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New hospital on its way to Lake Chelan; some initial reactions to election results

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Citizens for a New Hospital Now are celebrating tonight with the Special Election results showing the bond measure for a New Lake Chelan Community Hospital passing at 64.56%. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

One fact is clear. This has been a hard fought campaign by both of the committees FOR and AGAINST the Bond for a new Lake Chelan Community Hospital. Both groups have worked hard to get their message across to voters, and there is no doubt this campaign has educated voters more than ever before about the Lake Chelan Community Hospital. After both campaigns have hosted meetings and presentations, participated in a public debate, conducted citizen-to-citizen discussions, written letters to the editor, and plastered the community with signs, it all comes down to how voters decided.

So far, the results from Chelan County Elections show preliminary results with the Bond for a New Lake Chelan Community Hospital passing with 64.56% Yes vote. According to Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore, the chance of new ballots changing those results enough to change the outcome is slim.

(Courtesy of Chelan County Elections)

More election results will be released this coming Friday, April 28, 2017, at 4 p.m. In order to pass the Hospital Bond measure, a 60% approval vote is needed. 

Initial reactions from the community include a statement from Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC).

Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) thanks the Lake Chelan Valley community for its support of a replacement hospital facility

Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) thanks the Lake Chelan Valley community for its support of a replacement hospital facility. The commitment made to support the future of local healthcare is appreciated and will positively impact the community for many years.

“As your Hospital Commissioners we very much appreciate your affirmation of our decision to once again run this bond,” said Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair. “Your positive response is confirmation that comprehensive healthcare is one of your top priorities for your family, neighbors, friends and all those who choose to live and vacation in our valley.”

“We are confident that a new hospital is the wisest and most economical investment for our valley’s medical care. We take your affirmation and our responsibility very seriously; rest assure we will continue to steward your investment wisely,” Signorelli continued. “Your approval also sends a strong message of support to our physicians, staff and administrators that you value their hard work and want to keep them here, providing us with great medical care.”

Artist rendering of new Lake Chelan Community Hospital. (Image courtesy of LCCH)

The LCCHC team will now begin final planning and building phases of the replacement hospital project. Over the course of the next several months, the organization will provide frequent updates on progress. You are encouraged to attend board meeting and other events that will keep the community informed. You can also access information at LakeChelanHospital.com.

“We look forward to breaking ground on the new hospital,” said LCCHC CEO Kevin Abel. “Its location and design will meet current needs and facilitate future growth and expansion. It will provide privacy for patients, modern and spacious surgery and birthing centers, an expanded ER, a modern lab, ample parking, easy access and an on-site heliport.”

The community will also enjoy the new hospital’s close proximity to Columbia Valley Community Health’s new clinic, as well as the possibility of attracting even more medical-related businesses to the valley.

Citizens for a New Hospital Now are celebrating tonight with the Special Election results showing the bond measure for a New Lake Chelan Community Hospital passing at 64.56%. (Photo by Jillian Foster)

With deep appreciation, LCCHC and the Board of Commissioners acknowledge the citizens’ committee who ran and funded the campaign, as well as the many community members who wrote letters, attended meetings and participated in hospital tours and information sessions.  The Board of Commissioners, physicians, nursing staff, managers and all caregivers look forward to delivering on the promise to build a modern healthcare facility to serve the people in this community for generations to come.

See our previous article published on April 25, 2017 – Special Election ‘preliminary results’ show Hospital Bond measure passing

(By Christine Eagar)

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21 Comments on New hospital on its way to Lake Chelan; some initial reactions to election results

  1. Thank you Chelan valley for supporting this much needed infrastructure project. Now, the real work begins.

  2. Well done Chelan!!! Thank you so much for the vote of confidence!!! Today ensures that LCCH will continue to serve the community for the next 70 years with the care and concern of the past 70 years. The future of healthcare looks bright in Chelan!!!

  3. Well it is only 168 votes ahead and we still have the drop boxes and last three days of voting to count, that is why it is called a preliminary count. We will see on Friday when the rest of the votes are counted!!!

  4. Bill – WHAT are you talking about? And where did you learn to do math? Time to go back to school buddy. Yes = 2386, No = 1310. That’s a difference of 1076, not 168. Oh, and the county elections webpage says ballots left to count: 252. And that’s for the whole county, not just the Chelan Hospital Bond issue. Let’s focus on FACTS.

    • The ballot has to win by 60% and it is presently only ahead by 4.56% which is 168 votes ahead. When you consider the amount of money spent by the pro hospital crowd that is not a lot for the money. The ballots to be counted that are still coming in will be the ones that determine the election and that next count is 1600 on Friday. I am still holding out for the responsible voters who vote on the last three days of balloting. So go ahead and have your victory party and the rest of us will wait til the total vote is counted. As for now the final decision is up in the air.

      • “So far, the results from Chelan County Elections show preliminary results with the Bond for a New Lake Chelan Community Hospital passing with 64.56% Yes vote. According to Chelan County Auditor Skip Moore, the chance of new ballots changing those results enough to change the outcome is slim.” Yes, Bill it is possible, but not probable. I’m encouraged that our democratic process in Chelan didn’t fall for the alternative facts and hyperbole that generated so much heat and very little light. But be happy, now you can turn your attention to the Town Toyota PUD building.

    • Bill is right, The bond issue is currently only passing by 168 votes. Anything less than 60% and the bond fails. That is the reason this new hospital issue keeps coming up every few years, it is difficult to get overwhelming support for any vote. A 2to1 vote margin is very difficult. That said, it is unlikely the few remaining ballots will come in at a different ratio than the first three thousand.

  5. A huge THANK YOU to all the Lake Chelan community. Thank you for making your voices heard and working so hard on this important local issue.

  6. Only up 4.56% and a lot of votes to be counted, think I will wait til Friday to see how the people who voted on election day went. Considering the money spent to promote this ballot 4.56% certainly is not a landslide

  7. It is not a “few remaining” it is nearly 50% of the ballots sent out, and we know that the pro-hospital fanatics voted, they even had vote gatherings in Manson and Chelan. So with 3000 voters unheard from this election is wide open and Golakechelan is way off base calling it for those wanting a shiny new hospital out at the dump. Nope, now is time to Wait and See because there have been a number of local elections in recent years that changed their winner when the votes were “Totaled”. Every vote counts. Besides nobody would want just 168 people to decide the fate of healthcare in this valley with 30 years for the rest of us to regret.

    • Special Elections typically see lower participation than average, usually between 40% and 60%. This Election count is almost 60% participation of the 6,273 ballots. In 2014, 3736 people voted and it was a bi-annual November election, with decent turn out. 2012 was a primary election, 2838 votes. At this point there is no reason to think that more that more than a few hundred votes are left to count. We will see on Friday.

  8. Let’s reframe. In 2014 the total votes for the initiative was 3726 and that was a general election. The current tally is only 30 shy of that now, during a special election, with 64.55% vs 35.44% decision. Considering that this is almost 15% over a majority vote that seems like a pretty good indicator that the citizens are strongly in favor of the proposal. Nobody wants a minority of voters, as has happened in the past, to hold access to quality healthcare hostage in our valley any longer. But hey, you do have your next outrage fest developing with the “Town Toyota” PUD Building. Don’t worry – be happy.

  9. Well the dye is cast and we shall see, but 168 vote margin is a mighty small number considering the amount of high priced advertising that the pro-hospital group put out. We shall see on Friday??

    • Well Bill, seems as if your outstanding votes actually increased the “approved” percentage. You were passionate in your fight, but facts and belief in the valley prevailed! You will always be welcome at the new hospital! You will be impressed! It truly is the best thing for the valley.

  10. I concede that the ballot passed but those fans who spent this enormous amount of money and energy should be aware that it only passed by 206 votes over the 60% threshold. Those of us who warned that this will break the hospital will be watching very carefully the actions of those who pushed this issue, and while we wish the project well we want to make sure that there is no bailout from the taxpayers if our predictions holds true. This is a huge new burden on our small community and those 206 who put it over the top have taken on a very great responsibility to the rest of us.

  11. Final results are in!!!!! The YES vote increased the percentage to 64.87% to Approve the new hospital. So gratifying to see that the truth and facts won out over falsehoods and hyperbole!!! My faith in functional democracy is restored. A wonderful vote of confidence in the medical community of the Chelan Valley!!! Thank you!!!!

  12. With all due respect Bill, the NOpponents expended a significant amount of resources in their quest to derail the project, including denigrating the commissioners, administration and staff of LCCH. Was that really necessary? Glad to hear you wish the project well, because it will be an enormous benefit for our region economically and will ensure viable healthcare for decades to come. Truth and Facts, baby, Truth and Facts.

  13. We shall see!! With 12 out of 39 CAH hospitals failing it is a steep hill. Sure hope it works out

    • Reframe: More than twice that number of Washington State Critical Access hospitals are successful. Getting LCCH out of that concrete and steel strait jacket and off that constricted perch is the strongest choice to protect the future of healthcare in the valley. 65% of your friends and neighbors agree that this is the strongest choice and it is our turn to pay it forward.

    • Bill- let it go. You don’t have to continue to recite the same old numbers about places that have nothing in common with Chelan. The election is over. Turn your attention to the PUD that wants to build an extravagant new building when they know one of their biggest customers (California) will no longer buy power from them in 5 years because it doesn’t fit in their “renewable” electricity category. That will end up costing you more than a hospital bond tax.

  14. One more statistic: 6281 ballots were sent out/ 4239 were returned! That is a turnout of 68%. That must be some kind of record for a special election. Impressive!

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