On April 23, residents in EvergreenHealth’s public hospital district will vote on a $345 million, 20-year bond that would fund significant improvements to its Kirkland medical center.
The effort is part of EvergreenHealth’s “EverHealthy” initiative, part of the health care system’s 10-year Master Facilities Plan. The plan aims to ensure the growing number of families within the public hospital district “can continue to count on safe, quality care within their community well into the future.” The initiative would meet that goal by making upgrades to prepare buildings for natural disasters, create a new critical care unit, modernize its Family Maternity Center and upgrade infrastructure and technology.
The 20-year-bond would translate to an average of $0.18 per $1,000 of assessed home value per year, according to a news release from EvergreenHealth. A homeowner with a $700,000 home in the health systems’ district, for example, would pay an average of $10.50 per month, totaling $126 per year over the life of the bond.
“EverHealthy provides the blueprint for keeping pace with our area’s population growth by fulfilling our promise to our community: To evolve to remain your best health partner now, and for years to come,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Amy Beiter, MD, in a statement. “By strengthening and enhancing our health system, EverHealthy will help us continue our legacy of delivering the highest quality outcomes and exceptional service in an environment of absolute safety.”
In the release, EvergreenHealth stressed that the seismic upgrades are one of the most critical component of the initiative. The upgrades would affect the oldest areas of the hospital, which was originally built in 1972.
“While all facilities meet the building codes that were in place at the time of their construction, retrofitting those areas to today’s most advanced seismic standards will enable EvergreenHealth to remain a viable resource in the event of a catastrophic earthquake,” the release states. “Given the medical center campus’ geographical location, EvergreenHealth is slated by experts to be the most viable and accessible option for medical care after a catastrophic earthquake in the region.”
The initiative would also fund the construction of a new Critical Care Unit and relocate it to the medical center’s Silver Tower, which will position it near other specialties that often coordinate with critical care providers.
Modernization of the Family Maternity Center is also planned. Renovations would include redesigned rooms to better accommodate families and provide space for advanced equipment and technology, new optimized layouts, an updated entrance, and the addition of an OB emergency department. The center also will be expanded to accommodate more patients and families.
Campus-wide infrastructure improvements to renew aging systems also are part of the initiative. Such improvements are “critical to delivering safe, high-quality care, while enhancing the health systems’ ability to adopt innovative technology as it emerges,” and will ensure that the facility can adapt to a growing population and remain innovative.
The first phase of EvergreenHealth’s Master Facilities Plan was completed in 2017 and included the opening of the EvergreenHealth Neuroscience, Spine & Orthopedic Institute in the DeYoung Pavilion; new inpatient units; and a new primary care and urgent care practice in Kenmore.
More information about the EverHealthy initiative can be found on EvergreenHealth’s website.