Swedish Hospital celebrates past and breaks ground for the future

Dignitaries dig in for the groundbreaking.
Dignitaries dig in for the groundbreaking.

As Swedish Edmonds broke ground for a two-story, 77,000-square-foot hospital expansion Wednesday, Chief Executive David Jaffe noted the key role the new facility will play in the lives of local residents, “by providing the very best care to patients in their own backyard.”

At a festive event celebrating the medical facility’s 50th anniversary, from its founding as Stevens Hospital in 1964, to its acquisition by Swedish Medical Center in 2010, a group of speakers acknowledged the next phase: the addition of a new emergency department, urgent care, observation unit, outpatient diagnostic imaging center, new lobby, public space, and 37,000-square-foot shelled second floor.

“This change and this evolution just didn’t happen by accident,” Jaffe told the crowd of about 300 gathered for the remarks, citing the “tremendous amount of hard work, a tremendous partnership” between the former Snohomish County Public Hospital District — now known as the Verdant Health Commission — and Swedish Health Services.

Noting that it has been 40 years since any major facilities were added to the institution, Jaffee said the new facilities are “going to transform this campus.”

He remarked how welcoming the City of Edmonds and its residents have been to Swedish, calling it “an overwhelmingly generous community that has been giving to the hospital in a way that it has never been given to before.”

Karen Thompson, Swedish Edmonds physician relations coordinator, explains the items that will be included in a time capsule. (Note the My Edmonds News articles!)
Karen Thompson, Swedish Edmonds physician relations coordinator, explains the items that will be included in a time capsule.

“This is a place where people celebrate living here on a daily basis,” Jaffe said. They are now celebrating the fact that they have this hospital that they can can really depend on. So we are pledged to bringing the spirit of Edmonds to this facility.”

“Our first priority here is the patient,” Jaffe added. “That’s it, that’s what it’s all about. We are so patient-centered and so patient- focused, and that’s why we come to work each day.”

Mayor Dave Earling called the expansion a "life-changing" event for the community.
Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling also spoke, calling the groundbreaking “a life-changing event for our community.”

One of the featured speakers was Bobbi Ragland, who was born at the former Stevens Hospital shortly after the hospital opened, started work as a student nurse there in the late1980s and still is employed at hospital as the manager of employee health/infection prevention. Ragland was also invited to help Jaffe cut the celebratory 50th anniversary cake at the end of the ceremony.

Jaffe watches as long-time Bobbi Ragland cuts the anniversary cake.
Swedish Edmonds Chief Executive David Jaffe watches as long-time employee Bobbi Nyland cuts the anniversary cake.

The new emergency department, urgent care center, lobby, public space and front entry are scheduled to open in fall 2015, while the outpatient diagnostic imaging center and observation unit are scheduled for completion in February 2016. To learn more, visit www.swedish.org/EdmondsExpansion.

Watch the video of the Swedish Edmonds celebration on My Edmonds News TV here.


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