Editorial: Turnaround for Snoqualmie Tribe

"Plans for a regional health-care facility incorporating Native American and Western medicine offer tremendous benefits for a struggling hospital, the community and a local tribe.

A deal calling for the Snoqualmie Tribe to purchase a 48-acre site that formerly housed the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital is a smart one. It creates jobs, housing and health care for the 600-member tribe, which suffers from nearly 50 percent unemployment. Combining basic inpatient services with Native American healing practices — from cultural diets to a sweat lodge — offers far more health-care choices to a diverse community.

A tribal hospital may just succeed where the initial hospital did not. For one reason, the community, both Native and non-Native, is better served by a health-care facility than a large housing development, which is another possibility for the land.

Proximity of the two hospitals should turn less on competition and more on opportunities for shared services and other partnerships. From specialists to medical personnel trained in Native American healing, the community gets more health-care choices, not fewer.

It is all a welcome turnaround for a tribe that just more than a year ago faced dim economic prospects. A 170,000-square-foot gaming and entertainment project floundered after a key developer pulled out. The Snoqualmies secured their own financing and the casino project got back on track.

A casino and now a hospital. A tribe's vision for economic sufficiency beyond slot machines and gaming is taking shape."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Snoqualmie and diversity on the Eastside (The Seattle Times 1/14)

Relevant Links:
Snoqualmie Tribe - http://www.snoqualmienation.com
Snoqualmie Valley Hospital - http://www.snoqualmiehospital.org

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Snoqualmie Tribe seeks to buy hospital site (1/11)