Cherry Hill

Swedish Cherry Hill Retail Pharmacy Expected to Close by End of the Year

Extraordinary Care, Extraordinary Caring

Sadly, Providence’s Swedish brand is closing all of their retail pharmacies, including the pharmacy at Cherry Hill.  Both Providence and Swedish are being very tight lipped on this change.  Nothing has been posted on their website or at the locations.  They continue to accept new prescriptions and customers have not been notified.  We know that employees have been given notice that their jobs will end in November; so unless this timeline changes, customers will likely be caught off guard when they try to refill their prescriptions.  The next nearest non-specialty pharmacy is three-quarters of a mile away, causing a hardship for some of our neighbors.

During the Major Institution Mater Plan (MIMP) process Swedish repeatedly talked about community benefits, including adding additional retail to the campus so this comes as a surprise.  There are rumors of financial concerns driving this and other decisions and employees are reporting a lot of operational changes.  Hopefully, we are not seeing the results of unmanaged growth.

One possibility is that the current Swedish/Walgreens alliance could result in a Walgreens presence on Swedish campuses, but that is just speculation.  This would be a cause for concern, as Walgreens, unlike the current pharmacies, do not accept Medicaid or offer any charity care!  Additionally, it has been reported that the selection of drugs could be more limited, forcing some customers to seek out specialty pharmacies.  A Swedish spokesperson was at the last Squire Park board meeting on September 6th when this information was shared but made no statement.  Neither Providence nor Swedish has followed up on our concerns; should that change we will, of course, share the information at our October 8th meeting and post it to our website.  We wonder about, "Extraordinary Care.  Extraordinary Caring." in light of these changes.

UPDATE - 10/7: Providence and Swedish continue to be tight-lipped and have yet to make an official statement to SPCC, or apparently anyone else for that matter.  While they have failed to notify pharmacy customers, unofficially we understand the pharmacy will cease operations on November 17th.  Begging the question, with a little over 30 days to go, when are you going to provide some level of mitigation to those of us that have put our lives in your hands?  Or, at the very least tell us!  We need to make other arrangements!  Do we have to find the door locked when we come in for refills of the drugs you have told us are medically necessary?

UPDATE 10/27: It looks like the pressure may be having some effect as the closing date has now be moved to "sometime in December".  We have also learned that the reason customer and patients are not being notified is because Swedish plans to sell or otherwise provide customer data to Wallgreens.  Apparently this is not a violation of HIPPA!  It is good news to know that we may have some sort of pharmacy, the bad news remains that there will not be Medicaid or other reduced cost options that now exist.  I would point out that Wallgreens vision is to "To be America's most loved pharmacy-led health, wellbeing and beauty retailer.",  Swedish's mission is stated as ""Improve the health and well-being of each person we serve."  This move is a take away from the community and just last year under their major institution master plan, they offered additional retail as part of their community benefit promises.  Now that they have what they wanted they don't seem so concerned with what the promised.

Tony Armada
Swedish Health Services
747 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122

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Cherry Hill Intersection Improvements

Under the Major Institution Master Plan (MIMP) process many intersections around our neighborhood were identified for improvements and operational design changes such as curb bulb-outs at intersections, cross walks, traffic signals, and even some bus stop upgrades.  Even though the improvements have already be identified from a high level, they have not been designed and Sabey would like to have input from the community to help refine their plans.

Most of those elements are pretty obvious but term curb-bulb is new to some folks.  You see them everyday, all over Seattle.  They are all about pedestrian safety.  They extend the sidewalk into the street, reducing the time and distance it takes a pedestrian to cross. Curb bulbs can also prevent drivers from parking in front of crosswalks or blocking curb ramps. The visibility between drivers and pedestrians is also improved with curb bulbs because pedestrians are brought farther out into the street, making crossing locations more recognizable.

Phasing of the improvements is of interest to Sabey, do to some potential advantages to delivering these improvements ahead of development, but the city will need to weigh in on that, and they also want to hear from us.  Please visit the council website or attend our October 8th meeting for specific details.

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