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Archive for the ‘End of Life’ Category

Old US Public Health Service Hospital (known as Pacific Tower during its tenure as Amazon HQ building) to become new satellite campus for allied health professions programs of Seattle Central Community College and serve as site for public agencies and NGOs. AmazonBeaconHillHQ*304

Seattleite Jeanne Sather, author of Assertive Cancer patient  blog ,died from metastatic breast cancer  15 years after her original diagnosis

In June the King County Board of Health unanimously approved creation of drug take-back system for county residents , to be financed by a 2-cent per Rx tax. On Dec. 1, PhRMA filed a lawsuit against King County , claiming that the plan causes a financial burden for patients and that in-home disposal of  medicines is the best way to keep Rx drugs out of the wrong hands.

State to review hospital affiliations — Catholic and otherwise

Public hospital CEO gets pay cut to $1 M per year, at Renton’s Valley Medical Center

Harborview to close  pediatrics, women’s, & family clinics

Health Care Reform for American Indians and Alaska Natives 2013  including WA-specific page

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This blog has been on hold for a good while now as a result of life circumstances, despite best intentions.   On the day of my last post, my very elderly father took a fall  which caused a brain injury from which he ultimately succumbed.  Although he had declined considerably in the  preceding months, and had recently acknowledged that he might need to make a change in his living arrangements, he continued as his fiercely independent self and fell on his walk to the grocery store.   The previous day I had attended the 2012 Northwest Patient Safety Conference , including the excellent workshop Safe Passage: Opportunities to Reduce Harm While Providing Care at the End of Life   by Hope Wechkin, MD, Medical Director of Evergreen Hospice and Palliative Care.  Although the topic has long been of both personal and professional interest to me, I had no idea then how very valuable her practical advice would be as I dealt with negotiating my dad’s “safe passage.”  My only regret about his last weeks is the time that I had to spend dealing with bureaucracies instead of being at his side.

But despite all my background and almost a decade of experience as  Dad’s point person & caregiver, I had to be extremely assertive to get him a palliative care referral and then a hospice referral. Never once did the medical staff ever mention these subjects, despite my father’s condition. Once on board, the palliative care team ,and later the hospice nurses, were excellent. It’s a sad commentary indeed  on our broken system that these services are not offered routinely.

My plans for the blog this year are to continue to offer news and commentary on topics and issues that may not be getting so much attention in the general media.

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