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May 13, 2009 > Your Community Hospital Evolves with Changing Times

Your Community Hospital Evolves with Changing Times

National Hospital Week Celebrated May 6-10

Health care is constantly evolving, and your local community hospital has been at the epicenter of this advancement.

Today, surgeons can perform delicate procedures using a precision-guided robotic arm that allows greater dexterity and accuracy. Imaging technologies have come a long way from a simple X-ray and are now used to help treat a number of ailments. A minimally invasive hip replacement patient can stand up and walk only hours after surgery.

As technologies evolve, Washington Hospital has dedicated itself to bringing the latest advancements in health care to the residents of Washington Township Health Care District.

From May 6-10, during National Hospital Week, your local community hospital celebrates the more than 2,000 men and women - employees and volunteers - who help bring quality health care to the community.

The theme of this year's celebration, A Healthy Commitment in Changing Times, calls attention to Washington Hospital's continuous efforts to meet the needs of a growing community during a time when health care is at the forefront of the public consciousness.


How times have changed

During the past year, Washington Hospital celebrated its 50th year of serving the community. In 1948, Washington Township Hospital District was formed by a group of public-minded citizens, and Washington Hospital opened its doors 10 years later on November 24, 1958, as a district hospital licensed for 150 beds.

Today, Washington Hospital Healthcare System has grown to serve the more than 320,000 residents of Fremont, Newark, Union City, and part of South Hayward and unincorporated Sunol.

The health care system services include 24-hour emergency care; childbirth and family services; cardiac surgery, catheterization and rehabilitation; nutritional counseling; outpatient surgery; pulmonary function; crisis intervention; respiratory care; rehabilitation services, including cardiac, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and stress); social services; laboratory; medical imaging; level II nursery, and hospice care.


Health care's next 50 years

Over the past several years, Washington Hospital has expanded rapidly to meet the growing needs of the diverse communities it serves. During its 50th anniversary, Washington Hospital the following milestones:
* Washington Hospital hosted its first ever Men's Health Fair and panel discussion.
* InHealth, Washington Hospital's cable channel marked its third anniversary by receiving TV honors for two original productions from the 29th Annual Telly Awards.
* Washington Hospital Healthcare System celebrated the grand opening and dedication of the Taylor McAdam Bell Neuroscience Institute.
* The Washington Hospital Service League recently presented its third installment of a $300,000 pledge for the Hospital's Critical Care and Emergency Room Building Fund.


People: Making health care happen

Nursing care is the chief reason hospitals exist. And nursing professionals are on the frontlines of patient care. Washington Hospital's more than 663 nurses coordinate all aspects of that care. As team leaders, registered nurses (R.N.) guide the work of licensed vocational nurses (L.V.N.), certified nursing assistants (C.N.A.), unit clerks and orthopedic technicians. Other nurses, called clinical specialists, who must meet educational and clinical practice requirements beyond the basic nursing education and licensing required of all registered nurses, are available to consult and advise in specialty areas, such as mother-baby care.

In addition to nursing staff, the hospital employs a number of different highly qualified professionals. Therapists and technicians, with years of specialized training and experience, staff various departments, such as: Physical Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, X-ray, Clinical Laboratory, Blood Bank, EEG (electroencephalography, or testing the brain's electrical activity), EKG (electrocardiography, or testing heart function), Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy and Pharmacy. Most of the skilled people working in these areas offer care and services to patients who have been admitted to the hospital, as well as outpatients referred by physicians.

While the Washington Hospital Medical Staff members and Washington Hospital's nursing staff are essential components to the hospital's mission, there are also many more people behind the scenes that help make the hospital what it is.

From the Washington Hospital Service League volunteer who greets you in the hospital's main lobby to the technicians in the Engineering Department who ensure that the power is always on - there are employees and volunteers at the Hospital around the clock to help ensure that your experience is the best it can be.

If a patient or family member is in need of counseling or comfort during their stay in the hospital, spiritual care volunteers are on-call around the clock to offer their support.

Hospital staff dietitians offer nutritional counseling. The Food and Nutritional Services Department staff members ensure patients receive meals that fit their dietary requirements.

There are so many dedicated individuals that work behind the scenes to make sure patient care at Washington Hospital functions seamlessly. These people include staff members employed in Admitting, Communications, Engineering, Environmental Services, Finance, Food and Nutrition Services, Housekeeping, Human Resources, Information Systems, Materials Management, Medical Records, Security, and
Volunteer Services departments - just to name a few.

During National Hospital Week, Washington Hospital acknowledges each and every one of these dedicated employees and volunteers who have helped to make the hospital's first 50 years of care possible and who will bring that level of care into the next half century.

To learn more about Washington Hospital and its services and programs, visit www.whhs.com.

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