City of Zillah Adopts Resolution Supporting Proposition No. 1 for Public Hospital District in Lower Yakima Valley
ZILLAH, WA – On July 3, 2023, the Zillah City Council adopted a resolution by a vote of 4-1 to support Proposition No. 1, a regional initiative to establish a Public Hospital District in lower Yakima Valley. This resolution demonstrates the City’s commitment to the health and well-being of its residents, businesses, and the broader community.
Proposition No. 1 seeks to establish a Public Hospital District that will provide improved healthcare access, essential medical services, and advanced facilities for the residents of Zillah and the surrounding areas. This establishment of the district also aims to elect dedicated commissioners who will ensure the efficient operation and management of the district, prioritizing the needs of patients in the lower valley and healthcare professionals alike.
As a medical professional and Mayor of Zillah, Dr. Scott Carmack shared his perspective on the significance of this resolution: "As a doctor and a resident of Zillah, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges our community faces in accessing quality healthcare services. Creating a Public Hospital District through Proposition No. 1 will create more opportunities for enhanced healthcare delivery and increase the well-being of our residents. This is an important step towards building an even healthier future for Zillah and the other communities throughout lower Yakima Valley."
The Zillah City Council meeting was attended by the Executive Director of the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts, Mr. Matthew Ellsworth, Dr. Jordann Loehr, Nurse Gabriela Guel, and Ms. Julie Alverez, Executive Director of a local healthcare organization, who all emphasized the multitude of resources Public Hospital Districts can provide through grants and other resources to schools and communities, and how the establishment of the district is a multi-step, multi-year process.
Councilmember Janice Gonzales emphasized, “Proposition No. 1 is not taxing anyone; it is simply asking do we as residents of this area agree that we should establish a hospital district and develop a plan to address health care needs in our community? Then we would determine how much those services will cost and how to pay for them, which all come back to the voters to decide."
Following the passage of the Council Resolution, City Administrator Michael Grayum acknowledged the potential economic and workforce development benefits of Proposition No. 1: “Our region produces first-rate healthcare providers, and we are exporting them across the State and country when we could be creating more opportunities for them here at home. Establishing a Public Hospital District would help attract healthcare professionals, specialists, and support staff to the lower valley, positively impacting our local economy and bolstering the overall prosperity of our entire region.”
Public Hospital Districts create self-determination by establishing what healthcare services are needed within a local community and how those services are provided. There are 56 Public Hospital Districts established throughout Washington state. If approved by voters in the election on August 1, the Yakima County Public Hospital District number 1 would be created and begin a transparent and collaborative process of identifying, prioritizing, and addressing local healthcare needs in communities throughout the lower Yakima Valley. The City of Zillah City Council strongly encourages all residents and stakeholders to support Proposition No. 1 in the upcoming election. By voting in favor of this initiative, individuals can help transform healthcare in the lower Yakima Valley, ensuring better access, improved facilities, and a stronger community.
“We often have to send young children out of the valley for specialty care, and many families don’t have the resources to travel back and forth to places like Seattle or Tri-Cities,” said Ms. Alverez. “We are grateful to Dr. Loehr and Nurse Guel for helping meet unmet needs in our region.
About the City of Zillah:
Located in the heart of Yakima Valley in Washington State, the City of Zillah is a vibrant community known for its rich agricultural heritage, safe and friendly atmosphere, and picturesque surroundings. Zillah is home to the world-renowned Yakima Chief Hops research facility, which connects family-owned hop farms with brewers from across the globe, and more than two-dozen estate wineries with handcrafted tasting experiences in the vineyards that produce some of the best wines in Washington State. For more information, please visit www.cityofzillah.us, www.facebook.com/CityofZillah, and www.twitter.com/Cityofzillah.
Michael Grayum, City Administrator
Phone: (509) 829.5151 ext. 224