Northwest NEWS

June 18, 2001

Features

Evergreen plans expansions, adds innovative technology

by Deborah Stone
   Features writer
   Evergreen Hospital Medical Center prides itself on delivering quality, state-of-the-art care to its patients and in order to serve the growing community better, it has planned several new additions to its already comprehensive facility.
   Construction is already underway on the five-story 157,000 square foot Evergreen Surgery and Physicians Center adjacent to he hospital's blue entrance. Tenants will include the replacement and expansion of the existing outpatient surgical center and increased space to provide for new and expanding programs and practices.
   In January 2002 the new Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery will open its doors as part of a new floor of expanded health services to accommodate growing patient volumes. The need for such a facility is there as the continued rise in the birth rate on the Eastside also indicates a climb in the number of newborns in need of extra medical care after birth.
   "Providing neonatal intensive care services will allow us to serve those infants and families that are at greatest risk in our community," says Andrew Fallat, Evergreen CEO.
   This addition to Evergreen means that infants who need the acute treatment of a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will not have to be transferred to a Seattle hospital providing this care, while the mother stays behind. Instead of having parents run back and forth from their Eastside home to their baby's bedside in Seattle, Evergreen's Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery will feature private, single rooms where parents will room-in with their babies.
   This design is one of the first of its kind in the nation. According to Dr. Stephen Chentow, Medical Director of Evergreen's Special Care Nursery, an infant's recovery time will most likely be shorter when placed in this warm, comforting and private environment.
   He says, "When babies are together in a large ward, the constant noise and activity can extend their recovery period. We expect that infants will improve more rapidly in our private rooms, and we think family members will feel more involved in their care."
   Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center and the University of Washington Academic Medical Center will be collaborating with the Evergreen Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery in providing experts who will participate in providing clinical services, training and expertise to Evergreen's staff. This collaboration is a historical one and according to Joe Halperin M.D., Evergreen's Vice President, Clinical Affairs, it is the wave of the future. He comments, "We are committed to pursuing relationships with health care organizations in our region that will serve to improve and ensure access to care."
   Evergreen also continues its goal of enhancing patient care with innovative technology. The Cancer Profiler, a free Web-based interactive tool is now available to help patients with treatment decisions.
   Accessible through Evergreen's Web site, the Cancer Profiler serves to meet the education needs for cancer patients. It works by examining the diagnosis, medical history and personal preferences of the cancer patient, basically treating them as a "virtual participant" in major studies published in prominent scientific journals.
   With this statistical point of comparison, individuals can weigh the pros and cons of different treatments. Sixteen different cancers are covered in the Cancer Profiler.
   Evergreen was the first hospital in the Northwest to add this service to its Web site and it is available to not only cancer patients and their physicians, but to family members, caregivers and others. It can be accessed by first going to the Evergreen Web site (www.evergreenhealthcare.org) and then clicking on Cancer Care, Treatment Decision Tools. Another innovative technology tool soon to be available to new parents at Evergreen is BabyPressConference.com. Available for free, this service allows parents to broadcast live video and audio of their newborn while chatting online with friends and family all over the world.
   The visits will take place in a private, secure Internet chat room and participants will be able to see the new baby live and also type questions for the parents to answer in real time.
   For more information on BabyPressConference.com at Evergreen, contact Diane Owen at (425) 899-3495.