Swedish Cherry Hill

Let’s get Going Around Town, out of Town, and into Town.

We are going to talk transportation with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Swedish Cherry Hill transportation representatives and others on Saturday, April 14th.

Sometimes we soar above it all, looking down at the strings of lights reflecting our highways, roads and bridges.  Mostly, we are here on the ground needing to move from one place to the other. SDOT asks, “Did you know 27% of Seattle’s land is made up of streets, sidewalks, and other transportation-related public space? That’s a lot of land, but it’s still a finite amount of space to move a growing amount of people and goods in and around.” The mission of the department is delivering a high-quality transportation system to Seattle for a vibrant Seattle with connected people, places, and products. 

SDOT’s 2018 Proposed Budget is $472,399,991, including the ten-year Move Seattle vision to integrate transit, walking, biking, and freight planning. The $930 million Move Seattle levy is funded through a property tax approved in 2015. SDOT also has responsibility for paving city roads, planning for parking, and subsidizing and planning Metro service in Seattle. Besides the director and finance office, SDOT has eight divisions; Policy and Planning Division, Project Development Division, Transit and Mobility Division, Maintenance Operations Division, Transportation Operations Division, Capital Projects and Roadway Structures Division, and Street Use Division.  These services are crucial to the well-being of our neighborhood and city.  Our guests know that we are interested in the progress of the Swedish single occupancy vehicle reduction planning and in updates, challenges and status of SDOT projects in the Central District. These include the Bike and Pedestrian Master Plans, Neighborhood Project Grants, Madison BRT, status of planning for the 3/4 bus on James or Yesler, and for electrifying the 48 bus.  Please bring your specific questions and comments for our guests. 

Remember too that there is always a time for announcements, comments, and expressing other community concerns.


Continued Success of Swedish Caregiver Commute Program

In 2017, Swedish expanded the Caregiver Commute program, that started at the Cherry Hill campus, to include all of the Swedish campuses in Seattle. This innovative employee transportation program is designed to break down barriers to using alternative commuting, by providing employees a positive, personalized experience.

Key program services include: personalized trip planning, enhanced ride matching, and a commuter rewards program. Further, the program supports integration with emerging commuter products such as Scoop, a dynamic carpool application that partnered with Swedish and Sabey this past year. The program is credited with helping the campus reduce the Cherry Hill campus drive-alone rate to 47% on its most recent survey.

Looking forward, Caregiver Commute is excited to continue the momentum that has been generated this past year. This includes our continued work with the Integrated Transportation Board (ITB) that was established to identify opportunities to decrease the number of drive alone trips to campus. The program will also be adding new features that include real-time shuttle service and an enhanced emergency ride home program for employees that commute to campus other than driving alone. For more information about the Swedish Caregiver Commute program please contact caregviercommute@swedish.org.


Our Community, Our Health Care

On Tuesday March 18th, LabCorp workers held a large Informational picket outside Swedish Cherry Hill Hospital on 18th Avenue between Jefferson and Cherry. These LabCorp employees work as phlebotomists and lab technicians at Swedish and other locations in our region. UFCW 21 represents these more than 700 worker members and is Washington State's largest private sector union with over 46,000 workers in grocery stores, health care and other industries. Squire Park Community residents also attended and supported the picket. Squire Park residents included members of the ILWU and SEIU unions. Our current less-than-union-friendly legal environment required this initial picket to be confined to one entrance of the Cherry Hill building and thus seemed to inhibit the workers from providing information directly to patients and visitors of the Hospital, or distributing as many leaflets as could have been accomplished.

Undaunted, LabCorp workers stood up for dignity, respect, and a fair contract. They did not stand alone. LabCorp workers were glad to see so many people from other unions, organizations, and from our neighborhood stand with them. Passing cars sounded their support.

This struggle is similar to so many others, across our state and across our country, where ordinary working people must unite to fight for better lives. Our LabCorp workers want competitive wages, affordable healthcare, and safe staffing levels for patients. It is ironic that LabCorp, a healthcare provider, would attempt to compromise affordable healthcare for their own workers. LabCorp needs a shot of justice and that’s exactly what they got.

As we go to press there are additional contract negotiation dates through the end of April. Hopefully management of LabCorp will get the message and change the approach they have had since last summer, when bargaining began. These workers have been pushing for a long time and deserve the basic respect of decent wages, affordable health care, and safe staffing levels. Not only are these conditions better for workers, but also will improve our experience and safety as their patients.




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