News Releases

Remarks by Senator Murray at the Dedication of the Janet Sinegal Patient Care Center

Jan 09 2004

Seattle Children’s Hospital & Research Center

(Seattle, WA) -- Today Senator Murray spoke at the dedication of a new patient center at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Center. The new Janet Sinegal Patient Center will increase Children’s Hospital’s total inpatient capacity from 208 to 250 beds – the first inpatient bed expansion in 25 years.

Senator Murray's Remarks follow:

Thank you Treuman Katz, Dina Wells, Janet Sinegal, and everyone here for making Seattle Children’s Hospital a beacon of hope for children throughout the Northwest. I’m honored to join you today as we make that beacon of hope even brighter by opening your doors to serve more children and families.

Like most everyone in the Pacific Northwest, I have a special place in my heart for Children’s Hospital because as a mom, I know what it’s like to have a sick child who needs specialized care. I know how nerve-wracking it can be to get in the car and race to the hospital in the middle of the night. And I also know what a relief it is to be able to turn to the caring experts here at Children’s Hospital. That’s why I am especially proud to be a part of today’s dedication of this new facility.

Throughout my life here, I have seen so many people contribute in so many ways to this hospital and to the children who come here - volunteers who make quilts, hold raffles or answer phones or just bring in a few smiles to comfort a child. This jewel in our community is special because so many people have helped make it special. I am especially pleased that this new building will honor Jan Sinegal, a woman who I have known for many years and who always makes sure we remember to take time out of our lives to care for others, especially our children. This building is a tribute to the passion and commitment of Jan and I can think of no better person who in a way symbolizes all the thousands of people who contribute time, money, and energy to make this a great institution here in the Pacific Northwest.

Over the years, I’ve been proud to work closely with you on the issues that matter to children and families. And frankly, I depend on your expertise as I work on health care issues in the United States Senate. Your work here has significantly impacted what is happening at the national level for children’s healthcare.

Children’s Hospital is helping to ease one of the great shortages in medicine today – the shortage of pediatric specialists. The Children’s Graduate Medical Education program that was created in 2000 today provides more than $10 million a year to help this hospital train the next generation of pediatric specialists. That will have an impact on children in every community for decades to come.

Children’s Hospital has also been at the forefront of ensuring access to specialty care for children. A few years ago, insurance companies were denying and delaying pediatric care. But you stood up for children and championed the pediatric provisions in the Patient’s Bill of Rights. Today, as a result, many states have followed your recommendations and made access to a pediatric specialist a real priority.

Children’s Hospital is always on the cutting edge of finding new and compassionate ways to care for children who are facing life-threatening diseases. I’ve been proud to share your work with other Senators, and I recently introduced a bill with Senators DeWine and Dodd called the Children’s Compassionate Care Act to provide better access to palliative care and support new research to minimize pain for children with life-threatening diseases.

What I love about Children’s is that the dedicated people here are always looking ahead and I look forward to the many exciting things yet to come from everyone here at this hospital. Today is a great day for Children’s Hospital and for the families and community you will be able to serve through this wonderful new facility. It is also a great day to remember that when we care for our children we take care of our future.