Dressed in nearly identical candidate uniforms--khaki pants, dress shirt loose at the collar, casual blue blazer--Dino Rossi and John Koster took time out of their busy campaign schedules Sept. 16 to accompany Dr. Monroe Whitman on a guided tour of Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington.
Dr. Whitman and his colleague Dr. Peter Wolff hosted the candidates as they visited the hospital's newly-expanded service areas. Cascade Valley Hospital recently underwent a major renovation and expansion, paid for by a hospital district bond.
"The community, the physicians and administration came together to plan a great facility that serves our unique population," Whitman explained. "We offer bread-and-butter primary care, coupled with high-tech services like digital imaging."
The visiting politicians took note of the hospital's aesthetic qualities as well as its functionality.
"I was here for the grand opening as well," noted Koster. "I've been so impressed by the architecture and the artwork, as well as the excellent health care."
The hospital's affiliated wound care center features two hyperbaric chambers, mostly used for treating diabetic foot ulcers.
"We wanted to show what a community working together can accomplish," said Whitman. "And it didn't hurt to get the ears of people who may be in a position to look at the current funding matrix with a critical eye."
As it now stands, Cascade Valley Hospital doesn't qualify for federal funding programs. The facility is too small to offer high-end services like cardiac bypass surgery, but its non-rural designation knocks the hospital out of consideration for small-town hospital support.
"This hospital has been serving the community for more than 100 years," said Dr. Whitman. "We're proud of that history, and we look forward to a future of continued service."