Letters on EvergreenHealth measure | Letter

Vote yes on EverHealthy

We’re writing to endorse EvergreenHealth’s proposed measure to increase levy funding that will help bring critical upgrades to our community’s health system.

As many of us have seen and read, EvergreenHealth is currently seeking a 20-year bond supported by residents of its hospital district to strengthen its Kirkland campus. As a community, we should vote yes to approve the measure in the April 23 special election.

We understand that one of the major areas the hospital seeks to improve is its facility safety in the event of a disaster like a major earthquake.

At Emerald Heights, where we have lived since 2011, we have a very comprehensive earthquake preparedness response plan that involves both the staff and residents working together to ensure that we’re ready when an earthquake occurs. Having a viable, nearby hospital that’s immediately ready to care for the community is an important part of our planning.

We’re lucky to have a resource like EvergreenHealth in our area that not only cares for us now, but that will also be here for us when we need emergency health care services the most. We think it’s important that we as a community continue to recognize the risks of a major disaster and do our part now, by supporting this initiative, to ensure that we can help each other stay safe in the future.

Gordon and Ellie Lindblom

Redmond

This spring, voters on the Eastside will have the opportunity to approve a bond measure to provide critical funding to EvergreenHealth.

As our community hospital, EvergreenHealth needs our support to ensure that families here continue to have access to the safest, highest-quality care and service now and in the future.

When our first child was born, my wife and I were like any new parents — excited, but overwhelmed and unsure of what to expect. As soon as we arrived at EvergreenHealth’s Family Maternity Center, the team calmed our fears and ensured our experience was not only safe, but also incredibly special for our family.

When we had our second baby, though we’d moved further away, we couldn’t see ourselves going anywhere else — we were happy to make the commute because we knew the experience would be exceptional. Now just last month, we welcomed our third child at EvergreenHealth, and once again, have the doctors and nurses to thank for a truly amazing experience.

That’s why it’s so important that we rally around this special resource, to ensure that more families like ours can experience the exceptional care and service EvergreenHealth provides to new families, in an environment that can continue to grow and evolve with new advancements and technology.

It is my understanding that this bond measure will enable EvergreenHealth to upgrade the Family Maternity Center in several ways so that it can remain at the forefront of exceptional care and service, while also keeping pace with the latest and most advanced health care technologies.

As the rate of innovation in health care accelerates, our community deserves to have continued access to a resource that offers the best in care, service and safety so that more families have the opportunity to welcome their babies in the same safe and comforting environment that we’ve been lucky to have.

Ahmad Daher

Redmond

On April 23, our community will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 1, a bond measure that will provide funding to EvergreenHealth for a brand-new Critical Care Unit (CCU), among many other important expansion projects. I’m voicing my strong support of this initiative based on my family’s exceptional experience with the CCU just last year.

My dear sister fell critically ill last year and spent 51 days in EvergreenHealth’s CCU. From the moment we arrived, I could tell she was in good hands. Her team of physicians, nurses and other providers were clearly dedicated to providing the best possible care. Beyond that, they also made sure to communicate with me regularly, updating me on my sister’s treatment at every step. What made the CCU team stand out was their ability to not only care for my sister, for but me as well, which speaks volumes about their commitment to inclusive, family centered care.

Supporting this initiative means that more families like mine will benefit from an updated critical care unit, relocated to EvergreenHealth’s Silver Tower, which is closer to other specialties, as well, allowing providers to collaborate more efficiently. EvergreenHealth’s plans for the unit also include new state-of-the-art equipment and an updated design that helps families feel welcome and comfortable, just as I did.

The CCU will also be closer to other visitor amenities, like the café, parking garages and the main entrance— small changes that can make a large impact on families and friends visiting their loved ones.

I am so thankful for the care my sister received in her time of need, and EverHealthy will ensure that families like mine can continue to benefit from this extraordinary resource for years to come. I encourage my neighbors to vote yes alongside me on this bond measure.

Tamar Weitzel

Kirkland

Kirkland is a growing and thriving city. We are grateful for our economic success in this region, and want to continue to see prosperity, business growth, and more businesses choosing to call the Eastside their home.

One of the crucial elements to supporting the expansion of our area is to ensure that we have the infrastructure and services to support it. This also means ensuring that we have a plan in place to prepare for a major disaster should one occur.

EvergreenHealth is our local public hospital, serving a district of more than 850,000 people, and the largest employer in the city of Kirkland. In the event of a major earthquake in the Seattle area, there is potential for this medical facility to be the only hospital able to withstand a catastrophic nine-plus magnitude earthquake.

According to the EvergreenHealth Monitor, “Given our region’s geography, our hospital is in a good location, if not the best in King County, for withstanding structural damage from an earthquake. As we plan for a natural disaster of great magnitude — like the 9+ magnitude earthquake predicted for the Cascadia Subduction Zone — we are imagining a world where residents are unable to cross bridges or access many of our roads that connect the Eastside to Seattle and beyond. An earthquake of that magnitude is expected to take out all major highways, potentially limiting access to clinical care for some residents due to major damage to other health care facilities located on or adjacent to the fault line, or in high-risk liquefaction zones.”

Safety comes first in any good plan for a community. The majority of the funds requested by EvergreenHealth in the April 23 bond measure is earmarked for essential retrofits to the original 1972 building and parking structures to ensure they can withstand a large seismic event. The cost to residents comes out to an average of $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value per year over the 20-year life of the bonds. This investment is important to ensuring a prepared community, with a hospital equipped to withstand a major disaster.

We support this sound investment in important infrastructure retrofits for our area hospital. Should the other area hospitals sustain significant damage due to their locations near fault lines, EvergreenHealth will be asked to step in to care for potentially our entire Seattle metro area, and must have a fully prepared facility. Thank you for supporting this proposed bond on April 23.

Samantha St. John

Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce

Vote no on EverHealthy

EvergreenHealth, Hospital District 2, is asking for a taxpayer a subsidy of $345 million?

Why are we subsidizing this hospital? It was one thing to help them get started 80 years ago but by now shouldn’t they be self sustaining? Do taxpayers in Seattle subsidize Swedish Hospital? Children’s? Do Bellevue taxpayers subsidize Overlake Hospital?

No. They are self sustaining. There are three district hospitals in King County: Valley General, Snoqualmie Valley and Evergreen. These hospital districts should be dissolved, remain taxpayer owned and put on a self sustaining budget. Or sold to a national hospital operator, like Children’s and become self-sustaining.

Jerry Forell

Kirkland

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