Broad View of Health

September 18, 2014

The Fearsome Dandelion

If you have a lawn, you probably hate dandelions. And yet, it is the symbol for this year’s WSHA Annual meeting. Why? You have to respect the dandelion. If nature’s sole purpose is to be fruitful and multiply, dandelions do a brilliant job. They are efficient, adventurous and successful: the perfect symbol of disruptive change.

Please join us at the 82nd Annual Meeting to dive deeper into this topic, and orient yourself to our common challenges. This year’s brochure is now available, and it’s rich with details about our amazing speakers, highlighted issues, special breakfasts, and networking events like the PAC Dinner. In breakout sessions, we’ll also go in deep on ACOs, public health partnerships, quality, the upcoming legislative session and more.

Visit our website to learn more and register. Hotel space is going fast, so make your reservations soon!(Cynthia Hay,

100K Children Campaign Gains Momentum 

In less than a year, WSHA members have improved the health of 2,200 kids simply by joining the WSHA 100K Children campaign for safer imaging. Nationwide, the number of children impacted by the campaign is close to 15,000 – the equivalent of 26 elementary schools full of kids who will no longer be exposed to the risk of high doses of radiation from medical procedures such as CT scans.Through the Leading Edge Advanced Practice Topics(LEAPT) initiative, health care facilities and providers in the Pacific Northwest partnered with WSHA to define and implement leading practices for minimizing radiation exposure. Participants pledge to judicious use of ionizing radiation when diagnosing illness and injury in children. Learn how you canparticipate. (Becky DeMers,

Are you on THE MAP?

To date, 2,227 new “good choices” in imaging have been made by WSHA members participating in the 100K Children’s Campaign. The national campaign is following successful hospitals and clinics by placing a pin on a map of the U.S. and listing the choices they have made that reduce exposure. When you go to the site, click on the pin and it will show the list.

Renee Jensen Selected For 40 Under 40 Awards

The Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 program spotlights the top business leaders under the age of 40 who excel in their industry and show dynamic leadership. This year CEO Renee Jensen has received recognition for her work in developing the Summit Pacific Medical Center, a new critical access hospital that includes 24-hour emergency care, expanded outpatient services, and three rural health clinics that provide preventative care.

Renee and the other 2014 Forty Under Forty honorees will be recognized during an awards ceremony at The Showbox on September 18. For more information on this celebration, click here. (Deborah Swets,

AWPHD Offers Two Open Government Act Trainings – Register Today!

AWPHD will offer two different training opportunities on the laws related to open government.  The training for commissioners is specifically designed for elected officials and is a two part interactive training module available online beginning October 1, 2014. Registration for this is ongoing. The training for public records officers is a more in-depth one day, in-person training on Tuesday, October 7, 2014. The deadline to register for this training is Tuesday, September 30.  See the attached flyer for more detailed information on the trainings, and how to register. (Beionka Moore, or Zosia Stanley,

2014 WHPAC Campaign Weekly Update

The 2014 WHPAC campaign is more than a third of the way to reaching our $170,000 goal!  As of September 16th, you have raised almost $59,000.

Still fairly early in the campaign, we have five members that have reached their goal. Congratulations to Cascade Medical Center, Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics, North Valley Hospital, Othello Community Hospital and Overlake Medical Center!

Looking ahead, we will be doing a fair amount of acknowledgement at this year’s annual meeting of members who have met goal.  We look forward to seeing how many of you will be featured on the posters we will be creating for the annual meeting. There is still plenty of time remaining in the campaign.  Please let us know how we can help you reach goal.  (Lori Martinez,

Infection Control Measures are First Defense

On a daily basis, the news reminds us that serious communicable diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Ebola virus disease are only a plane ride away. What’s more, flu season is right around the corner. It’s critical to have a system-wide approach to ensure appropriate infection control precautions are taken.

The state Department of Health is urging hospitals to take three specific steps to protect patients and staff:

  1. Review and ensure implementation of proper infection control procedures during all patient encounter stages (e.g., triage, evaluation, admission, transport);
  2. Review triage protocols for early identification to trigger infection control response;
  3. Ensure staff know how to contact the appropriate public health authorities to assist with response activities; including for the Ebola virus disease.
For more information, read the official letter from the Washington State Department of Health and Washington State Hospital Association. (Carol Wagner,

Study Finds Potential for Hospitals to Reduce Antimicrobial Therapies

Eliminating duplicative antibiotic therapies is an excellent opportunity for hospitals to lower costs and reduce the risk of adverse drug events and antimicrobial resistance. However, a recent study of 500 hospitals found that 78% of their clinicians were using unnecessary combinations of intravenous antibiotics.

According to a 2013 AHA Physician Leadership Forum white paper, appropriate use of antibiotics is one of five areas where hospitals, clinical staff and patients should work to reduce non-beneficial care. In July, the AHA and six national partners released a toolkit to help hospitals and health systems enhance their antimicrobial stewardship programs. You can find the toolkit here. (Amber Theel,


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