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'A Guiding Light for Changing Times'

May 14, 2013

Washington Hospital joins nationwide celebration of hospitals as dependable sources for healthy communities

For many years, the state of health care has been a top issue on the minds of Americans. Not only does scientific progress continue to reshape and reinvent medicine, but the entire approach to the way care is provided and funded is changing. With all this uncertainty, it's good to know some things about health care are basically the same. One of those is the role of hospitals as trustworthy beacons in our communities.

This week, is the nation's largest health care event, people across the country acknowledge the history, technology and dedicated health care professionals that make many hospitals a dependable source of confidence and caring. First observed in 1921, National Hospital Week - this year, from May 12 through May 18 - will recognize the hospital as "A Guiding Light for Changing Times."

Here in the Tri-City area, Washington Hospital will take the opportunity to acknowledge how it has consistently fulfilled its mission of meeting the growing and changing health care needs of Washington Township Health Care District residents for 55 years. During the week, Washington Hospital will take time to celebrate the employees and volunteers that help champion the health and wellbeing of the District's residents. Employees and volunteers throughout the Hospital agree they have much to celebrate.

Reasons to celebrate

Over the years, Washington Hospital has maintained a steadfast focus on providing safe, high quality health care while investing in advanced technology and innovative services. This has kept it at the forefront of community hospitals throughout the Bay Area and the West Coast. In fact, many of the Hospital's services are on par with those of highly respected teaching hospitals across the country.

One reason for Washington Hospital's success is its longstanding, organization-wide commitment to the Patient First Ethic. This means every decision and action taken by staff, physicians and volunteers is based on what is best for the patient.

The Hospital will also be celebrating its prestigious designation as a Magnet hospital. Magnet status is the highest level of recognition a hospital can achieve for quality of nursing care. It is awarded to only a small percentage of hospitals across the country. This honor is also of critical importance to the community. As a patient or family member, when you come to Washington Hospital, you can be confident the nurses who care for you or your loved one will always demonstrate exceptional levels of professionalism, responsibility and teamwork.

Another reason to celebrate is the progress of Washington Hospital Healthcare System's long-term Facilities Master Plan to modernize and expand the Hospital's campus for the future. Phase I of the plan, which included completion of a state-of-the-art Central Utility Plant, was completed on time and on budget. Now, preparations are being made for Phase II to upgrade and expand the Hospital's outdated emergency and critical care facilities. The successful completion of both of these phases would not be possible without the support of District residents through voter-approved funding measures.

Another important, but less obvious reason for celebrating Hospital Week is Washington Hospital's role in supporting the local economy. It is the area's second largest employer, with a substantial percentage of staff members living in the Tri-City area. Major construction projects related to Hospital expansion have injected millions of dollars into the economy, and this trend is expected to continue through at least 2016.

Exceptional services

Staff and volunteers are also exceedingly proud of the Hospital's wide range of excellent health care services, which play an important role in making sure exceptional health care is available in our community. Some examples are:
* One of the area's busiest Emergency Departments, which serves as a Cardiac Receiving Center and Stroke Receiving Center in Alameda County
* The Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Program ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation, with more patients recovering more quickly and mortality rates 20 percent lower than the national average
* The Community Cancer Program accredited by the American College of Surgeons, with a comprehensive range of services, including Cancer Genetics and Breast Health Programs, as well as the new Sandy Amos R.N. Infusion Center
* The Outpatient Diabetes Center with certified diabetes educators who teach people how to control and live with diabetes for a lifetime, while also educating the public about prevention and early identification
* The Washington Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine, which ranks ahead of most other wound care services in helping patients experience complete healing
* The Washington on Wheels (W.O.W.) mobile health clinic that travels throughout the community providing basic health care services, primarily to people who are uninsured or underinsured
* A comprehensive Community Health Improvement Program that includes a long-standing partnership with local schools offering on-site, interactive hand hygiene education to more than 1,000 students every year

Learn more

To find out more about Washington Hospital and Washington Hospital Healthcare System, go to www.whhs.com.