Press Release

Contact: Gregg Davidson, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, 360-814-2130
              Linda Frizzell, Executive Director, Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation, 360-814-2140


MOUNT VERNON, WA (Dec. 17, 2009) – Skagit Valley Hospital’s plan to expand and remodel the hospital’s behavioral health care center is a major step closer with this week’s announcement of $800,000 in federal funding for the project.

As a part of H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, Skagit Valley Hospital was awarded $800,000 to construct a behavioral health facility at its Mount Vernon campus. The bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 10, and by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 13, and is expected to be signed into law by President Obama this week.

Funding for the project was requested by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

“We are grateful to our outstanding congressional delegation for ushering through funding for this essential community project,” said Gregg Davidson, Chief Executive Officer of Skagit Valley Hospital. “Rep. Larsen and Senators Murray and Cantwell fully recognize the need for advancing mental health services in the region and the key role the unit at Skagit Valley Hospital plays in providing appropriate, inpatient services to the mentally ill.”

The project will replace and expand the current 15-bed behavioral health care center at Skagit Valley Hospital where more than 540 voluntary and involuntary admissions were accepted in 2008. The majority of patients suffer from depression, suicidality and bipolar disorders, requiring short-term inpatient care for development of a treatment plan and return to the community.

"I was proud to work with members of the community to secure funding for this critical investment in Skagit Valley Hospital's new behavioral health center," said Sen. Murray. "The new behavioral health center will create jobs, boost the local economy, and help support mental health care needs throughout Northwest Washington."

"The community, health care professionals and elected officials in Skagit County have banded together to identify ways to enhance access and quality of care for the mentally ill," said Cantwell.  "I am pleased with this crucial step towards improving behavior health care."

“This project reflects the priorities set by the community for Skagit Valley Hospital to provide mental health care in a safe, quality environment. I am pleased to support this funding that will help create jobs and further the efforts to advance the level of mental health services in our community,” Rep. Larsen said.

Skagit Valley Hospital’s Board of Commissioners has committed $1 million in capital funding for the project and the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is partnering with the hospital to assist in closing the funding gap to complete the expansion, dedicating proceeds from the Foundation’s 2009 and 2010 Festival of Trees events to support the project.

“The Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees understands the need for mental health services for the people of our community and are proud to be a part of the fund-raising effort for this essential project,” said Corey Mendoza, Foundation Board President. “We thank our elected officials in Washington, D.C. for their help in making this become a reality.”