The candidate who has pledged to keep the hospital public is trailing in the primary—the candidate who wants to sell off the assets of Public hospital district #1 is ahead.
In order to win in the general election in a low-turnout odd-numbered year, Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel needs financial support and volunteers to doorbell and phone bank.
Elect Mary Alice
PO Box 1185
Renton, WA 98057
(see below for talking points on keeping Valley Medical public)
Keep Valley Medical Center Public
Elect Dr. Mary Alice Heuschel as
Commissioner of Public Hospital District #1
What is a Public Hospital District?
Public hospital districts are governmental entities established by Washington State statute. The legislature granted local communities the authority to create hospital districts in 1945. Today, nearly one-half of Washington’s 90 hospitals are part of public hospital districts. Valley Medical Center—Public Hospital District No. 1—is the oldest and largest in Washington, encompassing the cities of Kent, Renton, two-thirds of Tukwila, and portions of Auburn, Black Diamond, Covington, Federal Way, Maple Valley, Newcastle and Seattle. The oldest and largest of the 56 hospital districts in the state of Washington, it operates Valley Medical Center, serving greater South King County.
Public hospital districts fulfill a vital role in the state’s healthcare system. Without them many people would be unable to receive healthcare in their own communities. Hospital districts are authorized not only to operate a hospital, but to deliver any service to help people stay healthy—physically, socially, and mentally. Because they’re owned and governed by local citizens, hospital districts tailor their services to meet the unique needs of their individual communities. It is this community-based mission that defines and distinguishes hospital districts from other healthcare entities.
South King County has some of the most medically vulnerable people in the county, and healthcare already is a luxury for many of them. They need responsive leadership taking their best interests to heart, even if their decisions aren’t the most profitable ones. 40% of emergency room patients at Valley are not insured.
Dr. Heuschel stands for
- Keeping Valley Medical public and open to all. Her opponents are comfortable with or explicit advocates of selling off this critical public asset in bits and pieces.
- Effective development of the recent strategic alliance with UW Medicine, which will provide greater access to many types of specialty care. Her opponents are lukewarm about or actively opposed to this alliance.
- Responsible, transparent accounting of the Valley Medical Center budget, including the South King County taxpayer dollars which provide 2% of that budget.
This election is not about who has the cutest kids, or who has put in the most hours of public service, though Dr. Heuschel’s family is lovely and she has an extensive history of exemplary public involvement, as indicated by her recent naming by public school superintendents as the 2011 Washington State Superintendent of the Year.
This election is about keeping a critically important public asset public, and strengthening and improving it.