Monthly Archives: November 2016

Community Highlight: Ellensburg

Downtown Ellensburg

Tucked in the middle of Washington State, Ellensburg is located 107 miles southeast of Seattle and 172 miles southwest of Spokane.  Ellensburg’s Central Washington University is what draws many new people to the area.  Yet the city offers so much more beyond the university, so it’s a worthy trip and destination.  Take the time to explore Ellensburg’s 6.92 square miles.  There’s something new for you to see.

History
Ellensburg’s first business was a trading post named “Robber’s Roost.”  Since the community hadn’t been established yet, the business relied on traders and Native Americans for purchases.  The city grew around “Robber’s Roost.  Officially incorporated in 1883, it was named after a town resident. When the Northern Pacific Railroad reached Ellensburg in 1886, it fueled additional growth.  In the 1880s, Ellensburg lost their bid to become the state capitol.  As a consolation prize, the city received the Washington State Normal School (later Central Washington University.

Climate
Ellenburg has a warm, dry climate.  Average summer temperatures range from the mid-40s to the low 80s.  Average winter temperatures range from the high teens to the low 30s.

Population
The 2010 U.S. Census listed Ellensburg with 18,174 residents. More recent population estimates suggest that Ellensburg’s population is now over 19,000.

Economy
The top three employers in Ellensburg are Central Washington University, Anderson Hay and Grain, and the Kittitas Valley Community Hospital.  Ellensburg is home to several local hay brokers and producers.  The region is internationally known for their crops of timothy hay, a staple food for cattle, horses, and small domesticated pets.

Education
The Ellensburg School District has three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.  For those seeking post-high school education, Central Washington University has been operating in Ellensburg since it opened in 1891.

Activities
Ellensburg offers a surprising array of choices for every interest.

  • Architecture fans can wander around the historical downtown district, and admire buildings built before the 1890s. (Many of these buildings were built to help Ellensburg in their one time bid to become state capitol.)
  • From April-November, the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center offers daily tours and presentations about wind and solar energy.  From December-March, tours are available by appointment.
  • The Olmstead Place Historical Park was originally settled in 1875.  Family members of the original homesteaders gifted it to the state in 1968.  As a state park, it provides a unique look into the lives of pioneers and farmers.
  • Located across the street from the Ellensburg Fire Department and Police Station, Dick and Jane’s spot offers a unique collection of art pieces, sculptures, and totems.

Annual events in Ellensburg include

  • January: Winterhop Brewfest
  • Summer: Dachshunds on Parade annual event involving Dachshunds and their owners from across the Northwest.
  • Summer: Jazz in the Valley, music festival
  • Labor Day Weekend: The Ellensburg Rodeo
  • September: Buskers in the Burg, outdoor event involving performers, music, and puppets.

Although it is widely known for Central Washington University, Ellensburg has a fascinating mix of opportunities outside of the school.  Ellensburg offers events for fans of history, architecture, agriculture, music, art, and more. The only question remaining now is, when are you going?


City of Ellensburg.  “History.” (https://www.ci.ellensburg.wa.us/index.aspx?nid=180) retrieved September 17, 2016.

Downtown Ellensburg, Washington. “Area Statistics.”  (https://ellensburgdowntown.org/area-statistics/) retrieved September 17, 2016.

Ellensburg School District. “Home.” (http://www.esd401.org/) retrieved September 17, 2016

Puget Sound Energy. “Wild Horse Wind & Solar Facility & Renewable Energy Center.” 2016. (http://www.pse.com/inyourcommunity/ToursandRecreation/WildHorse/Pages/default.aspx) retrieved September 17, 2016. .

Roadside America. “Dick and Jane’s Spot: Ellensburg, Washington” (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/7812) retrieved September 17, 2016.

Trip Advisor. “Top 10 Things to Do in Ellensburg.” (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g58456-Activities-Ellensburg_Washington.html) retrieved September 17, 2016.

Washington State Park.  “Olmstead Place Historical State Park.” (http://parks.state.wa.us/556/Olmstead-Placehttp://parks.state.wa.us/556/Olmstead-Place) retrieved September 17, 2016

Wikipedia. “Ellensburg, Washington.” July 26, 2016. . (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellensburg,_Washington) retrieved September 17, 2016.

Why Choose a Career in Healthcare Marketing?

For the past few years, experts have been desperately trying to draw attention to the fact that the healthcare industry often lacks good marketing. As something that is often seen as an essential part of life, there are many healthcare businesses which may feel that marketing is not something that they need to pay much attention to, simply because their patients cannot do without the service. However, with competition growing to be fiercer than ever before within the healthcare industry, it’s essential for even the most basic and necessary of medical services to practice good marketing skills and strategies in order to not only attract new patients but build good relationships with existing customers. We’ve listed some of the best reasons to get into a marketing career in healthcare.

Job Opportunities

One of the main reasons to choose the healthcare industry to work in as a marketer is the wide range of job opportunities available. With more and more healthcare professionals starting their own businesses every year, your skills as a qualified marketer with experience in the healthcare industry will always be needed, guaranteeing plenty of work whether you decide to work on an employed or freelance basis. To get started with your healthcare marketing career, you can take a college course such as an online bachelor of science in marketing, and then go on to learn more specifically about marketing healthcare products and services.

Career Progression

Working in the healthcare industry has a lot of opportunities for promotion and progression, even if you work on the marketing side of things rather than caring for patients. As a good marketer, you are very beneficial to businesses in the healthcare industry as it is you who comes up with and puts in place ideas and strategies to attract new customers and build existing patient relations. Many healthcare businesses are finding that in order to succeed they need to dedicate more time, effort and man power into marketing, meaning that an increasing number of managerial and senior healthcare marketing positions are likely to become available in the future.

Bring Healthcare Marketing Up to Date

Statistics from only this year show that healthcare marketing is still behind, particularly in the area of digital marketing which is a hugely important part of marketing almost any business in the digital age of today. By qualifying as a marketer by taking a marketing degree online, you can help to transform the future of healthcare marketing and bring it up to date by working to improve the use of digital marketing and other modern marketing strategies in your role.

Make a Difference

Marketing healthcare products or services can be very different from anything else that you have created a marketing campaign for in the past. When you work in healthcare marketing, you can use your skills and knowledge to help make a difference in the lives of others by reaching out to people who are in need.

If you are interested in working in marketing, there are many reasons to choose a career in the healthcare industry.

Four Qualities to Look for in Interviewees

Managers know that interviewing, hiring, and training to fill open roles takes significant time and investment.  In most healthcare roles, staff are required to interact daily with vulnerable and agitated patients. Given this daily reality, it’s important to determine as quickly as possible how a candidate will handle stressful and unexpected situations. Here are four qualities to look for during the interview process to help with hiring decisions.

Punctuality: Regardless of industry, all managers want their employees to be ready to work on time. Tardy employees create more stress for their managers and co-workers.  For interview candidates, this should be the easiest standard to meet. Allow extra time to get to the interview. If something unexpected happens, call the hiring manager to inform them. Most hiring managers will allow candidates to arrive late if circumstances are outside of their control.  Candidates who are late without prior notification or apology should be considered cautiously.  It may be a one time occurrence, or it may be a pattern.

Communication: Successful healthcare employees should have strong oral and written communication skills.  Arranging interviews over email allows managers to see firsthand how candidates use written communication.  During the conversation, managers will have clear examples of how the candidate communicates orally.  In both cases, consider the tone, efficiency, and professionalism of the communication. Most adults should already have a firm understanding of how to communicate in the workplace.  If the candidate doesn’t already meet organizational communication standards, then consider whether or not this would be the right person to fill the open role.

Response under pressure: Healthcare is an unpredictable industry.  Patients arrive with a need and medical providers and staff need to respond.  These general scenarios can be urgent, escalated, routine, or unexpected.  Before the interview, consider the environment of the organization.  Note any frequent stressors and ask how the candidate would respond to these stressors during the interview.

Problem solving: Some healthcare organizations exclusively use behavioral based interview questions that require candidates to provide examples in their answers.  Regardless of the type of questions, any hiring manager should ask the candidate to provide examples.  Then listen to their answer.  If it’s still unclear how they arrived at a decision, continue to ask follow up questions.

 

Healthcare hiring managers should use these four qualities and other organizational requirements to determine whether or not a candidate will be a good hire. Eventually managers will learn to recognize strong candidates during the interview process.

Lake Stevens, WA Highlight

Lake Steven's Lakefront Homes

Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound, Lake Stevens is both a city and a lake.  The city is 37 miles northeast of Seattle and 309 miles east of Spokane.  It’s also 219 miles north of Portland. The lake is the largest and deepest lake in Snohomish County.  It covers 1,000 acres and has 8 miles of shoreline.  At its deepest point, it measures 146 feet.  Take the time to visit the city and the lake to see what captures your interest first.

History of the City and the Lake
The history of the city and the lake has been intertwined from the beginning.  According to legend, the lake was named after former Washington State governor, Isaac Stevens.  The city named itself after the lake.

The first settlers arrived in 1886. In 1890, Hartford (the first town) was established in the area. Five years later, a local railway was built by Rucker Brother Timber Company.  The line connected the sawmill with regional resources, and buyers. The sawmill burned down twice.  After the second fire, the business chose not to rebuild. During the 1920s-1950s, Lake Stevens was considered a resort community.  In 1960, it was incorporated as a city.  Since 2005, the city’s population has nearly quadrupled as a result of the city’s active annexation attempts. During that time Lake Stevens has annexed Northlake, Frontier Village, Soper Hill, Southwest, the Fire District, and Corniche. Proponents of annexation have a goal of creating one city around the lake.

Climate
Lake Stevens has a mild climate.  Average summer temperatures range from the low 50s to the mid-70s.  Average winter temperatures range from the low 30s to the low 50s.

Population
In the 2010 U.S. Census, Lake Stevens had a population of 28,069. 2015 population estimates suggest that Lake Stevens now has a population of 30,886.

Education
The Lake Stevens Public School District has 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, 1 mid-high school, and 2 high schools.

Activities
Lake Stevens offers residents and visitors opportunities to get outside and explore.  Many love to boat, fish, and swim in Lake Stevens. The Centennial Trail allows walkers, bikers, joggers, and horseback riders to travel for 30 miles along an old railroad line.  Annually, the city also holds Aquafest.  The weekend-long celebration in July includes a carnival, parade, human foosball, and more.

Both the lake and city of Lake Stevens provide opportunities for exploration.  Walk the Centennial Trail and witness it connect Lake Stevens with surrounding areas.  Fish in the lake.  Visit Aquafest to find out what human foosball really is.  Make the time to explore to see what captures your interest first.


City-data.com. “Lake Stevens, Washington.” (http://www.city-data.com/city/Lake-Stevens-Washington.html) retrieved October 8, 2016

Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce. “Things to Do.” (http://www.lschamber.org/) retrieved October 9, 2016.

Lake Stevens School District. “Lake Stevens School District.” (http://www.lkstevens.wednet.edu/) retrieved October 8, 2016.

Lake Stevens, WA. “History of a City.” (http://www.lakestevenswa.gov/index.aspx?nid=194) retrieved October 8, 2016.

Snohomish County, Washington. “Lake Stevens.” (http://www.snohomish.org/about/lake-stevens) retrieved October 9, 2016.

United States Census Bureau. “Lake Stevens city, Washington.” (http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/5337900) retrieved October 9, 2016.

Wikipedia. “Lake Stevens, Washington.” September 25, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Stevens,_Washington) retrieved October 8, 2016.

Four Situations To Prepare For At Clinic Front Desks

Working at a clinic front desk is challenging.  The patients see these staff members first, and the front desk is where patients ask questions and express frustrations. Often patients form their first impressions of an organization based on these initial interactions with these staff.  Here are four situations and how clinic staff can prepare for them.

Late Patients
Situation: Life happens.  Sometimes people have the best intentions to arrive early, and it doesn’t happen.  Other times, there was no chance that a patient could have made it on time. In both cases, the patient comes to the front desk first for guidance.

How to Handle: Staff should know the clinic policy.  Organizations vary widely.  Some allow patients to check in 15 minutes after their appointment; others require an early check in. Ask what your policy is.  Are there any exceptions?

Traffic and Parking
Situation: Traffic is unpredictable. Parking isn’t always available or free.  Depending on the clinic location, some patients drive for hours to reach their appointment.  Unexpected traffic or parking problems are additional stressors.

How to Handle: Clinic staff members don’t control traffic or parking.  Patients know this, and will still express their frustrations.  This cannot be completely avoided.  To minimize the confusion, tell patients about specific traffic challenges or parking availability when scheduling appointments.  On the appointment day, if a patient shares their frustrations, listen.

Paperwork
Situation: Doctors ask patients to fill out paperwork.  Patients are frustrated by seemingly repetitive paperwork. Staff at the front desk provide the paperwork and encourage patient to complete the forms.

How to Handle:
Some patients will come prepared. Others won’t.  Advise patients about what additional information is needed at the time of scheduling.  Will they get a new patient packet?  Do they need to bring medical records? Stock extra copies of required forms, so staff can provide additional copies to unprepared patients.

Phone Calls
Situation: Patients call with requests ranging from routine paperwork questions to urgent medical needs.  In many organizations, the front desk staff answer a bulk of the phone calls.

How to Handle:  Always be polite. Ask patients to identify themselves early in the conversation. If needed, ask for clarification. Staff should be prepared to reply to a variety of different questions.  When asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, say, “That’s an interesting question. I’m not sure of the answer.  Let me find out.”

Although it’s challenging, working at a clinic front desk provides a variety of things to do and people to meet.  Preparing staff for these four situations helps ensure a positive experience for both patients and staff.

Community Highlight: Moses Lake, Washington

Moses Lake Public LibraryMoses Lake Public Library

The past 70 years have transformed Moses Lake, Washington. Up until the 1940s, the city only had a few hundred residents.  Then Larson Air Force Base and the Grand Coulee Dam were completed.  Both brought in new residents and created the opportunity to create new businesses. Make the time to visit and witness what Moses Lake is becoming.

Proximity

Approximately in the middle of Washington State, Moses Lake is 209 miles southeast of Seattle and 104 miles northwest of Spokane. The lake itself provides 120 miles of shoreline and is the largest body of freshwater in the Grant County.

History
Many native tribes lived near Moses Lake for generations before the arrival of the first settlers. After their 1880s arrival, the settlers named the lake after Chief Moses of the Columbia-Sinkiuse tribe. The town was originally named Neppel after someone’s German hometown.  Life in Neppel was challenging. Irrigation attempts repeatedly failed and this prompted many settlers to leave soon after arriving. For those who stayed, there was a perpetual battle over water.

In 1929, the water rights were reassigned to the Moses Lake Irrigation Department. In 1938, the city was incorporated as Moses Lake. The 1940s brought the creation of the Grand Coulee Dam and the Larson Air Force Base.  When complete, the Grand Coulee Dam brought irrigation to Moses Lake residents who had struggled without it for decades.  Larson Air Force Base was built to train wartime pilots to fly planes, including P-28 Lightenings and the B-17 Flying Fortresses.  Closed immediately after the war, Larson Air Force Base reopened in 1948.  Officially closed again in 1966, Larson Air Force Base is now Grant County International Airport.

Population
Before completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, in 1940, the Moses Lake population was 326.  After its completion, in 1950, the population was 2,659.  The 2010 US Census listed the population of Moses Lake as 20,366.

Climate
Moses Lake has a warm, dry climate. In the summer, average temperatures range from the mid-50s to the high-80s.  Winter temperatures typically range from the mid-20s to the low 40s. Average annual precipitation is between 7-8 inches.

Transportation
Interstate 90 and State Route 17 run through Moses Lake.  Public bus service is provided by the Grant Transit Authority.  Closed in 1966, Larson Air Force Base reopened as Grant County International Airport with a variety of flight types.
Today’s Moses Lake offers a rich history and a variety of activities ranging from water activities to golf to concerts at nearby Gorge Amphitheater.  In less than 100 years, Moses Lake has morphed from a barren area with few residents to a bustling city on the water.  There is a lot to do and a rich history to learn.  Moses Lake is poised for continued growth.  Now the only question is, what’s next for the town?  Take the time to go and find out.

Resources

Center for Columbia River History. “Columbia Communities- Moses Lake.” (http://www.ccrh.org/comm/moses/index.php) retrieved September 4, 2016.

City of Moses Lake. “History of Moses Lake” (http://www.cityofml.com/index.aspx?nid=116) retrieved September 4, 2016

City of Moses Lake. “Moses Lake Museum and Art Center” (http://www.cityofml.com/index.aspx?NID=484) retrieved September 4, 2016

Grant Transit Authority-GTA. “History.” (http://www.gta-ride.com/history.htm) retrieved Septemer 5, 2016,

Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce. “Attractions.” (http://www.moseslake.com/attractions.html) retrieved September 4, 2016

Wikipedia. “Moses Lake, Washington.” September 2, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_Lake,_Washington) retrieved September 4, 2016.