I’ve been a resident of Snoqualmie Valley for over 50 years. I’ve watched it grow from a lumber town filled with log trucks and mill workers into an Eastside “bedroom” community filled with young families and a myriad of new homes.
I have a strong attachment to the existing hospital, but it needs to be brought up to a 21st century level of health care in order to serve our fast growing communities. I’ve spent time there as a patient recently and I know that things like ultrasound and cardiac testing have to be done in what were intended for patient rooms. I also know that a new clinic in the hospital designed for seniors is being put in patient rooms. These things cut down the rooms for patient care and reduce the hospital’s capacity in times of need, like the flood last year when the hospital was filled to overflowing.
Both my husband Charles and I have been treated in the emergency room. Our experiences there were good care delivered in a small place. There are only three patient rooms in the ER and it’s not hard to imagine them being full all at once. So, maybe they’re right and the hospital is too small for the kind of medicine we need today. Does that mean it has to be moved to a new location?
To move the hospital to the I-90 location, they are proposing to sell the existing hospital and grounds (50 acres) for $30,000,000 and buy new ground (70 acres) at the Highway 18 intersection for $20,000,000. The $10,000,000 difference would go toward the new hospital and the additional land at the new location would be available to lease or develop for health care-related uses. Hopefully, it would produce income for the hospital to use to reduce our taxes.
There’s talk now about Bellevue Community College wanting to relocate its medical technology school next to the hospital on some of that extra ground. If that could happen, it would be a great thing for this old logging town and all the kids that are growing up in it.
If that happens, I’ll be sad to see the old hospital replaced. The real estate seems to be worth more to someone else than it is to the hospital district and as much as I care about that old hospital, I think it is a good swap.
I’m supporting the new hospital – I hope you will, too.
Carol R. Peterson