Category Archives: Healthcare Recruiting

3 Required Skills for Successful Healthcare Candidates

Finding, interviewing, and hiring the right person is challenging.  Since most healthcare staff directly deal with patients, managers want to hire candidates who are caring, efficient, and effective.  These types of employees help patients feel cared for, and they ensure that clinical operations flow smoothly.  Although different roles may require credentials, this list includes skills that are applicable to all positions in healthcare.
Communication: Communication patterns can be identified after a manager’s first connection with a candidate.  Some things to notice include: grammar and punctuation (in emails), timeliness in response (both to emails and phone calls), and overall communication style.
During phone screens and in-person interviews, managers should pay attention to the candidate’s communication style. Notice if they are able to explain things in a logical pattern.  Ask the candidate to clarify a few of their answers.  Note if they become flustered.
Managers should ask about the candidate’s ability to communicate under pressure.  Often, healthcare staff work with upset patients and family members.  The strongest candidates will have a demonstrated track record of effectively communicating in calm and escalated situations.
Detail-Oriented:  Many managers consider this phrase to be generic. Yet they still need to identify candidates who can work with details successfully.  Instead of asking if someone is detail-oriented, ask about being meticulous or precise.
Successful healthcare exists in the details, and staff must be able to adapt. Providers need to complete comprehensive exams, and write chart notes with precise information. Medical assistants, nurses, and additional staff must be meticulous about gathering the necessary information to assist in patient care.
Situational awareness:  Managers want to hire candidates who easily notice changes in their environment.  Front desk staff need to notice when a patient needs assistance.  Clinic staff should be able to quickly react when asked for assistance.  All staff should be able to react in urgent situations.
During interviews and reference checks, managers should ask how the candidate reacts to changing situations.  Specifically, is the candidate able to shift focus easily?  Or does it take them some time before appropriately reacting?
Conclusion: Successful healthcare employees communicate effectively (especially under pressure), operate precisely, and notice the world around them.  Hiring managers should look for candidates who hold these skills, because they are more likely to be able to adapt and succeed in these roles.

How to choose a social media platform

Social media platforms massively changed how people connect and share. In June 2017, Facebook announced that there are 2 billion registered users.  Worldwide, there are 7.5 billion people.  Approximately 27% of the human population is on Facebook.  Across all social media platforms, there are 2.8 billion users.  That’s 37% of the human population on social media. In the United States, 83% of Americans have at least one social media account.
Given these numbers, healthcare organizations of all sizes should use social media as part of a strategic recruitment plan.  Before moving forward, organizations should consider certain factors when identifying what role social media will play in recruiting efforts.

Platform Choice
There are dozens of options for social media platforms. Before deciding, leaders should research the benefits and drawbacks of each.  Organizations should also consider how they will use social media in their recruiting efforts.  These answers will help drive the decision making around platform choice.
Facebook has the most users, and it offers powerful targeting options.  Many organizations enjoy the ability to target certain audiences with their Facebook ads.  The platform recently started offering Facebook Jobs.  Since it is still new, many organizations (and candidates) haven’t fully embraced it yet.
As the most popular professional social media platform, LinkedIn is used by many healthcare recruiters.  When users are on LinkedIn, they are usually seeking to connect professionally.  Although smaller than Facebook, LinkedIn has an audience of over 500 million users.
Choosing a social media platform will naturally limit the available audience.

Users Location
Location does not matter if an organization aims to increase their number of followers.  Although many marketers consider follower count to be a vanity metric, there are still some organizations who want to have a lot of followers.  Instead organizations should work to engage with their followers. A highly engaged smaller audience can be more powerful than a large disengaged audience.
Generally, healthcare organizations will want to build an audience that includes a large number of people from their local region.  Most jobs in healthcare require employees to be on site.  By building a local audience, recruiters can more effectively use social media to target candidates who are in their local area.
Although an organization will want to have a mostly local audience, out of area visitors can provide an important resource.  Perhaps these people used to live in the area, and still support the organization.  People in this group could also share information and refer people (and qualified candidates) to the organizations.


Resources
Statista. Most Famous Social Network Sites Worldwide as of April 2017, Ranked by Number of Active Users (in Millions.) https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/  Accessed June 26, 2017.
Walters, Kendall. 125+ Essential Social Media Statistics Every Marketer Should Know, Hootsuite, 30 November 2016. https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-statistics-for-social-media-managers/. Accessed June 26, 2017.

3 Medical Specialties That Need Trained Providers

Nationally, there is a practitioner shortage and healthcare needs are increasing.  Between 2014 and 2024, the need for physicians and surgeons is projected to rise 14%.  The need for physician assistants will grow 30%, and nurse practitioners will increase 31%.  Simultaneously, almost 40% of the American population (i.e. the Baby Boomer generation) is aging and increasing the demand on the current healthcare system.  Political uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act and a future replacement are beginning to drive changes within the industry.

Empty Hospital

Demand for trained medical providers has always been high, and continues to increase.  While specific demands will vary by region, here are some medical specialties that need providers in nearly every community.

Primary Care (including family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics)
Today’s healthcare system increasingly relies on the primary care provider to coordinate a patient’s care.  These providers write referrals to specialty care, and help patients navigate a complex healthcare system.  While the primary care provider role is critically important, communities in every state do not have enough providers.

According to information from the Health Professional Shortage Areas website, over 8,000 more primary care providers are needed to resolve the healthcare shortage areas in states across the country.   Some states have a greater need for primary care providers while other (smaller states) have a diminished need.  Primary care providers routinely take the first place title for the most important and sought after provider type.

Psychiatry
Today, the demand for psychiatrists is huge.  Some experts suggest that psychiatry is the second biggest provider need behind primary care.  Other sources state that it’s the third biggest need.  Regardless, the shortage of (and demand for) trained psychiatrists is significant.

Although distressing now, the psychiatrist shortage will become more severe over the next decade. One study quoted in Forbes revealed that 60% of psychiatrists engaged in active patient care are ages 55 or older.  With many of these providers nearing retirement, needs in this field is projected to increase substantially.

Hospitalist
Hospitalists are medical doctors who care for patients who are currently hospitalized.  They are aware of the unique aspects of a hospitalized patient’s stay, and are often more available than doctors who have other areas of practice.

Conclusion
With increasing demands on the healthcare system, the need for trained medical providers spans all specialties.  Although each source ranks the most in-demand roles differently, primary care providers, psychiatrists, and hospitalists are routinely needed throughout the system.


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Omak, WA

Tucked away in north-central Washington State, Omak is one of the many hidden treasures that Washington state has to offer.  Located in beautiful Okanogan County, Omak has 4,800+ residents and offers a surprising mix of history and adventure.

Proximity

See Openings in Omak!

Omak is located 235 miles northeast of Seattle and 140 miles northwest of Spokane.  The city is also 84 miles northeast of Lake Chelan, 99.6 miles southeast of the North Cascades National Park, and 123 miles northeast of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Omak’s neighboring cities include, Okanogan, Riverside, Malott, and Tonaskut.

History
The Syilx (also known as the Okanogan) Native Americans historically lived in the Okanogan Valley.  When the first explorers and traders arrived in the mid 1800s, the Syilx participated in those new trading networks.  As more settlers came, tensions increased around land ownership.  During this time, the US government intervened and established what is now the Colville Reservation, which is 50 miles away from today’s Omak.

The city was officially incorporated in February 1911.  Omak’s population grew after incorporation and was also impacted by the completion of the Okanogan Irrigation Project, which was part of the larger Grand Coulee Dam Project.

Population
The 2010 US Census listed Omak with 4,845 residents.

Economy
Historically, Omak’s economy depended on agriculture and timber.  Today’s economy also includes retail, manufacturing, and healthcare.

Climate
Omak has warm summers and cold winters. Average summer temperatures range from the low 70s to the low 90s.  Average winter temperatures range from the high teens to the low 30s.  During the winter months, Omak often gets up to 13 inches of snow.

Education
The Omak School District has 2 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 2 high schools.   For those who have finished high school, Wenatchee Valley College is closest to Omak. More colleges are located approximately 100 miles away in the Greater Spokane area.

Transportation
Omak residents are lucky to have several transportation options. Drivers can use US Route 97 and Washington State Route 155 to go through Omak.  Okanogan County Transportation and Nutrition also provides daily bus service between Omak, Nespelem, and Coulee Dam.  Long distance bus service is also offered monthly. Regardless of chosen transportation, the average Omak resident has a commute time of under 14 minutes.  .

Activities
As the largest city in Okanogan County, Omak hosts the Omak Stampede, one of the Northwest’s largest rodeos  Another annual event is the Okanogan County Fair which is held in nearby Okanogan.  The region is also home to several breweries and vineyards, including Alpine Brewing Company and Omak Cellars.  Lake Chelan, the North Cascades National Park, and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest are only a few hours away.

Although only 3.43 square miles, Omak offers a rich mix of history and adventure.  Make the time visit north-central Washington state.  Explore and enjoy all that Omak has to offer.  See what captures your imagination first.


CityData.com. “Omak, Washington.” 2016. (http://www.city-data.com/city/Omak-Washington.html) retrieved September 14, 2016City of Omak. “Welcome to the City of Omak, Washington, USA.”  (http://www.omakcity.com/) retrieved September 8, 2016Neighborhood Scout.  “Omak Real Estate and Demographic Information.” (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/wa/omak/) Retrieved September 14, 2016Okanogan County Transportation and Nutrition. “About Us.” 2011. (http://www.octn.org/about-us/) retrieved September 16, 2016.

Omak School District “Omak School District: Creating a Future for Every Child.” (http://www.omaksd.org/) retrieved September 14, 2016.

Omak Stampede & World Famous Suicide Race. “History of the Omak Stampede.” (http://www.omakstampede.org/?page=stampede_history) retrieved September 11, 2016

Omak Visitor Center. (http://omakvisitorcenter.org/) retrieved September 8, 2016

Wikipedia. “Omak, Washington.”  August 11, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omak,_Washington)  retrieved September 8, 2016

Centralia, WA Community Highlight

Centralia, Washington is a city with 7.42 square miles of land in Lewis County.  Centralia is 85 southwest of Seattle, 90 miles north of Portland, and 343 miles southwest of Spokane.

Population
The 2010 U.S. Census listed Centralia’s population as 16,336.

History

See all openings in Centralia!

Originally known as Centerville, Centralia was founded by George Washington.  Born as the son of a Virginia slave, his mother gave up George to a white family after his father was sold.  The couple who raised George moved west to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.  They eventually moved further west, hoping to avoid the discriminatory laws that George felt were barring him from business success.

When George reached the Washington Territory, he settled near the junction of the Skookumchuck and Chehalis Rivers.  In 1872, the Northern Pacific Railroad came north through George’s land.  Suddenly the area was more desirable.  So George and his wife began planning a town centered around a friend’s store.  The town was established on January 8, 1875.  When Washington state was established in 1889, Centralia’s population was close to 1,000.  Two years later, the population was over 3,000.

The economic downturn of 1893 hit, and George took repeated action to help the community survive.  He would travel to Portland and Chehalis for food staples to distribute.  He bought properties to avoid abandonment and absentee ownership.  He didn’t foreclose on his properties.  Although the decade was tough for all Americans, Centralia survived it and had nearly 1,600 residents at the turn of the century.  When George died in 1905, the Centralia mayor declared a day of mourning.

Climate
Centralia has a mild climate with warm summers and cool winters. Average summer temperatures range from the high 40s to the high 70s. Average winter temperatures range from the low 30s to the low 50s.

Transportation
Interstate 5 and Washington State Route 507 run through Centralia.  Amtrak also has an active rail system with service to surrounding areas and large West Coast cities, including Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle.

Education
The Centralia Public School District has 5 elementary schools, 1 middle school, and 1 high school.  Centralia is also the home to Centralia College, a junior college that has been operating since September 1925.

Activities
The Fort Borst Park is a historic location that also has updated athletic facilities.  Students of history will enjoy exploring the historic Borst homestead and schoolhouse.  The park also offers trails, a wading pool, horseshoe pits, a public boat ramp, sports fields and more.  Shoppers enjoy the nearby Centralia Factory Outlets.  McMenamin’s Olympic Club offers different options for lodging, food, and event options to visitors and residents alike.

Centralia’s rich history draws people in.  Once in town, the variety of available opportunities encourage people to further explore.  This is a town where there’s something interesting around each corner.  Take the time to make the trip.  You’ll learn something that you didn’t expect.


Centralia School District. “Centralia School District 401.” (http://www.centralia.k12.wa.us/) retrieved September 25, 2016.

City-Data.com.  “Centralia, Washington.” (http://www.city-data.com/city/Centralia-Washington.html) retrieved September 25, 2016.

City of Centralia, WA. “Borst Park.” (http://www.cityofcentralia.com/Page.asp?NavID=444) retrieved September 25, 2016.

City of Centralia, WA.  “History of Centralia.” (http://www.cityofcentralia.com/Page.asp?Navid=136) retrieved September 25, 2016.

McMenamins.  “The Olympic Club.” (http://www.mcmenamins.com/OlyClub) retrieved September 25, 2016.

Oldham, Kit. “George and Mary Jane Washington found the town of Centerville (now Centralia) on January 8, 1875.”  February 23, 2003.  (http://www.historylink.org/File/5276) retrieved September 25, 2016.

Wikipedia. “Centralia, Washington.” August 17, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Washington) retrieved September 25, 2016.

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Bainbridge Island is both an island and a city with 23,000+ people. It is located west of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountain Range and east of the Olympic Mountains. Easily accessible from downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island offers a variety of different opportunities.

History

See all openings in Bainbridge Island!

For generations, the Suquamish Native Americans lived in the area. In 1792, English Captain George Vancouver landed on the island. In 1842 by US Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes while he was surveying the area. Throughout the 1800s, the area continued to grow with a mix of settlers and soldiers living in Fort Ward, Port Blakely, and Port Madison.

Bainbridge Island was one of the first communities send its Japanese-American residents to internment camps after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The Bainbridge Review newspaper continued to track the displaced residents throughout the war, occasionally featuring editorials written by camp residents. At the end of the war, the island welcomed their neighbors home.

Today’s Bainbridge Island was created by two events in 1991. First, the city of Winslow annexed the rest of unincorporated Bainbridge Island. Then, residents voted to change their name from Winslow to Bainbridge Island.

Climate
Bainbridge Island has a mild climate. Average summer temperatures range from the low 50s to the mid-70s. Average winter temperatures range from the mid-30s to the high 40s. Precipitation rates peak around 8 inches monthly during the late fall and winter months. In the summer, rates drop to approximately 1 inch per month.

Population
The 2010 US Census listed 23,505 people living in Bainbridge Island.

Economy
The Bainbridge Island economy historically depended on timber and shipbuilding. At one time, the Port Blakely Mill was the largest in the world. The sawmills and the shipyards attracted a diverse group of residents to Bainbridge Island. Today’s economy includes technology, healthcare, and construction industries.

Transportation
Bainbridge Island is 10.1 miles west of Seattle. It’s easily accessible with a 60 minute ferry trip. Downtown Bainbridge Island (formerly Winslow) is walking distance from the ferry terminal.

Activities
On the island, there is a collection of things to do. The downtown area, also known as Winslow, has a variety of shops and restaurants. Outside of downtown, the city has several wineries, a brewery and a distillery. A variety of island parks offer an assortment of outdoor activities including camping, hiking, and picnicking. The Bloedel Reserve has 12 distinct garden environments. The New York Times called it “one of the country’s most original and ambitious gardens.” History and art enthusiasts will also enjoy visiting the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.
Bainbridge Island has a rich history and a wide assortment of activities for residents and visitors alike. Make the time to take the ferry ride. Find what fascinates you first.


Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce. “History” 2016. (http://www.bainbridgechamber.com/default.aspx?ID=9) retrieved September 13, 2016Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce: Visitor’s Guide. 2016 “Welcome to Bainbridge Island.” (http://visitbainbridge.com/) retrieved September 9, 2016.

Bainbridge Island, Washington. “Island History.” (http://www.bainbridgewa.gov/195/Island-History) retrieved September 13, 2016

Blodel Reserve. “Visit.” 2016. (http://bloedelreserve.org/visit/) retrieved September 16, 2016.

City-Data.com. “Bainbridge Island, Washington.” (http://www.city-data.com/city/Bainbridge-Island-Washington.html) retrieved September 16, 2016.

Trip Advisor. “The Top 10 Things to Do in Bainbridge Island.” 2016. (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g58342-Activities-Bainbridge_Island_Washington.html) retrieved September 16, 2016.

Wikipedia. “Bainbridge Island, Washington.” September 6, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bainbridge_Island,_Washington) retrieved September 9, 2016.

Winslow Cohousing. “A Short History of Bainbridge Island.” http://www.winslowcohousing.org/bihistory.html

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.

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.

Yakima, WA – Palm Springs in the Pacific Northwest

Yakima Community Highlight

Nestled near the center of the state, Yakima, Washington boasts a rich history that includes apples, hops, and agriculture.  Today, more than 90,000 people live in Yakima making it the 10th biggest city in Washington.

Proximity

Yakima is only a few hours away from three of the Pacific Northwest’s biggest cities.  It is 142 miles southeast of Seattle and 192 miles southwest of Spokane.  It’s also 185 miles northeast of Portland.

History
The Yakama tribe lived in the valley long before settlers arrived. In 1805, Lewis and Clark were the first explorers to the region. Between 1805 and 1858, relatively small numbers of settlers and missionaries came to the valley.  More people arrived after the end of the Yakima Indian Wars in 1858.

Yakima City was officially incorporated in 1883.  Several years later, the city moved 4 miles north to be closer to the new Northern Pacific Railroad line. The new settlement was named North Yakima. In 1918, the Washington State Legislature renamed the city “Yakima.”  The original site of Yakima City is now Union Gap, Washington.

Population
The 2010 U.S. Census listed Yakima with 91,067 residents. 2015 population estimates suggest that the population has grown to 93,357.

Climate
Yakima has warm summers and cold winters. Average summer temperatures range from the high 40s to the high 80s.  Average winter temperatures range from the low 20s to the mid-40s.  Located in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, Yakima only averages 8 inches of precipitation per year.

Economy
Agriculture has always been an important part of Yakima’s economy.  Today, the Yakima Valley is one of the world’s top apple producers.  It also produces 75% of the hops used in the United States.  Manufacturing, wineries, and outdoor recreation also play important roles in the regional economy.  The 3 largest employers in Yakima are: the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, the Yakima School District, and Walmart.

Transportation
As Washington State’s 10th biggest city, Yakima has a variety of transportation options.  For drivers, Interstate 82 and US Route 97 go through Yakima.  Also State Route 24 and State Route 821 terminate near the city.  Public bus service is offered by Yakima Transit.  McAllister Field offers daily Alaska Airlines flights to Seattle

Activities
The Yakima Valley has an interesting collection of museums including: the American Hop Museum, the Yakima Valley Museum, and the Northern Pacific Railway Museum.   The American Hop Museum chronicles the important role that hops play in American beer making.  The Yakima Valley Museum provides educational exhibits on different aspects of regional history.  The Northern Pacific Railway Museum is located in the former rail station that helped the region grow in the 1880s.

Yakima Valley also hosts a handful annual events, including: Yakima Folklife Festival (July), A Case of the Blues and All That Jazz (August), the Central Washington State Fair (September), the Fresh Hops Ale Festival (October), and the Yakima Downtown New Year’s Eve (December.)

With over 90,000 residents, there is always something to do in Yakima. So take the time to visit.  Start with the options covered here, and then set aside time to explore.  Something unexpectedly intriguing will happen, and then explore more.


City of Yakima. “About Yakima.” (https://www.yakimawa.gov/visit/about/) retrieved October 1, 2016.City of Yakima.  “Museums.”  (https://www.yakimawa.gov/visit/museums/) retrieved October 1, 2016.

Northern Pacific Railway Museum. “Northern Pacific Railway Museum.” (http://www.nprymuseum.org/NPR%20Museum.htm) retrieved October 1, 2016.

Wikipedia. “List of cities in Washington.”  October 1, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Washington) retrieved October 1, 2016.

Wikipedia. “Yakima, Washington.” September 22, 2016. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakima,_Washington) retrieved October 1, 2016.

Yakima Transit. “History.” 2016. (https://yakimatransit.org/history/) retrieved October 2, 2016.