster – a 9+ earthquake.

The seismic retrofit is a critical step to ensuring that EvergreenHealth Medical Center is fully functional after a significant seismic event and available to care for our community.


Are the current EvergreenHealth Kirkland buildings safe?
Yes. Our buildings meet the seismic codes that were in place at the time of construction, and they are safe. These seismic improvements will help ensure we are able to care for patients in every circumstance and in all areas of the Kirkland campus.

Our goal is to meet FEMA’s Level of Immediate Occupancy so that we can remain open and ready to care immediately for patients in our community and beyond after a catastrophic earthquake.


What areas of the Kirkland campus will be included in the seismic upgrades?
Upgrades will be made to the oldest areas of the original 1972 hospital, which include our Red, Green and Purple zones. Upgrades will also be made our Coral medical office building and the Central Garage.

These areas house not only our critical care unit, but significant portions of vital infrastructure including IT, heating/cooling systems, health information management, supply chain management and more. These areas must be upgraded to preserve our functionality after an emergency.


When will the seismic upgrades be completed?
The timelines for this project will begin to be finalized after the election. We have completed a significant amount of preliminary planning, but the specifics will be mapped out once the project officially begins. Our goal is to complete this project within the next few years. We will keep the community updated regarding its progress through our Monitor magazine and other messaging channels.


The Need to Update Critical Facility Infrastructure, Technology & New Outpatient Medical Office   --  This is an accordion section


What do the critical facility infrastructure and technology upgrades entail, and how will these updates benefit the care of the community?
While these needs are not as visible as the brick and mortar updates to critical care and maternity care, these projects will help our facilities adapt and evolve to meet the needs of our growing population, including new medical equipment and technologies.


About Proposition 1 Funding   --  This is an accordion section


How will EverHealthy be funded?
Voters in the EvergreenHealth district will be asked to approve Proposition 1 on the August 6 primary election ballot, which allows issuance of general obligation bonds that will support funding for EverHealthy projects.


Will property taxes increase for district residents if Proposition 1 passes?
No. Approval of Proposition 1 will not increase the total tax rate homeowners in our district currently pay.


In April of this year, EvergreenHealth sought to pass Proposition 1 in a special mail-in election. Approval in the April election would have increased annual property taxes for homeowners in the district by $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Why now, in the August 6 election, will homeowners not see a property rate tax increase if the same proposition is approved?
The April election afforded us the opportunity to learn how we, as a community hospital and partner to those we serve, can best approach our steadfast commitment to ensuring we continue to offer the safest, highest quality care now, and well into the future.

Our renewed approach includes a financial structure that does not impact the current tax rate for homeowners in our district, and extends the longevity of payments.


How much will EverHealthy cost?
The cost is $345 million. This investment will improve your community hospital and the Eastside’s most trusted health system, to meet the needs of those who have placed their trust in us now, and for the next generation.


How many votes are needed to approve the bond measure?
Sixty percent of the voters must approve of the bond measure in this mail-in only election for it to be approved.


Where can I get information about property tax exemptions for senior citizens or disabled persons?
Senior citizens or disabled persons may qualify for tax exemptions.

Snohomish County residents can contact the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office at 425.388.3433 for more information.

King County residents can contact the King County Assessor’s Office at 206.296.3920 or www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections 


How Can I Help?


Proposition 1 (EverHealthy) will be on the August 6 primary election ballot. It’s a mail-in ballot, and your vote must be postmarked by August 6, 2019.

You can return your ballot by mail (no postage needed) or at a ballot drop-box location.

Accessible voting centers are available for voters who need assistance completing their ballot.

For more voting information, visit the King County elections website at
https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/ballots/returning-my-ballot.aspx 


What if I'm Not Registered to Vote?
To get registered, contact the Washington Secretary of State by visiting www.sos.wa.gov/elections.  

The deadline to register is July 29, 2019.


What will happen if the bond to fund EverHealthy does not pass?
We will reassess the projects, collectively and individually, to prioritize or eliminate them if necessary; and seek alternate ways to fund them – though the bond initiative is viewed as imperative at this point in order to advance these complex projects.