Press Release

August 4, 2011 
For Immediate Release
Contact:  Jan Iverson, Chief Nurse Executive, Skagit Valley Hospital, 360-814-2190
               Kathy Porada, PR Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital, 206-987-7856
Caring for kids: Skagit Valley Hospital partners with Seattle Children’s Hospital for 24/7 pediatric hospitalist program

MOUNT VERNON and SEATTLE - Pediatricians are now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Skagit Valley Hospital as part of a new pediatric hospitalist program partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Known as pediatric hospitalists, these Seattle Children’s physicians will work in Skagit Valley Hospital, caring for young patients throughout the hospital, from newborns in the Family Birth Center to older children who come to the Emergency Department.

The partnership with Seattle Children’s to provide pediatric hospitalist coverage 24 hours every day of the year started in July and expands on a part-time program started by Skagit Pediatrics and Skagit Regional Clinics to share physician coverage.

“For many years, Seattle Children’s has provided our clinical staff with education, sharing policies and procedures and training in high risk neonatal stabilization. It seemed only natural to look to Seattle Children’s to oversee our pediatric hospitalist program,” said Jan Iverson, Chief Nurse Executive at Skagit Valley Hospital. “This is a fantastic opportunity for Skagit Regional Health and Seattle Children’s to work more closely together, ensuring access to a higher level of care when needed. It is the right thing for our children in Skagit County and surrounding areas.”

Seattle Children’s now employs several local pediatricians to work at Skagit Valley Hospital including Barbara Geraghty, MD, Jenny Taylor, MD, Lyall Bishop, MD, Erin Charles, MD, Mark Barr, MD, Rick Levine, MD, Rowena Pusateri, MD, Brad Berg, MD and Donna Schoonover, MD.

“We are pleased to be expanding our partnership with Skagit Valley Hospital with a team of Seattle Children’s physicians who are very familiar to the Skagit Valley community,” said Carlos Villavicencio, MD, Medical Director of the Regional Hospitalist Program for Seattle Children’s. “Now, there will always be a pediatrician present at the hospital, 24/7.”

Pediatric hospitalists care for hospitalized patients and work with the child’s regular pediatrician and other physicians involved in the child’s care to provide updates during the hospital stay and an overview when the child is discharged from the hospital.

“We look to engage all community physicians and partner with them to take care of their patients,” Dr. Villavicencio said. “This allows us to extend Seattle Children’s expertise into the community to help deliver a high level of care, close to home.”

Skagit Valley Hospital is the third regional hospital to join the Seattle Children’s Hospitalist program. Additional participants include Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland and Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.

In addition to a model of having a pediatrician present around the clock, another component for the new partnership with Seattle Children’s will be to raise the level of nursery care over the next several months, allowing Skagit Valley Hospital to expand its neonatal care levels.

About Seattle Children's: Consistently ranked as one of the best children's hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Children's serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children's hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Children's has been delivering superior patient care and advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Children's serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children's Research Institute and Seattle Children's Hospital Foundation. Together they are Seattle Children's, known for setting new standards in superior patient care for more than 100 years. For more information visit

About Skagit Valley Hospital: Licensed for 137 beds, Skagit Valley Hospital is a regional, public facility serving residents of Skagit, Island, San Juan and north Snohomish counties since 1958. The Mount Vernon hospital and Skagit Regional Clinics, with eight locations, are part of Skagit Regional Health. The hospital’s comprehensive services include the Skagit Regional Heart & Vascular Institute, a Level III Trauma Center, a comprehensive Regional Cancer Care Center, the well-appointed Family Birth Center and surgical services with a focus on orthopedics and minimally invasive procedures. For more information, visit