Submitted by: PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center has been named the National Hospital of the Year by the Mended Hearts. The award will be presented at an official ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. at the PeaceHealth St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center (HEC), 3333 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham.

The award recognizes the hospital’s outstanding support of Mended Hearts- Bellingham (Chapter 382) in its efforts to inspire hope and improve quality of life for heart patients and their families through peer-to-peer support and educational opportunities.

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center was selected out of over 460 hospitals in North America for the honor. A national selection committee looked at a variety of criteria analyzing the hospital’s contributions to Mended Hearts programming to determine that St. Joseph had come out on top. This included hospital support of visits between Mended Hearts volunteers and heart patients in hospital units and its catheterization (cath) lab; provision of spaces for meetings, events, visitor supplies and literature; volunteer coordination; volunteer recognition; provision of speakers and personnel for Mended Hearts events and in-kind support.

Mended Hearts- Bellingham was formed in 2012. It’s grown to over 130 members and greatly expanded beyond its initial structure as a peer-to-peer visitor program. In addition to hospital heart patient visits and regular member events, it informs and educates local members of the community with free monthly seminars on a variety of topics related to cardiovascular health. It’s also grown with the addition of the Young Mended Hearts, a group for heart patients in their teens up to their forties.

“We’ve become an organization that is a valued resource for information and education on coronary heart disease in northwest Washington. This is due to the strong partnership between our chapter and the hospital, its administrators, staff and medical providers,” said Mended Hearts-Bellingham President John Heinemann. “The support of the hospital, including time, money, energy and use of its physical plant, has greatly extended our reach and allowed us to broaden our impact in the community at large. It’s really allowed us to flourish.”

Dale Zender, chief executive of PeaceHealth’s Northwest network, added, “It’s a symbiotic partnership for both organizations. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and the Mended Hearts work together to improve the overall heart health of our community.”

Zender also acknowledged the important role PeaceHealth caregivers from various departments have played in earning the award. “This award is a testament to the skills, time, energy and passion that our caregivers have dedicated to this program,” Zender said. “They’re fully invested in making Whatcom County a more hopeful place for heart patients and their families.”

The awards ceremony on Sept. 8 is free and open to the public. Marlyn Taylor, assistant regional director for Mended Hearts, Western Region, will be on hand to officially present the award to representatives from PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center and Mended Hearts-Bellingham.  A regular chapter meeting will follow at 11:00 a.m. with John F. MacGregor, MD, of PeaceHealth Medical Group Cardiology, as the featured speaker. Refreshments will be served.

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