Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced today that it has named an expert in cancer genetics and precision medicine. D. Gary Gilliland, M.D., Ph.D., a physician-scientist with a background in academic medicine and the pharmaceutical industry, as its new president and director. Gilliland will take the helm as Fred Hutch’s new leader on Jan. 2.
Although all hospitals in the state are making plans to rapidly identify, isolate and safely evaluate people with suspected Ebola, eight hospitals are preparing to care for a person with Ebola for the duration of the illness.
- CHI Franciscan Health (Harrison Medical Center – Bremerton campus),
- MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital,
- Providence Regional Medical Center Everett,
- Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Spokane,
- Seattle Children’s Hospital,
- Swedish Medical Center (Issaquah),
- Virginia Mason Hospital, and
- UW Medicine (Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Valley Medical Center)
“The chance of a confirmed case of Ebola in Washington is very low, but in the event it happens we want to be sure we have the capacity to provide ongoing care to a patient,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state Health Officer. “Patients with Ebola can become critically ill and require intensive care therapy. Care needs to be delivered using strict infection control practices. We are working with each of the committed hospitals to ensure we are coordinated and thorough in our response.” Continue reading
From the Washington State Department of Health
The Department of Health is funding a new HIV satellite clinic in Federal Way.
It’s the fourth department-funded satellite clinic aimed at improving access to primary medical care for HIV-positive people in Puget Sound.
The satellite clinic operates through a partnership with Harborview Medical Center’s Madison Clinic.
A Harborview physician will be available every Thursday at the UW-Neighborhood Clinic in Federal Way to provide care to HIV patients living in Federal Way and nearby communities.
The department is giving Harborview $42,000 to cover the physician’s time and the costs of administering the services. The clinic opened Oct. 9, 2014.
Earlier satellite clinics opened in Everett, Bremerton and Olympia (in partnership with SeaMar Community Health Center).
The state health department estimates that there are as many as 2,365 people living with HIV in the southern King County and Pierce County areas. Continue reading
Leasing a new building will in Spokane will “help UW expand its medical school program in Spokane. The school’s plans to grow have been a point of contention over the last year as Washington State University also announced plans to start the state’s second publicly-funded medical school in Spokane.
Q: What brought about the decision to split up?
A: It was the view of the UW that in order to continue our participation in the WWAMI program we had to be “100 percent in,” and that was the term that was used by UW. And by that they meant we could not continue in the WWAMI program while pursuing aspirations to have a second medical school in the state.
From Washington State Department of Health
Harborview Medical Center has volunteered to become one of the hospitals willing to consider receiving U.S. patients evacuated from Western Africa for treatment of Ebola.
The decision follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s request last week to find hospitals around the country that could treat citizens who have been on the frontlines of the international crisis.
“Consistent with Harborview Medical Center’s mission and role of serving the public in Seattle, King County and our region, we’re willing to consider accepting U.S. residents who may be infected with Ebola,” said Dr. Timothy Dellit, associate medical director of the Seattle hospital. “It will depend on the hospital’s current capacity and our ability to maintain our critical functions.”
There are no patients with Ebola in Washington, and there are no plans to evacuate patients to the region in the near future.
With more people obtaining health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, places like Harborview Medical Center are providing much less “charity” (uncompensated) care. The Emergency Department there is as busy as ever, though.
UW officials say the study wildly over-estimated the cost per student to attend medical school at UW.
They also claim a new medical school would suck resources from the existing medical program known as WWAMI, which is named for the five states it operates in: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Washington State University is part of the program.
Doctor shortages and economic development: Those were the two major issues Washington State University officials emphasized Monday after last week’s release of a feasibility study that examined the prospects for a new medical school in Spokane.
“We’re disappointed by WSU’s announcement today to pursue a separate, independent medical school aside from the existing Spokane medical school we’ve worked hard to build together in partnership with the Spokane community,” said UW Regent and spokesman Orin Smith in a statement Thursday.
Deaths involving heroin and prescription painkillers continued to rise in King County in 2013, according to a new annual report prepared by the King County Drug Trends Workgroup.
The lead author of the report is Caleb Banta-Green, a scientist and epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute.
The report found that deaths involving heroin in King County continue to steadily increase reaching 99 in 2013 up from 49 in 2009 though below the peak of 144 in 1998. Continue reading
Some heart surgeries have become so common — the angioplasty, for example, to open clogged arteries — you might think the charge for it wouldn’t vary much from hospital to hospital.
You might assume the same about hip or knee replacements, which now hold the top spot in this country as the reason for overnight hospital stays by Medicare patients.
You would be so wrong. Continue reading
Children and teens are more likely to wear life jackets when out on the water when adults onboard are wearing them as well — yet relatively few adult boaters in Washington state wear life jackets while boating, according to recently published studies by UW Medicine researchers at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Harborview’s Injury Prevention & Research Center.
The findings, the researchers write, underscore the important role adults can have in encouraging the young to wear life jackets when out on the water.
Wearing a life jacket has been shown to reduce a boaters risk of drowning by half. Nevertheless, nationwide only about 15% of boaters wear a life jacket or personal floatation device (PDF), and, as the new studies show, Washington state boaters do little better. Continue reading
At Seattle’s largest safety-net hospital, the proportion of uninsured patients fell from 12 percent last year to an unprecedented low of 2 percent this spring—a drop expected to boost Harborview Medical Center’s revenue by $20 million this year.
The share of uninsured patients was cut roughly in half this year at two other major safety net hospitals—Denver Health in Colorado and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Hospital (UAMS) in Little Rock, Ark.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of the health law’s expansion of coverage to more than 13 million people this year has been the nation’s safety-net hospitals, which treat a disproportionate share of poor and uninsured people and therefore face billions of dollars in unpaid bills. Continue reading
Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute is conducting a study that offers smokers free access to an online quick-smoking program.
Here’s the announcement from the Center about the study: Continue reading