News

Snoqualmie hospital receives license

SNOQUALMIE — The New Year started off with a bang for

the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, which received word last week from the

state Department of Health that its license had been renewed.

The news was the culmination of a frantic past few months, as

hospital officials and crews worked to complete all the necessary paperwork

and finish remodeling part of the hospital, located on Ethan Wade Way

Southeast.

In November, hospital officials signed a contract with

Snoqualmie Regional Hospital Inc., a non-profit arm of Bainbridge

Island-based Northwest Care Management Inc., to reopen the Snoqualmie facility.

The hospital was forced to close twice in the 1990s, first in 1993 and again

in 1997.

Jeff Lyle, superintendent of King County Public Hospital District 4,

said the Department of Health renewed the license on Thursday, Dec. 28. He

expects Snoqualmie Valley Hospital to open sometime around March 1,

and the district's board of directors will set a date for public ceremony to

honor the hospital's reopening.

"Once we fill those [staffing] holes and get everybody oriented …

we'll have a little community grand opening," he said, adding, "Once we

have the January board meeting, we'll fix a date."

In order to grant the license renewal, Department of Health

officials conducted a site inspection, and they examined paperwork concerning

the services the hospital would provide, including contacts with outside

service providers for such things as food and laundry. The next inspection for

the hospital will take place in 2003.

"Once they saw the documents and saw those signed contracts, they

said, `OK, you've met the requirements,'" Lyle said.

With the license renewal, the hospital can now focus on hiring

staff. Lyle said the hospital needs RNs, LPNs and certified nursing

assistants, and he would like to add some facilities staff.

The hospital district superintendent has put in long hours getting

the hospital ready. In two, two-week pay periods, Lyle worked 153 1/2

hours and 165 1/2 hours, respectively. During one stint, he worked 32

days straight, and "I only spent 11 of those 32 nights in my own home," he said.

"Personally, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off

my shoulders," he said. "So now comes the hard part of getting the doors

open and having people come and use it."

Those wishing to apply for a position at the hospital should write

to: Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, attention: Human Resources, P.O. Box

2021, Snoqualmie, WA 98065.

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