Evergreen's new ER and patient facility to open in May

Build it and they will come. Indeed. But there is more.<

Evergreen Hospital Medical Center is putting the finishing touches on its state-of-the-art, disaster-ready emergency department and patient facility. Certainly, the hospital will be offering top-notch medical care.

But hospital execs decided to take health care to a different level. In an effort to provide quiescence in a place associated with high stress, the hospital will be offering visiting artist galleries in each of the new facilities and providing art in all the patient rooms. Executives made a concerted effort to tone down the sterility that epitomizes the usual hospital experience.

The hospital is procuring mostly community original art, including that of doctors and clinical staff. Kathy Feek, the art coordinator at Evergreen, said that the staff was very involved in this process, with some providing their own original art while others donated money to fund the art purchases.

The galleries are strategically located away from any of the clinical area of the facilities. Feek says they are located just off the main entrance. No appointments are necessary. Just come to the hospital to see some great art. "You don't have to be sick to come," Feek says. "Bring your school, your organization. This is for the people."

For instance, as you walk into the emergency department, take the time to look up. You will see a giant oil mural of evergreen trees, aptly named "Evergreen Canopy," by Port Townsend artist Diane Ainsworth.

Another display will be "35 Years of Evergreen," by Doug Keith - an original collage of photos and artifacts collected over the hospital's history. It will be displayed in the upper gallery, over the lobby of the new patient facility, says Feek.

The hospital also commissioned original watercolors from each of the eight surrounding cities that the hospital serves (Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Kenmore, Woodinville, Duvall, Carnation, Sammamish). The art will depict scenes representative of those cities.

There will be permanent in addition to rotating art shows, which will be changing each quarter. "We're looking for visiting and community artists all the time," Feek says.


The first artist to be featured in the emergency department is Mildred Bruns, a 90-year-old resident of Aegis of Kirkland, just a stone's throw from the hospital. Bruns, originally from New Jersey, was a prolific painter and portrait artist. She did a sketch of President Franklin Roosevelt during his presidency and sent it off to him. Sure enough, he sent it back, signed, along with a letter of thanks. Although her art has taken a back seat, she is an active participant in the local elementary schools' reading program. In addition, two great grandchildren were recently born at Evergreen.

Mike Sedam, national landscape photographer from the South Sound area, will be the first rotating artist in the new patient facility. Sedam recently came to Evergreen as a patient after coming down with undiagnosed appendicitis in Eastern Europe. He was so grateful for his care, Feek said he approached her about displaying his art, saying he 'would do anything for Evergreen.'HOSPITAL OPEN HOUSES

There will be two open houses for the public: April 27, 3-7 p.m. and April 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring tours and demonstrations. The Saturday open house will feature food, live radio and Seahawks players signing autographs.


The new facility is slated to open in May, which will nearly double the hospital's square footage. The emergency department will expand by 108 percent from 24 to 50 beds (with 42 beds available initially), and will also include 10 rapid assessment beds, 28 acute care rooms, three triage areas and a nearby radiology/CT lab.

The patient facility will house two 16-bed nursing units on each of six floors. Initially, the top three floors will feature 96 beds, with the remaining middle floors built out for future growth and expansion. The medical/surgical rooms will have day beds, so that family members can stay overnight.

The nearby five-story Evergreen Gateway building and Sound Transit Totem Lake Transit Center is a partnership among Evergreen, Sound Transit and the city of Kirkland. The project, which will feature medical offices and underground parking, is expected to be completed the fall of 2008.

Evergreen Hospital Medical Center is at 12040 NE 128th St., 899-1000, www.evergreenhealthcare.org.

For more information, contact Kathy Feek at T-KFeek@evergreenhealthcare.org.[[In-content Ad]]