Press Release

June 1, 2011           
For Immediate Release

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

Skagit Valley Hospital awarded $750,000 for Mental Health Center project

– Skagit Valley Hospital’s plan to expand and remodel the hospital’s Mental Health Center is a major step closer with last week’s announcement of $750,000 in state capital funding for the project.

As a part of Biennial Capital Budget for 2011 – 2013 approved by state lawmakers last week, Skagit Valley Hospital was awarded $750,000 to construct a Mental Health Center at its Mount Vernon campus.

“We are grateful to Gov. Christine Gregoire and the outstanding support of our state legislative delegation for supporting this effort to gain funding for this essential community project,” said Gregg Davidson, Chief Executive Officer of Skagit Valley Hospital. “Our lawmakers from the 10th, 39th and 40th Districts – with leadership from Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, Sen. Kevin Ranker, Rep. Jeff Morris and Rep. Kris Lytton – 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.”

Sen. Haugen called the funding for the Mental Health Center an important investment.

“Skagit Valley Hospital serves a huge portion of my constituents and does a tremendous job,” she said. “Investment in Skagit Valley Hospital is an investment in the community, and I am very pleased to have been able to advocate for them in Olympia. I know we will all benefit from the expanded services at Skagit Valley Hospital.”

Sen. Ranker noted that securing the capital funds for this vital mental health service was a priority this session.

“I have always been proud to have Skagit Valley Hospital in the 40th District, but after touring the facility last summer and hearing about the potential opportunities with the expansion, I made their funding request one of my top priorities,” Ranker said. “This investment is a bright spot in a year of budget turmoil and devastating cuts. I am proud to have been a part in aiding their expansion and will continue to advocate on their behalf in Olympia.”

The state funds complement money dedicated to the project by the federal government. As a part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, Skagit Valley Hospital was awarded $800,000 for the project, a request supported by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

The project will replace and expand the current 15-bed Mental Health Center at Skagit Valley Hospital, which is the only inpatient facility in Skagit County. The remodeled center will accommodate private rooms, two seclusion rooms and increased security in a healing environment. The remodel will also allow the unit to operate at its 15-bed capacity, improving access to mental health care in the community.

Skagit Valley Hospital’s Board of Commissioners has committed $1.2 million in capital funding for the $3 million project and the Skagit Valley Hospital Foundation is partnering with the hospital to assist in closing the $1 million funding gap to complete the expansion. The Foundation is continuing fund-raising efforts to benefit 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.