Veterans: Serving Country, Serving Patients

November 13, 2014

Veterans Day is an important opportunity to recognize the veterans who have served our country so well.

Too often, these proud men and women are coming back to a civilian economy that doesn’t allow for an easy transfer of their skills and experience. Also, many employers have fears and prejudice about military life. The AHA has committed on a national level to an effort to better connect veterans to jobs at hospitals across the country, and they have developed a number of resources and tools to help hospitals hire veterans.

Our hospitals in Washington state are committed to this work as well. Regardless of branch, those who serve in our armed forces are mission-focused, trained to work in teams, to develop action plans, and to adjust them as necessary. These are the kinds of character traits we need working in health care today. Veterans with or without medical backgrounds can be excellent hospital employees and can help fill critical work force gaps. WSHA is also exploring ways to address work force shortages by allowing for more flexibility and innovation within our existing health care workforce, and you can talk to our clinical issues policy director, Ian Corbridge, about that.

But most of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all the veterans working today in Washington state hospitals. Your service to your country is appreciated and your care of our patients is extraordinary.


Scott Bond
WSHA President and CEO

Webcast: Open Enrollment Starts This Weekend

The second open enrollment period for the Washington Health Plan Finder begins Saturday, November 15 and runs through February 15, 2015. Our state achieved outstanding success during the first open enrollment period and we know our members will continue their great work during this second round.

WSHA will be having a webcast on November 14 to spread the word about some important changes for this next open enrollment period. Please see the login information for the webcast here. (Barbara Gorham,

What to Say? Media Guide and HIPAA Fact Sheet

WSHA and our partners have developed two great resources for your public information needs:

Guide to Cooperation, October 2014 Update: Long promised and much reviewed, here is the update. It’s about 14 pages and prints on regular 8 ½ x 11 inch paper. It can also be found on our download publications page.

HIPAA fact sheet: This is a one-page document developed by DOH, WSHA, WSMA, and WSNA to help front line staff know what to do to protect patient safety. All organizations are sharing with their members and we encourage you to share it within your organization as well. It can also be found on our Ebola webpage.

If you have questions, please contact Mary Kay Clunies-Ross ( or (206) 216-2894).

Industry Partner News: B. E. Smith Offers Executive Recruitment Program for CAH/Rural Members

With executive turnover at an all-time high and the industry experiencing a shortage of veteran leadership professionals, hospitals and health systems are facing an increasingly difficult recruiting environment. Nowhere is this challenge greater than at CAH organizations that are often located in rural areas of the state.

B. E. Smith, healthcare’s top-ranked leadership solutions firm, has partnered with WSHA to offer a unique solution for CAH/Rural organizations to address executive leadership vacancies.

As a member of WSHA, you will have the ability to utilize B. E. Smith’s CAH Executive Recruitment Program. Specifically designed for Critical Access Hospitals, program highlights include:

  • Discounted, fixed fee approach for C-Suite and VP executive recruitments (Except CEO).
  • Experienced search consultants who will identify/vet candidates to specific requirements.
  • Proven methodology which has resulted in the recent recruitment of more than 900 professionals nationwide.
  • Candidate placement guarantee which mitigates risk to your organization.

To discuss your executive recruitment needs or to learn more about the CAH Executive Recruitment Program, contact Bryan Christianson by phone at 913-752-4525 or by email at

June Altaras, COO, Swedish Medical Center named a 2014 Woman of Influence

Congratulations! June Altaras will be honored this year at the the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Women of Influence awards for her accomplishments within the health care industry, and for giving back to her community. June began as COO of Swedish Seattle  in February 2014, and was featured in the WSHA New Blue H video, discussing the impact of quality health care.

UW Medicine-Valley Medical Alliance is Valid

Valley Medical Center announced last Friday that the Washington Supreme Court has denied review of the lawsuit challenging UW Medicine’s strategic alliance agreement with Valley Medical Center. As a result, the Court of Appeals decision approving the strategic alliance agreement between UW Medicine and Valley Medical Center is final.

“For over three years now, our healthcare professionals have been working very well together to improve quality and safety of care, control and reduce costs, and improve access to care for citizens of South King County,” said Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine. “It has been a pleasure for all of us at UW Medicine to pursue this important work with the talented group of healthcare professionals at Valley Medical Center.”

Read the press release here. (Taya Briley,

Survey for Simulation Capacity in Washington

The Washington Center for Nursing (WCN) has been asked by DOH to assess the state of simulation capacity in WA. It is collaborating with the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies to get a better picture of what’s where, who’s got access to what, where needs exist, etc.

This survey is brief. It will be followed by an equally-brief phone interview for a sample of those who have simulation and who will help by providing more information. WCN will make recommendations to educational institutions, employers and legislators based on feedback. A token of thanks will be sent to those who fully participate!

Here is the survey link. For questions or comments, please contact Linda Tieman, Executive Director of the Washington Center for Nursing at (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross,


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Washington State Hospital Association
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