Monroe hospital levy will improve care for all of Sky Valley

This April, residents in Snohomish County Public Hospital District 1 will have the opportunity to vote on the A Healthier Community is Born Here initiative, which provides critical upgrades to strengthen and expand EvergreenHealth Monroe by adding clinical capacity and enhancing services in several key areas.

As an emergency care physician, one of those areas is especially important to me. Community support of a levy lift will enable our community hospital to offer enhanced emergency and trauma services for patients in their greatest times of need. We are the only emergency department serving the greater Sky Valley, and offering comprehensive trauma care is not only critical for families who call the area home, but also for commuters on U.S. 2 and visitors to our region’s popular outdoor adventure and recreation areas like Steven’s Pass.

This initiative will fund enhancements to the hospital’s emergency department, such as a new MRI machine with compressed-sensing technology — the first machine of its kind in the Puget Sound region — which reduces scan time by half, in moments that may be critical. Additionally, a new CT unit and other state-of-the-art technology and equipment upgrades will further position us for a Level III Trauma Center certification.

Achieving the Level III certification means that the hospital will eventually be able to add more board-certified surgeons to our staff, which will increase our operating room capacity and enable us to keep more trauma patients in our care rather than transferring them to another hospital farther from the community.

Beyond the benefits to the patients and families in our care, offering more comprehensive emergency services at Monroe also benefits the community at large. With less time spent traveling between hospitals to transport patients, EMS staff can stay right here in Sky Valley and respond to the next 911 callers more quickly.

No one plans to seek emergency care, but as a community hospital, EvergreenHealth Monroe is committed to being here for patients and families when they need us most, with the highest-quality care and services — right here in Sky Valley.

Mail-in ballots are due by April 23.

Dr. Matthew Sisk

Medical director, EvergreenHealth Monroe Emergency Department

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