Information is good medicine
Community education has always been an important service. This is what PeaceHealth Southwest looked like when our Health Education Center opened in the early 1990s. (The HEC is on the far right.)
"Helping people change and improve their lifestyles through increased knowledge and education is a major challenge of medicine during the 1990s," according to PeaceHealth Southwest Foundation's newsletter from that time. To address this need, a capital campaign was established to raise $1.5 million for a new Health Education Center and Library on the Medical Center campus at Mill Plain and 92nd Ave.
Sylvia MacWilliams, who has worked at the Medical Center since 1969, was one of many key individuals involved with creating the new education center. In 1985 MacWilliams wrote a grant that would help start the Health Education Center, one of the first consumer medical libraries in the State of Washington.
Practical and creative methods were used to raise funds. Over five years, everything from sales of tribute bricks and costumed, healthy "bear hugs" to massive garage sales helped supplement major donations from individuals, Medical Center employees, physicians, corporations and foundations.
PeaceHealth Southwest's Health Education Center and Library officially opened on June 24, 1990. "It was a wonderful culmination of years of planning and fundraising that involved so many people and teams," Sylvia MacWilliams remembers. "We built an education center and library that will be used by many for many years to come." Nearly twenty years later, HEC still continues to support the need for "helping people change and improve their lifestyles through increased knowledge and education."
To view photos of the official groundbreaking, ribbon cutting ceremonies and library opening, click here. (Photos courtesy of Sylvia MacWilliams)
Rooms named for donors
The next time you're at the Health Education Center, check out the tribute plaques outside the rooms. Classrooms in the HEC were made possible thanks to the generosity of groups and individuals:
Auditorium A: In memory of Sophie and Morris Wolf
Auditorium B: Gift from Alice & Lyle Leach
Classroom 3: Gift from Memorial Auxiliary
Classroom 4: Gift from The Dolle/Swatosh Partnership
Audio/visual room: In memory of Alan Shevach
Wellness room: Gift from PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center employees
Library: Gift from PeaceHealth Southwest's medical staff
To see these individuals, click here. (Images courtesy of the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Foundation Sharing newsletter, special edition 1990.)