News Releases

HEALTH CARE: Senator Murray Funds Washington State Health Care Priorities

Jul 28 2009

Funding in Senate spending bill will support WSU Nursing School in Spokane, Health centers in Seattle and statewide

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has worked to include several critical Washington state health care projects in the 2010 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) bill. Senator Murray is a senior member of the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee and helped pass the bill out of that Subcommittee today. The bill will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee later this week.

“As Congress works towards health care reform, we also need to ensure that we have the trained health care workforce, equipment and facilities necessary to provide high-quality care,” said Senator Patty Murray.  “These funds will help Washington state prepare health care workers and upgrade clinics, schools and research institutes.  These investments will help workers gain the skills that our health care system needs, and it will help doctors and nurses across Washington state deliver the care that our families need.”

SPOKANE: WSU Nursing School: $900,000

Senator Murray included funding to complete construction at WSU Nursing School in Spokane. This funding will go to complete research laboratories and purchase research, instruction, and communication equipment at the Riverpoint Campus. 

The equipment purchased with this federal funding will allow the Nursing College to train students on the Spokane campus as well as the WSU nursing programs in Vancouver, Yakima, Richland, Walla Walla and by Distance Learning classes over the internet.  

This project is integral to the college’s strategic plan, which calls for increasing the number of entry level and advanced practice nurses by improving the delivery of education, especially to rural and underserved areas of the state. 

“I am so pleased to hear of this investment in nursing and our healthcare workforce,” said Dean Patricia Butterfield.  “Students face extremely complex situations in hospitals and community clinics.  In the past the nursing profession relied primarily on lectures to help students learn.  Now we know that students learn more effectively when they participate in clinical simulation exercises. We like to say that simulation exercises help students to think on their feet, instead of their seat.”

SEATTLE: Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers: $650,000

Senator Murray also included funding for the Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers, in Seattle. The Neighborcare Health’s Southeast Family Dental Clinic (SEFD) in Southeast Seattle needs to build a new permanent clinic site as a result of Seattle Housing Authority redeveloping its current site. 

This funding will support a new clinic, which will be an expanded facility that will include medical and dental care in one. Serving nearly 4,300 patients annually, SEFD is the leading community health provider of dental access to Seattle’s low-income and uninsured residents. Without rapid action, Neighborcare Health would be forced to halt dental services to thousands of King County’s most vulnerable residents, most of whom have no other source of care. 

“Neighborcare Health’s clinics are the healthcare home to 45,000 low-income, uninsured and homeless residents of Seattle, and there is no single project more critical to its continued ability to meet the needs of the community than the new Rainier Beach facility,” said Rose Feliciano, Board Chair, Neighborcare Health. “As a Neighborcare Health patient for 18 years, I have firsthand experience in the efficient, competent and culturally sensitive care they provide, and believe that community health clinics like these are absolutely vital to preserve the health and well-being of our entire community.”

Senator Murray also included the following projects in the LHHS spending bill:

SEATTLE: Navos (formerly Highline Mental Health Highline-West Seattle Mental Health): $500,000

For construction and equipment to assist in the construction of a new outpatient mental health center.

SEATTLE: Allen Institute for Brain Science: $300,000

To support the creation of a three-dimensional map detailing genes at work in the human brain.

SEATTLE: Community Health Education and Simulation Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center: $250,000

Funding will support equipment for hands-on training center using state-of-the-art equipment and simulation mannequins for practice allowing staff to optimize medical procedures and life-saving techniques.

SEATTLE: Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute: $150,000

For research equipment to screen newborns for Type 1 diabetes

TRI-CITIES: Kadlec Health System: $500,000

For construction and equipment to support the expansion of the new pediatric center at Kadlec Medical Center

WENATCHEE: Central Washington Hospital: $100,000

To support the expansion of Central Washington Hospital's emergency department

WALLA WALLA: Providence St. Mary Medical Center: $250,000

For cancer treatment equipment
MT. VERNON: Skagit Valley Hospital: $350,000

To purchase equipment for a behavioral health center

CHENEY: Eastern Washington University: $200,000

For equipment to assist in the establishment of an Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner Project