Learn more about proposed Swedish/Stevens affiliation Monday

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Stevens Hospital will hold a community meeting from  6:30-8 p.m. Monday to share information about the proposed affiliation between the hospital and Swedish.The meeting will be in the hospital auditorium, fourth floor, 21601 76th Ave.W.

On Dec. 17, the Board of Commissioners for Public Hospital District #2 of Snohomish County approved non-binding terms for Swedish to lease and assume management of Stevens Hospital pending regulatory approvals and final agreements. A final and binding written agreement is expected shortly after the public meeting.

The proposed 30-year lease agreement will help Stevens Hospital expand, improve quality of care and offer more services than it could accomplish on its own. Supporting the priorities of a strategic plan developed in early 2009 with input from the community, the affiliation focuses on expanded services and programs, quality of care and safety, recruitment of additional high-quality physicians and clinical staff, financial performance and stability, community relationships, and the enhancement of Stevens Hospital’s status as a preferred healthcare provider.

“Anyone concerned about the future of health care services in our community is welcome to attend the community meeting, said Michael Carter, Stevens Hospital CEO and president. “It’s natural to have questions about how this proposed change will affect Stevens Hospital and our role serving the community.”

Since the affiliation announcement was made last December, the questions below have been asked most frequently:

Will the name of the hospital change? Yes, Swedish will likely be part of the name but the new name won’t be determined until later.

Will the levy tax rate go down because of the affiliation? No. To supplement the tax money, Swedish intends to invest $150 million for expanded services and facility upgrades. Future levies would have to be approved by voters. The owner of a $285,000 house pays about $44 a year in property taxes to the hospital district. Taxes contributed $3.9 million of the $151.9 million in 2008 operating revenue.

If Stevens Hospital is making money now, then why are any changes needed? For long-term stability, Stevens Hospital needs to expand services and make facility improvements in order to stay competitive and meet the growing needs of the community.

What will happen to the hospital commissioners and the hospital district? The commissioners, and district, will remain and their approval will be required for changing service lines, labor contract changes, relocation of the hospital and other far-reaching decisions. The commissioners will begin a strategic planning process to address health needs in the community.

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