August 2011

August 2011 posts

Swedish brings communities together

What do you call an event where a healthcare institution, a university and over 20 construction and engineering companies to provide much needed improvements to a local preschool building? We call it: Together We Can: Head Start Makeover. On July 16th, Swedish, Seattle University and members from the WA State Society for Healthcare Engineering WSSHE; American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), McKinstry Construction, GLY Construction, Coffman Engineers Inc., Graham Construction and G&W Commercial Flooring and others came together to provide a much needed extreme makeover to the Yesler Terrace Head Start Pre-K school building. Swedish’s commitment to community benefit and engagement took the lead to bring about this service project to make a direct impact on the community we serve.

The in-kind donations of materials, labor, and equipment along with $70,000 raised by the local construction and engineering industry and concerned community members put this unique community project was on tract to succeed. The Head Start Pre-K school building has two classrooms for 20 smart and energetic 4 and 5 yr old students and four teachers who needed a place to inspire learning for Yesler Terrace families. The building was dark, cold at times and the kitchen floor and playground was in bad shape. In seven hours with 150 volunteers the pre-k school building was transformed into a place of pride and fun with: 

What's life without a little song?

Most of us have heard about the studies that show kids who study music:


      Can score higher on standardized tests, such as the SAT;

      Can help develop problem-solving and math skills;

      Develop their brains in areas that non-music studying kids don’t;

      And a whole slew of other beneficial things...

But music also releases serotonin and dopamine to give us the same sort of feeling of pleasure that come from eating chocolate.  It can make us happy.  There’s nothing like that good feeling when the perfect song pops up on the radio or on our iPods/MP3s.

This is important in our stressed out world of today.  We’re stressed about work, chores, bills, economy, blah, blah, blah.

So how do we get more music into our children’s lives?  And how do we cultivate an appreciation for music, not just a rebellion?

Hundreds of Swedish-Affiliated Physicians Recognized as Top Doctors in Seattle Metropolitan Magazines Annual Survey


Issue 17 - Special Edition - Using an Informed Approach to Ensure a Healthier Workforce

Using an Informed Approach to Ensure a Healthier Workforce

Swedish employees and their dependents receive some of the most generous healthcare benefits in the region. For many years, Swedish has paid close to 100% of all employees’ healthcare benefits. As a healthcare provider we value the health and well being of our workforce; however, as healthcare utilization and costs continue to rise, we must take a hard look at how we can control our own medical plan.

At a recent bargaining session, Swedish brought in Dr. Randy Axlerod, a national expert on medical plans, to share the findings of his research that looked at how Swedish could begin to better utilize our healthcare resources. The findings were shocking. We wanted to give all Swedish employees the opportunity to see Dr. Axelrod present his research findings with Dr. Jay Fathi. We are posting short videos of some of Dr; Axelrod’s findings on the Negotiation News website and you can click here to watch online.

Puget Sound Business Journal reports on the Current Economic Crisis Facing Seattle area Hospitals

On Friday, July 29, the Puget Sound Business Journal published a comprehensive look at the financial crisis Swedish and other Puget Sound regional hospitals are experiencing. The article discussed some of the issues we’ve raised in the previous Negotiation News posts such as the impact of growing Medicare enrollees, combined with fewer private insurance enrollees, decreasing state support, increasing treatment of uninsured patients as well as the increasing costs to provide healthcare to employees and their dependents. The article includes quotes from Swedish management and union leadership; both acknowledging that employee benefit costs are “unsustainable” and need to be addressed in the new contract.

If you have not had a chance to read this article, we’ve included a link for you here: click here to see the PDF.

What is this ringing noise in my ears?

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound or noise in the ear or head.  Tinnitus is commonly reported as a ringing or bell noise, but it has also been described as clicking, roaring, hissing, static and “motor” noises. Tinnitus has unique variations, and reports from those afflicted with tinnitus vary greatly in terms of the sound and volume. Most people experience tinnitus in both ears, though it may occasionally be perceived in one ear only.

Some tinnitus coping strategies include:

Restoring Independence to Patients With Pleural Effusion

The first thing Mrs. G said when she came for the evaluation of her pleural effusion was “I have been active all my life”. However, the simple task of bending over to tie her shoes had become impossible because she could not breath. She described the build up of fluid as terrifying and robbing her of her independence.

The accumulation of pleural fluid or fluid around the lung is a common problem which can occur in a number of disease states. The most common symptom associated with pleural fluid is shortness of breath. It is our goal to rapidly manage and effectively control this problem and restore independence to every patient.

As the fluid built up around Mrs. G’s lung, she described a sensation of shortness of breath and a complete inability to take a deep breath. She said she could no longer exercise; walking was taxing and the shortness of breath made it impossible for her to lay flat at night; she was now sleeping upright in a recliner. In the office, under ultrasound guidance, she had her fluid drained – improving her breathing “almost immediately”. We then formulated a plan to restore her independence and give her control over the accumulation of the fluid.

What is a pleural effusion?

More than the ABC’s

What is it that compels adults to “do the right thing”, or “go out of their way”, or “go above and beyond”?

There are those people that are outstanding in their jobs or in their interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and even strangers.

This is that interconnectedness, or sense of community that some of us feel towards our fellow human. We respect our fellow man and respect the plight that they are on.

Social sciences are looking at how spirituality effects our health. Spirituality does not automatically mean religion. Spirituality is the way you find meaning, hope, comfort and inner peace in your life. Many people find spirituality through religion. Some find it through music, art or a connection with nature. Others find it in their values and principles. And some adults I know still find it with their parents.

As humans, we have 4 different parts to us that need nurturing and development. We have our physical, intellectual, emotional, and social/spiritual parts. When we see an amazing athlete who is also well-spoken and intelligent; who is a caring well-adjusted person, we tend to appreciate the wholeness of the person. For some athletes, they spend too much time developing the physical part and can neglect the rest (which is why we had/have “no pass, no play rule” in schools).

As parents, we have a responsibility to nurture the whole of our children. We know that we need to read to them, help them get the exercise they need, and emotion coach, teach them to be nice to their playdate but sometimes we neglect the spiritual side.

There are ways to help develop your child’s spiritual side:

Results 8-14 of 19