#MasonHealthWeek – why local healthcare matters

We are now in the seventh week of a statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy order enacted in response to COVID-19. Almost immediately, the pandemic created a health crisis and cast hospitals into the spotlight, raising questions about facilities capacity, supply inventories and the ability to care for patients. This became another reminder of the critical need for healthcare access. Oftentimes, that access is a livability criteria and economic indicator of an area. Mason General Hospital (MGH) is that pillar for Mason County and this week it celebrates #NationalHospitalWeek and their own #MasonHealthWeek. The timing is perfect to recognize the ways Mason Health and its workers serve the needs of our community. 
Mason Health is the center of health and wellness for our community where healthcare is local. MGH is an independent medical facility, not a subsidiary of a multi-state healthcare system. This means its roots are here. In fact, they celebrated 50 years of caring in 2018. Their long history as a public hospital has meant tailoring care to the population that lives here, diversifying services, improving safety, and expanding facilities. For example, the new Laparoscopic Surgery allows patients to stay close to home for a hysterectomy and benefit from reduced time under anesthesia and a shorter recovery period. The state-of-the-art birthing center and 11 different Mason Health clinics reflect the diverse medical services area residents require. The demand posed by Mason County residents keeps more than 540 employees and 100 volunteers, including over 100 physicians (active, courtesy, consulting) on staff, in 19 specialties, working at Mason Health.
Every year, National Hospital Week highlights that health comes first and showcases it as a week of thanks. #MasonHealthWeek is about employee appreciation. May 10-16 is also National Women’s Health Week #NWHW and the entire month of May is #strokeawareness month. 2020 has been declared “Year of the Nurse” by The World Health Organization, honoring the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale. Each of these campaigns serve the same purpose—to bring awareness and recognition to your healthcare. Within a community, the role of a hospital reaches far beyond delivering medical services. They function as large employers, educators, researchers, sources of public information, and community supporters. During a disaster or pandemic, its work becomes a focal point as critical care coordinators.
Let’s face it, any organization is only as good as its people and #MasonHealthWeek is dedicated to the specialized staff that make Mason Health one of the highest-rated rural hospitals districts in Washington. MGH boasts a level four trauma designation emergency department that operates 24/7 as a licensed and accredited acute care hospital. In recent years, its received accolades from the WA Hospital Association earning its Achieving Best Care Award for improving patient safety and the Community Health Leadership Award for its dedication to investing in improving the health of their entire community. Last year, CEO Eric Moll was named a Health Care Champion and was presented the Innovation in Rural Medicine Award from the Thurston County Chamber.
In order to be truly successful, Mason Health aligns its approach with consumer expectations and promises exceptional, patient-centered care. The achievements of Mason Health speak for themselves and its community involvement makes a difference directly in our lives. Ongoing charitable donations, fundraisers and awareness campaigns reflect their commitment to making personal connections. Providing an array of classes like parenting and babysitting—and support groups for breastfeeding, cancer or diabetes—keeps their mission to support health in our region relevant.
Right now, Mason Health wants to remind everyone to take a moment for self-care during this stressful time. Residents are also urged to seek medical attention for non-COVID related health issues whether they be chronic, new or preventative. Mason Health has put significant safety measures in place to protect patient safety and offers Telehealth appointments to connect with primary care, specialists and behavioral health providers. Over 900 visits have been logged so far.
Considering a community’s quality of life is greatly impacted by healthcare, it’s no surprise that Mason Health is representing our county as an example of success. Take a moment this week to thank a #healthcarehero with a discount for their devotion to improving our health and safety. Visit Mason Health’s website for health information and wellness resources. By phone, call (360) 426-1611 or toll free (855) 880-3201. 

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