Hospital administration and local law enforcement efficiently manage email threat to ensure safety for patients and caregivers

No credible threat, Chelan hospital one of dozens of businesses across nation to receive email bomb threats Thursday

Chelan, WA –  Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) was one of many businesses and institutions across the United States and Canada that received email bomb threats Thursday, Dec. 13. According to an article on CNN, the FBI is aware of the threats and is working with law enforcement to provide assistance.

At LCCHC, workers who received emails responded by notifying the LCCHC IT Security Officer, who quickly identified the email’s source and level of threat and notified the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office. The Chelan County Sheriff Officer, LCCHC safety officer and clinic administrator did a visual inspection of both hospital buildings and the Lake Chelan Clinic. No credible threat was found.

See article from Wenatchee World here:

Hospital receives USDA funding to complete financing package for new hospital building

Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics receives USDA funding to complete financing package for new hospital building


Chelan, WA –  Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) received USDA loan approval Tuesday, Oct. 23 for a total of $22,026,000 for the new hospital building project.

“This is the approval we have been waiting to receive,” said LCCHC Board Chair Mary Signorelli. “It represents the diligent work of many, led by our very capable Chief Financial Officer Vickie Bodle, and we are grateful to all involved and to the community for continued support throughout this process.

“With this approval we are able to move forward on our building process with much gratitude and excitement!”

The new hospital building project is about strategically planning for healthcare services to meet the needs of the Lake Chelan valley in the future, said Steve Patonai, LCCHC interim CEO. “Our goal is to build a facility to help patients receive the medical care they need, right here, in our community.”

Hospital district residents voted to approve a bond to help fund construction of a new hospital facility in Chelan in April 2017. The cost of the construction project is $44.5 million, and voters voted to pay $20 million. The USDA loan, which is a low-interest Department of Agriculture loan, will fund the remainder of the project, as well as grants, hospital funds and donations from the Lake Chelan Health & Wellness Foundation.

The new building, which will be located on hospital-owned property at Apple Blossom Drive, near Wal-Mart and across from the new Columbia Valley Community Health Clinic building, will have private patient rooms, larger birthing rooms, increased outpatient capacity and a larger Emergency Department. It will also have space for Rehabilitative Therapy, Laboratory and Radiology, as well as an expanded Surgery Department and a helicopter pad for emergency transfers. The fully ADA accessible hospital will be designed for cost effectiveness, said Patonai.

Architects from CollinsWoerman have made two site visits to meet with caregivers about space and design of the new facility. With recent loan approval, the architects and general contractor Bouten Construction Company will resume the design process.

“We have concept drawings that will be very helpful,” said Barry Leahy, project manager. “Our next step is to finalize those and begin the permitting process through USDA, the city of Chelan and the Department of Health. If all comes together as hoped, we hope to break ground in 2019 and complete the building in 2021.”

Bouten Construction Company, based in Spokane, has been a regional leader in healthcare construction for more than 70 years, building some of the largest and most complex facilities from eastern Washington to western Montana, as well as critical access hospitals like LCCHC.

Thanks from our Chelan School partners

Chelan Athletics would like to thank PA (Physician Assistant) Trent Lyman and the Lake Chelan Community Hospital for all their support with our student-athletes. There are many programs they provide for us.

Most recently, with all the concerns around concussions, Lyman and his staff have provided a concussion baseline test that our student-athletes take, which in return, becomes an added resource for them to use when an injury may occur. Impact testing is a program that Lyman and his staff use to assist when making a diagnosis on a concussion.

The test is $40 a student-athlete. The LCCH provides this test to all our CHS student-athletes that play contact sports free of charge.

Here you see our 2018 girls soccer team taking the baseline test. All football and girls soccer student-athletes have taken this concussion test. In the future, wrestling, girls and boys basketball, boys soccer, baseball and softball student-athletes will take the concussion baseline test before their seasons begin.

We are fortunate to have so much support in Chelan in keeping our student-athletes safer and more informed. We thank all of you for your service and GO GOATS!

Chelan hospital Board votes to approve affiliation agreement with University of Washington family medicine residency program, in partnership with Columbia Valley Community Health

Lake Chelan Community Hospital (LCCH) will become the state’s sixth host hospital and training site for a Family Medicine Residency Rural Program, the hospital Board voted at a special meeting Thursday, June 7. Beginning in August 2020, physician residents from the University of Washington’s (UW) residency program will practice at LCCH in partnership with Columbia Valley Community Health (CVCH). There will be two physicians in Chelan the first year, followed by another two in 2021, for a total of four in the valley.

The residency doctors will spend two years in Chelan and practice primarily at CVCH, spending about a third of their time at LCCH. Each resident will have a panel of patients at CVCH and work in the hospital’s emergency room, medical / surgical unit and Sanctuary addiction recovery unit. They will also deliver babies and spend a small portion of time at Confluence Health in Wenatchee finishing neurology, nephrology, cardiology and dermatology rotations.

“This program is a natural outgrowth of our two agencies’ deep commitment to Chelan and to people who choose not to live in big cities,” said Dr. Malcolm Butler, CVCH Chief Medical Officer. “It is a testimony to cooperation between CVCH and LCCHC that our medical community can win such a coveted training program.”

“What an opportunity for Lake Chelan Hospital,” said Steve Patonai, LCCHC interim CEO. “The community will benefit from this affiliation in many ways. Physician residents will bring new ideas, and it will raise the bar for all caregivers in the hospital, as well as improve patient access. It will also be a valuable recruiting tool.”

Seventy percent of residents stay within 30 miles of where they trained, explained Dr. Keri Bergeson, who will serve as the program’s rural site director. Bergeson, a family physician at CVCH, developed and championed Chelan’s affiliation with UW’s residency rural program. She has practiced in the valley for four years and worked tirelessly on the residency project since 2015

“Our biggest goal is to increase the number of physicians we have working the valley,” said Bergeson.  “We are facing a critical shortage of family care providers and hope this becomes a solution to that problem.”

Chelan’s program will provide residents, new doctors who have graduated from medical school, with the necessary clinical skills and community engagement training to make a difference in the health of their local community, said Bergeson. When they finish their residency, two more will join the program, keeping a continual flow of new physicians in the valley. Other Family Medicine Residency Rural Programs in Washington state include Cle Elum, Chehalis, Colville, Ellensburg and Port Angeles.

“We are thrilled with the hospital Board’s decision to partner with us,” said Bergeson, who explained that a residency program in Chelan is a great fit because of the many diverse services offered here. While developing the program, CVCH engaged three nationally recognized consultants, all of whom agreed Chelan is the perfect spot for such a program.

“Practicing in a town like Chelan is night and day different than practicing in Seattle or Spokane, and the best way to train doctors for this lifestyle and practice style is to train them right here,” said Butler. “Dr. Bergeson is wonderful. She brought a university to town!”

Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair expressed enthusiasm about the project. “With our Board moving forward with the UW and CVCH on this agreement, a brand-new day is dawning. All of us in the Chelan valley will, for many years, see an added dynamic to the future of medicine right here at home. This is truly a historic time for us.”

In other business, the LCCHC Board also voted to approve the CEO executive position overview presented by B.E. Smith

Jordana LaPorte sworn in as new hospital Commissioner, Board discusses update regarding CEO recruitment process

Jordana LaPorte was sworn in as the new Commissioner for the Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) Board at a special meeting Thursday, May 31. “Jordana has a skill set that will be invaluable to the Board, “said Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair. “She will be an excellent addition.”

In other business, Chris Corwin from B.E. Smith, a healthcare recruiting firm consistently ranked as one of the industry’s top firms, discussed the current CEO search process with the Board. Corwin, who spent time before the meeting consulting individually with board members and LCCHC caregivers, said, “We will be looking for qualified applicants who are committed and passionate about both your organization and the community.”

The Board will review, make any changes or additions, and approve criteria suggested by B.E. Smith at its next special meeting June 7. The recruiting firm will perform external vetting and initial screening interviews to narrow down choices.

After this process, the Board will conduct video interviews of the recommended candidates, followed by onsite interviews of the top two or three individuals. The finalists will meet the LCCHC administrative team, caregivers and members of the public at this time.

Criteria for the CEO search include leadership, community involvement and experience with building projects, said Corwin, as well as the detailed list ultimately approved by the Board.

“We will take the time needed to ensure we find the right person for the job,” said Signorelli.

Hospital EMS Bike Rodeo this Saturday

Don’t miss this annual event put on by Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics Emergency Medical Service (EMS). To be held from 11 AM – 2 PM at Chelan Walmart. Free event.

Free bike helmets (first come, first serve). Bike skills stations and obstacle course. Bring your own bike or use one of ours. Free drinks and snacks. Free water bottle for completing all four stations. Free basic bike check-ups. Two new bikes to be raffled.

Earn a SafeSitter Card in annual class taught by hospital EMS team

Don’t miss this year’s annual SafeSitter class June 22 and 23, held in the hospital board room from 9 AM to 3:30 PM daily.

Curriculum for young babysitters provides hands-on practice in lifesaving technique and instruction, including:

  • How a child’s age affects how to care for them
  • How to prevent problem behavior
  • How to run your own baby sitting business
  • Basic first aid, infant and child choking rescue and CPR

    SafeSitter® is a medically-accurate, up-to-date baby sitting course that teaches young teens (11-13 years) life and safety skills. This is a great opportunity to start and grown a babysitting business.

    Taught by EMS from Lake Chelan Community Hospital. Lunch provided both days. $75 tuition. Call 509-393-8681 or email to register.

Lake Chelan Hospital Board appoints Jordana LaPorte as new Commissioner

Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) Board of Commissioners appointed Jordana LaPorte of Chelan to fill the vacancy left by Commissioner Tom Warren at its regular board meeting Tuesday, May 22.  She will serve until the November 2019 election.

“I applied for this position because I believe our valley should have the best possible healthcare facility, and I believe I can contribute to that goal,” said LaPorte, who is the President/CEO of LaPorte Financial Alliance, Inc., a full-service accounting firm in Chelan.

“I want our hospital to be successful,” she said. “To me, that means it can provide efficient, quality and compassionate care, that it is sustainable, and that it is not a burden to the taxpayers… I believe I have the education, business experience and desire to facilitate that success.”

“Jordana LaPorte has a skill set that will be invaluable to the Board, “said Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair. “She will be an excellent addition.”

LaPorte founded LaPorte Financial Alliance, Inc. and purchased a local CPA’s sole proprietorship in 2003, after 17 years in the industry.  She completed her BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting at the University of Washington in 1985 and worked for one of the largest local accounting firms in Bellevue, continuing her education at Golden Gate University and receiving a Master’s Degree in Taxation in 1993. Professionally, LaPorte has focused on providing tax and business consulting and compliance to a wide variety of clients in many industries.

She is also a member of Lake Chelan Rotary, the American Institute of CPA’s, the Washington State Society of CPA’s, and Eastern Washington Advisory Board Member for the Washington Policy Center. She served as president of Lake Chelan Rotary in 2015 and 2016, as well as president of the North Central Washington Business Loan Fund. Additional experience includes founding Member and Chairman of the Young CPA’s, a subgroup of the Washington State Society of CPA’s, and Chair of the Membership Committee of the WSCPA.  LaPorte also participated in training through Financial Peace University and is a certified counselor. This program encourages the use of budgeting, financial responsibility, investing for the future and discourages the use of debt.

LaPorte looks forward to her time on the LCCHC Board and will begin orientation shortly. “I don’t pretend to know or understand all that this job will entail,” she said, “but I am confident that I have the skills and desire to get up to speed quickly and be a productive board member.”

“I don’t believe everyone will agree all of the time,” she continued, “and even when we do agree, I think it is still important to play the devil’s advocate, thereby looking at different sides of the issue, something I am particularly good at.”

LaPorte moved to the Chelan area in 1999, having married a farmer local to the valley; they have three children. The family farm includes apples and cherries as well as the occasional pig, steer or produce for fair.

Six individuals submitted letters of interest for the vacant LCCHC Board position. After initial review at a special Board meeting May 15, the Board asked two applicants, LaPorte and Guy Evans, to submit additional information, which they reviewed and discussed during an executive session at the May 22 Board meeting.

“We want to sincerely thank all of the applicants,” said Signorelli. “They were all quality candidates, and we appreciate their interest and support of the hospital.”

EMS returns with spring bike rodeos

Chelan Hospital EMS hosted a Bike Rodeo at the 2018 Earth Day Fair in April. Kids learned all about bike safety, received a free helmet and practiced their safety skills through a small skills course. Ryan Greene from Country Financial donated a girls bike and Max donated a boys bike.

Max is the kids wellness program mascot and funded by Lake Chelan Health and Wellness Foundation.


Lake Chelan Hospital Board invites letters of interest for open position

Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) Board of Commissioners are accepting letters of interest from candidates who would like to fill the board seat vacated by Judge Thomas Warren, who passed away last week.

The LCCHC Board of Commissioners directly oversee hospital operations and will appoint the new commissioner. The appointed member will serve until November 2019, when a new election will be held. Letters of interest should include a candidate’s credentials and experience, as well as reasons why they want to serve as a LCCHC board member.

“Commissioner Tom Warren will be greatly missed by the LCCHC community,” said Mary Signorelli, LCCHC Board Chair. “His contributions were constant, and his commitment to LCCHC undeniable. He leaves not only a vacancy in our hearts, but a very challenging job to appoint someone to fill his position.

“We are looking for an individual who is dedicated to quality healthcare in our community and has displayed a continuous commitment to advancing medical services offered by LCCHC. Candidates must also have time to both attend meetings and serve as an advocate for hospital projects.”

Candidates must submit letters to Dee Barnett, Director of LCCHC Human Resources, at PO Box 908, Chelan, WA 98816 or fax to 509-682-3453 no later than Tuesday, May 8. The LCCHC Board of Commissioners will consider all letters of interest.

Founded in 1948, Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics (LCCHC) is a fully-accredited 25-bed Critical Access Hospital with supporting clinics in Chelan, Washington.  The health system provides a 24-hour emergency room, surgical center and inpatient services, as well as family medicine and specialist care at Lake Chelan Clinic in downtown Chelan. Rehabilitative therapy and behavioral care clinics are located at the hospital.