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Hospital District 4 agrees to negotiate

SNOQUALMIE _ Late Monday night Hospital District No. 4

commissioners heard presentations from Cancer Treatment Centers of

America (CTCA) of Arlington Heights, Ill., and Northwest Care Management

Inc. (NWCM) of Bainbridge Island. Both presentations centered on proposals

to reopen Snoqualmie Valley Hospital.

At the end of the lengthy session, commission members voted

unanimously to enter into negotiations with both companies. Pending the

outcome of the talks, the end result could be the reopening of Snoqualmie

Valley Hospital by the end of the year.

The timing would be fortunate, as the hospital's provisional license

and Certificate of Need expire on Dec. 31, 2000. District Superintendent

Jeffrey Lyle advised the commissioners there will be no more extensions.

Under CTCA's plan the company would reopen the facility as a

community hospital while also using it as a regional cancer treatment

center, serving a multi-state area. Cancer Treatment Centers of America

would manage, re-equip and staff the hospital; it would eventually become

the company's primary northwest treatment center, with CTCA retaining

a satellite office in Seattle.

CTCA Vice Chairman Robert W. Mayo stressed the facility would

continue to provide general medical and surgical services for Valley

residents, with privileges for local physicians.

NWCM's proposal included plans for a geropsychiatric unit within

the community hospital. Future development of the hospital's campus

would include a 120-cottage assisted living facility, additional

medical/professional office space and a small Alzheimer's unit. NWCM would

manage the hospital and site under a 10-year lease with an option for a

10-year extension.

NWCM President and CEO Tom J. Johnson characterized the

proposed operation as "unique," adding the

campus could eventually incorporate a population of 200 people.

Following public comment and discussions in executive session,

the commissioners voted to enter into immediate negotiations with

both CTCA and NWCM. The discussions with Northwest Care

Management will cover possible development of the 40-acre campus, while talks with

Cancer Treatment Centers of America will revolve around opening and

management of the hospital itself.

"We couldn't be happier," Mayo said afterward. "I think there's a lot

of synergism with the hospital and with what CTCA can bring to

Snoqualmie. The hard part is over; we have two committed parties here."

"It's been a good year," said District 4 Commission President

Carol Hoch. "This is night and day compared to what we've faced in the

last two years. Now we can just move forward."

Cancer Treatment Centers of America is a national corporation

with facilities located around the United States, including stand-alone

hospitals in Zion, Ill.; Tulsa, Okla.; and

Norfolk, Va., as well as a number of clinics such as the one in Seattle. NWCM

operates managed care facilities in Washington and Oregon. Partner Horizon

Mental Health Management of Irvine, Calif., provides contract psychiatric

services at over 150 locations nationwide.

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