Weekly Report for August 6, 2015 – Supporting Patient Choices

August 6, 2015

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest was designed to help train physicians, hospitals and their communities to be more comfortable in discussing and honoring patients’ wishes around advance care planning. These can be complicated and uncomfortable conversations for everyone, and it’s important that providers be able to guide and support patients.

Honoring Choices PNW is a partnership of WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association because we want to see patients’ wishes be heard and honored. Our vision isthat everyone in Washington will receive care that honors personal values, goals and preferences for future health care. The goal is to prepare health care organizations and providers to offer a person-centered approach to advance care planning by continuously engaging patients in the conversation.

We have recently contracted with Gundersen Health to bring their evidence-based advance care planning training to Washington State. Gundersen’s work is internationally known as a best practice in advance care planning training, and we are pleased that communities, clinics and hospitals will be able to learn from the best.

The program will be introduced within a number of health care organizations in Washington in the next few months. We are finalizing the list of first round participants. If you are interested in having your organization participate as an early adopter, please contact us for next steps. Over the next several years, this training will spread to organizations and communities across our state.


Pam Ehrbar
Program Manager, Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest


WSHA offices closed Friday

We’ve been packing all week, and the office will be completely closed Friday, August 7, for the move into downtown Seattle.

Starting on Monday morning, you’ll be able to find WSHA, the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts, NWone, and Washington Hospital Services in our new space:

999 Third Avenue, Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104
Our phone numbers are the same.

We are very excited to be more centrally located and are looking forward to welcoming members and friends soon! To read more about the move, see last week’s Weekly Report. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)


WSHA teams up with DOH to recognize breastfeeding-friendly hospitals

WSHA and the Washington State Department of Health launched the joint program Breastfeeding Friendly Washington Hospitals this week to recognize hospitals that take steps to support breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is important in building a baby’s health, and hospitals play a pivotal role in helping new mothers start and continue breastfeeding.

See our joint press release here.

Hospitals can achieve gold, silver or bronze levels through the program. Already, the work of four hospitals has been recognized:

Hospitals are recognized for a variety of steps, such as creating a breastfeeding policy for staff and training mothers how to breastfeedVisit the webpage or contact DOH for more information about the program. (Tim Pfarr)

Across the state, hospitals and health systems are doing amazing work to care for their patients and communities in innovative ways. Our goal is to feature all of our 100 members at least once through the course of the year. If you are a WSHA member with a story to tell, please contact Mary Kay Clunies-Ross.


Healthier Washington Video

The state has undertaken a an ambitious and wide-reaching effort to make health care higher quality and more affordable in Washington State, and this plan is called “Healthier Washington.” Fueled by a $65 million federal grant and supported by dozens of organizations across the state, including WSHA, the aim is to improve our state’s health by making changes to local health care planning, payment models, care delivery and data collection.

To help hospital staff, board members and the public better understand the Healthier Washington plan, WSHA created an animated video that provides an overview of the plan’s major elements. Please feel free to visit our information page about Healthier Washington and view our video. Let us know what you think!



Member survey: Sexual assault services in Washington 

WSHA is attempting to better understand how sexual assault services are offered throughout the state and in its member hospitals. This is a topic of significant interest to state and federal policymakers, as well as local communities.

We recently sent a survey to our member hospitals that we believe would be best completed by hospitals’ chief nursing officers. While we have had many responses, we do not yet have a full picture of how these services are delivered across the state.

If you are a hospital administrator, please encourage your CNO or other relevant staff to complete the survey. By gathering information from all the hospitals in the state, we will have better information to use to improve care for patients and to represent you in conversations with federal and state officials.

For the link to the survey or for more information, please contact Zosia Stanley. (Mary Kay Clunies-Ross)

Schedule a meeting with members of Congress during August recess

Now is a great time to set up meetings with members of Congress or their staffs to discuss issues impacting health care, as lawmakers have returned to the state for August recess. If you haven’t scheduled a visit yet, it’s not too late.

Click here to download talking points outlining the key Congressional issues for fall 2015. Major issues for hospital/health systems and Congress include mounting budget pressures that may impact Medicare payments and maintaining the 340B program.

Contact Policy Director Chelene Whiteaker (206-216-2545) if you need help scheduling a meeting with your member(s) of Congress or to let WSHA know how your meeting went. (Tim Pfarr)


WSHA’s Annual Meeting will feature expert on end-of-life conversations

Michael Bernhagen, co-producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series of films “Consider the Conversation,” will be the closing speaker at WSHA’s annual meeting October 7-8. Michael will share his personal journey and stories from his role as director of community engagement at Rainbow Hospice Care in Jefferson, Wis., providing insight into how caregivers can best respond to the struggle to prepare for life’s end.

Michael’s films helped launch “Honoring Choices Wisconsin,” the counterpart to Honoring Choices Pacific NorthwestClick here for more information on the annual meeting, and how to make your hotel reservations! (Deborah Swets)

Reminder: Sign up for Rural Advocacy Days

Hospital leaders and board members have an excellent opportunity to connect with members of Congress during WSHA’s Rural Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C., September 16-17.

This year’s Congressional agenda could include fixing the 96-hour rule, putting parameters on recovery audit contractors, patient attribution for mid-level providers in rural Accountable Care Organizations, telemedicine policy for Medicare and other proposals impacting rural hospitals. WSHA provides a briefing to bring members up to speed on the federal issues and also schedules the visits with your senators and representatives.

Please let Wendy Ray know if you or members of your board plan to attend. (Chelene Whiteaker)


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax


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