Health care leaders to discuss quality, cost-cutting measures

The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County will host a public meeting titled, “Improving Health Care Quality While Reducing Costs – A Paradigm Shift,” from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 16, in the downstairs conference of the Bellingham Public Library.

The meeting will feature three accredited professionals: Naida Grunden, an award-winning author who writes about heath care and hospital operations; Dr. Jeremy Blanchard, vice president of quality and medical affairs at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center; and Dr. David Lynch, vice president for clinical process improvement and business development for Family Health Network.

The three will discuss ways hospitals and doctors can prepare for coming changes to medical care that will incentivize quality and cost control, which is a major component in federal health care reform.

“The new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for changes in the way we deliver healthcare by creating incentives to encourage hospitals and doctors to compete on quality and find ways to provide the best care at reduced costs” said Sheri Lambert, co-chair of the League event, in a press release. “Our three local experts on healthcare quality will share how we can achieve both quality and cost control as we implement changes in our health care delivery.”

Refreshments will be available starting at 9:30 a.m.

In addition, a short video will be shown from the PBS NewsHour,  titled “Rooting Out Waste in Health Care by Taking a Cue From Toyota Assembly Lines,” which covers the use of lean practices at Seattle’s award winning Virginia Mason Hospital.

For information about the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County, visit

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