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Kadlec: Kadlec’s long Tri-Cities history carried it through to build bright future

2019 is a milestone year at Kadlec. It marks 75 years since Kadlec opened its doors to serve the Tri-City area. We have come a long way since the opening of Richland Hospital in July 1944, later renamed after Lt. Col. Harry Kadlec, one of the influential leaders of Hanford in its earliest days.

Today Kadlec is a thriving health organization, consisting of more than 4,000 caregivers and volunteers who serve in our hospital and clinics around the community. I am proud to lead this amazing team of people, and look forward to continuing the rich legacy of health and healing.

Today, Kadlec has the distinction of being the only not-for-profit hospital and health system in the Tri-Cities. It’s a responsibility we take very seriously. We remain focused on our mission of providing safe, compassionate care. We see this mission in action through our partnerships with several community service agencies to ensure all Tri-Citians have access to appropriate health services.

Kadlec’s role in the community is closely tied to priorities outlined in our community health improvement plan:

▪  Reducing the risk of obesity, especially in our children

▪  Access to care

▪  Improving mental health services

Kadlec has launched several initiatives designed to help our communities elevate their health through education and activity. Kadlec Academy is a wellness program at elementary schools throughout the Tri-Cities. This four-week program offers children valuable health and safety information during the time they need it most, their formative years. Healthy eating, appropriate amounts of “screen” time, exercise and safety education provide youngsters valuable building blocks for living a healthy life. We have also found that kids bring home these important lessons and share them with their parents and siblings.

We are also taking measures to help increase access to care. This includes adding to our primary and urgent care capability, along with opening innovative services like Kadlec Express Care. This past year, we added 2 Express Care clinics at Walgreen’s Stores in Richland and Pasco. The clinics provide 20 minute, same-day appointments that can be conveniently scheduled online (expresscare.kadlec.org) seven days a week.

Improving access also includes taking steps like identifying ways to reduce barriers for our most vulnerable citizens to receive care. They may be homeless, have no means of transportation or communication. In response, we’re exploring ways with community organizations like the Union Gospel Mission and Grace Clinic to connect care to these patients when they need it.

Finally, mental health is a significant issue across the country, and the Tri-Cities is no exception. In partnership with our parent organization, Providence St. Joseph Health, along with local organizations in our community, we’re looking at ways to expand mental health services. There is much to do, but we’ve seen progress being made.

One example is work being done in the important area of suicide awareness. Kadlec has partnered with our local Educational Service District 123 to provide evidence- based suicide prevention education and Mental Health First Aid courses. We are also utilizing incredibly heroic people like Kimberly Starr, who so powerfully and poignantly shares the story of losing her son to suicide at age 16, hoping to help other parents. I believe we can’t do enough in this area, and Kadlec is dedicated to doing its part.

The health care industry itself is facing significant challenges. Our team at Kadlec has worked very hard to identify ways to adapt and adjust, ensuring our viability well into the future. That is our commitment as an organization as we look forward to serving the health needs of the Tri-City area for the next 75 years and beyond.

These are just a few examples of the efforts Kadlec is making to improve the health of our community. On behalf of all of our caregivers and volunteers, thank you for the trust you have placed in us and know that we are firmly rooted to living our vision of health for a better world.

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