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What you should know about multiple myeloma

Recent news about the health of the distinguished journalist, Tom Brokaw, has focused attention on multiple myeloma, a malignant disease of the bone marrow. Myeloma is characterized by an uncontrolled growth of marrow plasma cells, which normally produce antibodies for our immune system. In its advanced stages, the overgrowth of these cells and their associated proteins can cause anemia, painful bone destruction, and kidney failure.
 
Until about 10 years ago, advanced myeloma was uniformly fatal with a typical survival of about 3 years. Recent years, however, have seen a remarkable improvement in treatment possibilities for myeloma. This began with the discovery that autologous stem cell transplantation could produce complete remissions and longer survival. In addition, a variety of chemotherapy drugs administered in combination with corticosteroid drugs, now produce responses in up to 80% of patients. This means about 80% of patients are surviving longer than 3 years after chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant.
 
Not all patients with myeloma require chemotherapy. Myeloma can exist in an early stage for years. This is called smoldering myeloma. Chromosome analysis is routinely done on myeloma cells and allows us to identify patients with more aggressive forms of the disease, and those requiring treatment due to signs of organ damage or bone pain.
 
The Swedish Cancer Institute has been a participant in clinical trials leading to the development of some of the effective new treatments for myeloma. We are currently participating in a study of pomalidomide, a newly approved agent, for patients with relapsed myeloma. Another study offers an investigational drug, MLN9708, for newly diagnosed patients.
 
While the new drugs are more effective and better tolerated than previous chemotherapy, all  ...

Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Sign Up

Swedish/Issaquah is offering free, in-person assistance for anyone who wants to sign up for health insurance offered through the Affordable Care Act.  Those interested can attend the session between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday, February 24 on the Swedish/Issaquah campus in the Knowledge Room located on the 2nd Floor, 751 N.E. Blakely Dr. Issaquah, WA 98029.

In person assisters will be on hand to help guide people through the registration process.

If you are interested but cannot attend, schedule an individual appointment by calling (206) 386-6996.

Dr. Rayburn Lewis Named Chief Executive of Swedish/Issaquah

News Release
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 10                                                            
 
Contacts: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org
 

SEATTLE – Swedish/Cherry Hill Chief Operating Officer Rayburn Lewis, M.D., has been named the new chief executive of Swedish/Issaquah. He will begin work in his new role on Feb. 10 and replaces retiring Swedish/Issaquah Chief Executive Chuck Salmon.
 
“I am honored to be charged with the responsibility of leading one of the newest and highest quality hospitals in the entire region,” Dr. Lewis said. “Our focus will continue to be on building the strongest, healthiest communities across Issaquah and East King County.”

Dr. Lewis, a board-certified internal medicine physician who has been a member of Swedish’s medical staff since 1984, brings to his new executive role a wealth of leadership experience from across the Swedish system.

Swedish Surgeon Eric Vallieres Featured in Super Bowl Commercial Highlighting Microsoft’s History of Innovation

Kinect-based technology from GestSure allows surgeons to manipulate medical imaging


Contacts: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org

SEATTLE – Swedish thoracic surgeon Eric Vallieres, M.D., was featured Sunday in a Super Bowl commercial highlighting Microsoft Corp.’s history of innovation. The commercial, filmed in part at Swedish/First Hill in Seattle, shows Dr. Vallieres demonstrating the GestSure system, which allows surgeons to manipulate medical images during procedures using Microsoft’s Kinect platform.

“Just by using your hands in front of the Kinect, you can actually control your x-ray without scrubbing out. I can correlate what’s happening on the patient with what’s happening on the images, so there is better flow of surgery and that translates into better care for my patient,” Dr. Vallieres said in an online video that further details the GestSure system.

Pacific Medical Centers and Providence Health & Services Propose Affiliation

For more information:

PacMed: Maggie Brown, (206) 390-2322 mbrown@apcoworldwide.com

Providence: Colleen Wadden, Director, External Communication (206) 979-1620 or colleen.wadden@providence.org


SEATTLE – Today Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) announced its intention to enter a secular affiliation with Providence Health & Services. This affiliation brings together PacMed’s successful model of delivering high quality coordinated care at an affordable cost and Providence’s history of delivering compassionate, quality care across the Northwest. The goal of the affiliation is to reduce the cost of health care for patients, employers and government insurers, while improving health outcomes for patients.

“PacMed wants to change the way health care is organized, delivered and paid for in order to help our communities live healthier lives,” said Harvey Smith, president & CEO of PacMed, which operates nine, multi-specialty clinic locations in the greater Puget Sound area. “We have a long history of working closely with our patients to manage their health care responsibly, while yielding high patient satisfaction, excellent health outcomes and lower costs. On its own, PacMed cannot drive broad changes in the way that health care is delivered. We need to collaborate with an organization that has sufficient resources and a similar community-minded mission and vision to succeed. Not just any partner, but the right partner.”

“After more than a year of careful discussions with many potential affiliates, PacMed has chosen a secular affiliation with Providence Health & Services,” Smith said. “Providence shares our desire to change the delivery care model to ensure high-quality, more affordable care in our communities. We are passionate about all of the positive benefits working together will provide for our communities.”

Swedish MS Center recognized by Healthcare Design magazine

Healthcare Design magazine recently recognized the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center at Cherry Hill as a finalist in the Family Spaces category of its annual Healthcare Design Remodel Renovation Competition.

You can see a pdf version of the piece here.

You can also check out a post on the article by James Bowen, M.D., medical director of the MS Center, on the Swedish Blog.
 

Swedish Welcomes Record 9,014 Babies in 2013

Ballard, Issaquah Hospitals set Records with More Than 1,000 Deliveries



News Release
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 13, 2014                                                  
 

Contact: Clay Holtzman, Swedish, 206-386-2748, clay.holtzman@swedish.org


SEATTLE – Swedish Health Services delivered 9,014 babies across four hospitals in 2013, a record for the hospital system and an increase of 3 percent over 2012. Last year also saw a record number of births at both Swedish Ballard and Swedish Issaquah, which each surpassed 1,000 deliveries for the first time. In total, three of Swedish’s four hospitals offering childbirth services saw growth in 2013.

“We take great pride in providing Western Washington families with the very best convenience and care for their pregnancies and newborns,” said Jane Uhlir, M.D., executive director of the Women & Infants program at Swedish. “We share in the joy these families experienced last year and look forward to a lifetime of health and wellbeing for these children.”
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