Category Archives: Critical Access Hospitals

Introduction to the Everett Clinic

Everett Clinic was founded when four local physicians partnered together following World War I.  Atthe time, the city of Everett was thriving.  Lumber was a huge industry and many migrated to the city looking for jobs in the mills.  When the Great Depression hit a few years later, the clinic survived because they provided medical care to mill employees.  The four founders, Drs. Samuel Caldbick, Harry Secoy, Arthur Gunderson, and Leo Trask, created a healthcare organization that continues to serve patients in the Everett and larger Snohomish County communities.

The Everett ClinicToday’s Everett Clinic
As time went on, the organization gradually grew.  Each new location meant that more providers and medical specialties were added into the organization.   Today’s Everett Clinic has 28 locations serving Snohomish County communities.  There are primary care services offered for patients of all ages.  Specialty care services include physical therapy, pain care, surgery, obstetrics, and many more.
In 2016, the organization passed two milestones.  It opened its first clinic outside of Snohomish County—in Shoreline.  Second, the Everett Clinic merged with DaVita Healthcare Partners, a Fortune 500 company that shares similar core values.

Organizational Values
The Everett Clinic provides value to their patients by prioritizing service, quality, and cost. Simply, this means that the organization recognizes that patients need treatment plans that meet their personal goals.  Throughout the organization, Everett Clinic providers provide high-quality care while also working with patients to determine the best care plan for the individual.
The organizational values translate to how the organization cares for their employees.  The Everett Clinic provides medical, dental, and vision insurance to eligible employees.  There is also paid time off, disability insurance, life insurance, tuition reimbursement, 401(k) plans and more.  The organization shares similar goals with its new partner after their 2016 merger.  DaVita Healthcare Partners has the core values of service, integrity, team, continuous improvement, accountability, fulfillment and fun.  In 2011 the Everett Clinic was recognized nationally as one of the best places to work.  In 2013, it was named as the fifth largest private employer in Snohomish County.

The Everett Clinic has provided important medical care to Snohomish County residents since 1924. Although the scope of the organization’s offerings has expanded, it is still driven by the same values that its four founders held.  Provide high-quality care to patients that helps the patient reach their personal health goals.  With 28 clinic locations sprinkled throughout Snohomish County, the Everett Clinic is an important part of the healthcare landscape in western Washington.

About DaVita Inc. Davita: Bringing Quality to Life.  Accessed February 21, 2017.
Benefits: For the Whole You. The Everett Clinic, Accessed February 22, 2017.
Everett, Washington. Wikipedia, 20 February 2017,,_Washington. Accessed February 21, 2017.
Maps and Directions. The Everett Clinic, Accessed February 21, 2017.
More than 90 Years of Excellence. The Everett Clinic, Accessed February 21, 2017.
Our Core Values. The Everett Clinic, Accessed February 21, 2017.
Snohomish County. Wikipedia, 2 February 2017, Accessed February 21, 2017.

Introduction to the Olympic Medical Center

Centered in Clallam County, Washington, Olympic Medical Center provides primary and specialty care to more than 70,000 residents.  Since its 1951 founding, the organization continues to meet the health needs its local community.

Mission and Values
Olympic Medical Center’s mission is working together to provide excellence in healthcare. The organization focuses on improving individual patient experience, improving the community’s health, and financial stewardship.  Additional organizational values include quality, safety, teamwork, compassion, respect, integrity, and stewardship.

Olympic Medical Center has advocated for the health of local residents since it was founded in November 1951.  As the community’s needs grew and changed, so did Olympic Medical Center.  After joining the Washington Trauma Designated Hospital System in 1995, Olympic Medical Center became a Level 3 trauma center.  It is one of two Level 3 trauma centers on the Olympic Peninsula
In 2007, Olympic Medical Center advocated for the health of its community when it took over ownership of a Virginia Mason primary care clinic.  This move ensured that thousands of residents maintained access to primary care services.  Clallam County residents passed a 2008 tax levy to reinvest money into Olympic Medical Center.  Funds helped support the emergency, maternity, and other hospital services.   It also helped the organization continue to serve the uninsured and recruit and retain physicians.

Locations and Scope of Services
Today’s Olympic Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care throughout Clallam County and west Jefferson County.  The hospital offers labor and delivery services, a surgical center, acute care, and a Level 3 trauma emergency room.  There are also 12 clinics in Port Angeles and Sequim that provide outpatient care including: primary care, cardiac, imaging, cancer care, rehabilitation therapy, laboratory services, and nutrition education.  Throughout its 66 year history, Olympic Medical Center has grown to meet the needs of the local community.  Regionally, the organization is a top medical provider and one of the largest employers with over one thousand employees.

Clallam County is one of the Washington state’s more scenic areas.  Throughout the area there is easy access to many of the state’s natural wonders including the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic National Forest, the Dungeness Spit, and many more.  For the past 6 decades, Olympic Medical Center has played an important role of meeting community health needs by providing medical care to over 70,000 residents.  Physicians and staff at the medical center get the opportunity to work in a large organization with a local community focus.

Clallam County, Washington. Wikipedia, 20 December 2016,,_Washington. Accessed January 8, 2017.
History. Olympic Medical Center, 2017, Accessed January 8, 2017.
Mission| Vision| Values. Olympic Medical Center, 2017, Accessed January 8, 2017.
Olympic Medical Center. Olympic Medical Center, 2017, Accessed January 8, 2017.
OMP Clinics in Port Angeles and Sequim. Olympic Medical Center, 2017, Accessed January 8, 2017.

What’s Happening in Washington Healthcare – May 20, 2016 Edition

Nursing Shortage in Washington Will Grow to 7,000 by 2025

The impending shortage of medical practitioners looks to be dire. Washington State will be short 7,000 nurses by 2025 according to a 2014 study by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 57,800 Registered Nurses were actively practicing in 2012, with an expected increase to 68,100 in 2025. The DHHS estimates that Washington State will require 75,100 RNs in order to meet the growing demand for aide in the state.

Overlake Hospital Accredited in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

The Overlake Medical Center has been recognized by the American College of Surgeons and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery as a Comprehensive Center, meeting high standards for quality in bariatric patient care. Overlake credits their superb staff and leadership surgeons for meeting and exceeding the highest expectations for structure, process, and outcomes.

Grays Harbor Community Hospital Provides Personal Care throughout the Perinatal Period

Lisa Herrick of GraysHarbor Talk investigates the qualities which make this community hospital such a destination for perinatal mothers. Staff are credited with exceptional leadership and experience among the physician and nursing team, who are integral to the welcoming environment at the Family Birth Center. Private birthing suites and post-partum rooms allow for each patient to have personalized care with highly-qualified practitioners.

Swedish Medical Center Seeks to Expand its Cherry Hill Campus

The Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill Campus currently serves 380,000 neurological and vascular care patients annually. Already operating at 100% capacity, Swedish has predicted that 500,000 patients will seek care at this facility in coming years, and they’ve sought approval from the Seattle City Council to expand the campus to address this need. The project has become a contentious issue for neighborhood activists who argue that the additional 1.4 million square feet expansion will negatively affect traffic, community appeal, and sun exposure. The city council is expected to announce a decision shortly.

The solution to ‘Dental Deserts’ is not complicated.

Dental health is a critical component of medical health. That debate is over. Community Health Centers (CHCs) have understood this sooner than others and intentionally offer dental services alongside the traditional medical services.

Our federal Critical Access Hospital (CAH) program’s sole purpose is to ensure our rural communities have access to medical care. [CAHs are reimbursed by Medicare, on a reasonable cost basis, for applicable patients and services.] Why doesn’t the CAH program include dental health? It’s a stroke-of-the-pen solution to our Dental Deserts!

In 2013 the Minnesota Legislature changed their Critical Access Dental Payment Program (CADPP) to include criteria to designate two additional eligible dental practice types. In 2011 the Kansas Legislature passed a law allowing rural hospitals to employ dentists and provide dental services to their population, and launched a financial impact study of serving their Dental Deserts. State-by-state solutions shouldn’t be needed.

One might hope the ACA will fix this since, after all, it’s really only an insurance/reimbursement problem, right? The ACA solution could provide ~8.7 million more children with some dental benefits, but the adult population would need to be on Medicaid to receive any dental benefits.

Even if the ACA won’t mandate dental care, the CAH program could still encourage ($) CAHs to offer dental health services similar to the CHCs. I don’t see an argument against providing dental health services at critical access hospitals. Isn’t preventative medicine fundamental in the Patient Centered Medical Home?

Good News About Obamacare (for real!)

On this Christmas Eve and I wanted to find something to be thankful for about the ACA. Community health centers (CHC), and critical access hospitals (CAH), are the backbone of our country’s incredible healthcare system. In 2011 the Bush administration expanded this safety net to 1,250 CHCs serving 20 million people. Obamacare’s ACA is further expanding the CHC program to serve 40 million in 2016. I am thankful for this very good thing.

Are you thankful for anything specific in the ACA?

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