Let’s welcome Swedish to the neighborhood

  • Tue Aug 24th, 2010 9:33pm

Last week the state Department of Health gave the green light to Swedish Health Services’ takeover of Stevens Hospital.

Under the agreement, Swedish — among other things — has promised to make $90 million in general investments at Stevens over the next 10 years, and another $60 million in building improvements and expansion. Swedish will also pay $600,000 in monthly lease payments to the public hospital district to use the Edmonds campus.

Seattle-based Swedish is also expanding to the Mill Creek area, building an emergency room at the site of the old Puget Park Drive-In.

We think having Swedish — a highly rated health care provider — in our own backyard can only be a good thing for South Snohomish County residents. The nonprofit health care organization will bring services and technology to the area that were previously unavailable.

And just as important, the $7.2 million in annual lease payments that Swedish is paying will be used to provide community health and wellness programs in South County. Creating healthy communities is crucial in this age of rising health costs — it’s true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.