Washington Hospital Healthcare System entered 2020 with the vision of continuing
to provide the highest quality of health care possible to our community.
As you can imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought formidable challenges
and countless changes on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. Nonetheless,
our mission remains clear. While navigating these unpredictable times,
we remain focused on meeting all the health care needs of our Tri-City
Area residents, today and into the future.
I am proud of our employees and physicians who are the true heroes on the
front lines of this health crisis. They have managed to care for COVID-19
patients and all other patients in a safe, empathetic and professional
way. And the outpouring of support from you – our community, local
businesses, families and individuals, has been instrumental in ensuring
the safety and well-being of our staff and physicians. For this we are
We are confident that the numerous systemwide safety measures we have put
in place make the Hospital and clinics safe for our patients, doctors
and staff. However, we’re finding that many patients have anxiety
about accessing health care services and have chosen to delay receiving
care despite worsening illness and conditions. We cannot keep our community
members healthy if they do not come to us for care when necessary. In
an effort to educate people about enhanced safety standards, we recently
launched a campaign called, “Don’t Delay Your Care.”
Our goal is simple – to get people the care they need, when they
need it, by raising awareness about the extensive safety precautions to
keep everyone safe. You can view it online at whhs.com/dontdelay.
My first year as CEO has certainly been eventful, and in addition to our
efforts during the pandemic, I have much news to share. The board just
approved placement of a general obligation bond in the amount of $425,000,000
on the upcoming November ballot. This bond would fund the next phase of
our long-term Facility Master Plan, which the board developed in 2000.
This plan guides construction and upgrades to the Hospital campus that
are necessary to meet the health care needs of the district and our growing
community well into the future, as well as unfunded state seismic mandates
by the 2030 deadline. This deadline is the final piece of Senate Bill
1953, which requires California hospitals to meet specified deadlines
for earthquake preparedness.
Proceeds of the newly proposed bond would be used to build a new seismically
safe building adjacent to the Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion; and
to complete the build-out in the Pavilion’s unfinished shell space.
Some of the services that would be moved from the current Hospital into
either the Pavilion or the new building include: operating rooms, cath
labs, labor and delivery, intensive care units for infants, and other
important support services such as imaging, pharmacy, clinical laboratory,
physical therapy and occupational therapy.
To date, we have been successful in fulfilling what has been promised in
the Facility Master Plan. Phase 1 was completed in 2012 with construction
of the Central Utility Plant and Center for Joint Replacement building.
Phase 2 included building the parking garage and the Morris Hyman Critical
Care Pavilion. All of these major construction projects were completed
on time and on budget.
Our newest building, the Morris Hyman Critical Care Pavilion, stands as
an example of how our planning has enabled us to care for the community
in times of crisis. The Emergency Department has all private patient rooms
and dedicated negative pressure rooms for those with infectious diseases,
including COVID-19. The entire Pavilion, which is also home to our critical
care, telemetry and oncology units, has all private patient rooms and
is giving us the capability to safely treat patients during this unprecedented
period. We also converted an entire unit in the main Hospital tower to
all private rooms, which is a valued enhancement during the ongoing pandemic.
In other news, before we even heard of a virus outbreak, Washington Hospital
and UCSF Health partnered to purchase a building in the Warm Springs District
of Fremont. The building purchase was finalized in March 2020. The plan
for this building is to create a new ambulatory center where we will provide
primary and specialty care in this burgeoning area, where great business
and population growth are expected. I look forward to telling you more
as plans develop around this exciting project.
We continue to strengthen our programs and services. This year, we expanded
the capabilities of our highly acclaimed Institute for Joint Restoration
and Research by welcoming renowned shoulder expert and orthopedic surgeon
John Costouros, MD. He rounds out a team of top knee and hip replacement
surgeons, giving patients an outstanding option for shoulder joint replacement
right in our community.
We are also excited about new developments at our Washington Radiation
Oncology Center. Our affiliation with UCSF Health allows us to offer our
patients academic-level medical care locally, which will be further enhanced
this year with the installation of a state-of-the-art linear accelerator.
This new technology, which is expected to be ready for patient care this
November, will increase the speed of treatments, as well as expand the
types of cancers we treat.
While the year is challenging because of the pandemic, we remain poised
to meet the health care needs of the community for generations to come.
We are proud to continue to provide the highest level of quality care
possible, with the Patient First Ethic guiding us every step of the way.
I will keep you updated on our various initiatives. Washington Hospital
has relied on the support of district residents for over 60 years. We
look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the health and safety
of our community, now and into the future.
If you have any questions or would like more information about Washington
Hospital, including anything I’ve shared in this letter, please
contact Community Relations at 510.818.7417.
Chief Executive Officer