As I look back at 2018, I can’t help but be proud of our Virginia Mason team. In addition to another year of earning myriad honors for care quality and safety, including America’s 50 Best Hospitals award from Healthgrades for the third year in a row, it was a year when Virginia Mason’s reputation as a worldwide leader in transforming health care was firmly entrenched.
The work of our teams involved in developing and implementing organizational best-practice guidelines, processes and tools to improve practices and reduce the number of new and total opioid prescriptions is a shining example. This is groundbreaking work that is already being felt throughout our industry.
The organization-wide Respect for People initiative where we focused on — in a very straightforward manner — diversity, inclusion, LGBTQ-patient-centered care and speaking up against disrespect illustrates how Virginia Mason leads by example when it comes to transparency and addressing issues from which many organizations shy away.
Our teams’ work to reduce hospital readmissions by ensuring patients’ safe transition from one care setting to another is also an area where we made great strides. The ongoing efforts to ensure Virginia Mason patients are safe throughout their health care journey is truly meaningful, and I know other health care organizations are closely watching what we do.
None of the honors, innovation and exceptional care Virginia Mason is known for would be possible without our team members. It is their commitment to making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families that is the basis for our transformational work. And it shows every day.
In 2018, we also announced plans to bring a birth center back to Virginia Mason. Through our partnership with CHI Franciscan Health, we are on track to open an ambulatory clinic in late 2019 or early 2020, and an obstetrics unit and nursery in the Floyd & Delores Jones Pavilion in 2020. This work is an immense source of pride for our team members, many of whom were actually born at Virginia Mason or have relatives who were born at our hospital.
When I look at the overall body of work our health system brings to the communities we serve, it is impressive. From the teams at Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima to our regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound region; from Bailey-Boushay House to Benaroya Research Institute; and from Virginia Mason Institute to the work of our Foundation: Many lives have been touched.
I would be remiss if I didn’t note the passing last fall of my predecessor, Roger Lindeman, MD, who served as Virginia Mason chairman and CEO from 1980 to 2000. Roger is greatly missed. He was a dear friend and colleague, and Virginia Mason would not be the organization it is today without his leadership. I encourage you to read more about Roger in this report.
It is truly an honor and privilege to lead Virginia Mason. This is a special place comprised of people who are in health care for all the right reasons. None of the honors, innovation and exceptional care Virginia Mason is known for would be possible without our team members. It is their commitment to making a difference in the lives of our patients and their families that is the basis for our transformational work. And it shows every day.
Thank you for putting your trust in Virginia Mason and for your friendship and support.
Gary S. Kaplan, MD Chairman and CEO Virginia Mason Health System