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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
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.