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Martin Siegel, MD Swedish Polyclinic

Martin Siegel has more than his fair share of accolades and accomplishments. The former director of epidemiology at Swedish Health Services and member of the board of trustees at Swedish, he won Case Western Reserve University’s Alfred S. Maschke Award for Clinical Excellence, and is frequently selected as one of Seattle’s top doctors. But in the end, the real meaning in his professional life comes from the face-to-face time he spends with patients.

When he meets with patients, who are often at their most vulnerable, he always introduces himself as Marty Siegel, not Dr. Siegel, and encourages questions.

“If patients can be engaged in their care, asking questions, that’s a good sign,” he says. “It breaks down some of the misconceptions of what the experience will be like by having them ask questions.”

And while the art of health care has morphed over the past three decades into something more austere and business oriented, Siegel, who is an infectious disease specialist at The Polyclinic, remains steadfast in his commitment to patients.

“What I treasure most is my experience at the bedside, talking to families and working with patients,” Siegel says. “The greatest pleasure is seeing people get better.”

When he began practicing in 1983, patient care was always his top priority. But by 1986, the health care environment was akin to practicing “alone together”; doctors weren’t communicating with one another. However, in the last 10 years at The Polyclinic, there has been a much greater recognition of the interdependence of doctors in providing the best care for their patients. Personalized care is written into the clinic’s mission statement. That approach has been a blessing for Siegel and the group of physicians he works with in Seattle.

“The emphasis on quality [of care] over the past decade has really helped create alignment among various caregivers in the community,” Siegel says. “It’s led to tremendous motivation on everyone’s part to do a better job for the patients.”

Siegel continues to proselytize the importance of personalized care with residents. A clinical professor of medicine at the UW’s School of Medicine, he has won the resident teaching award twice at Swedish Medical Center and once at Providence Medical Center—the only physician to win the prestigious award at both institutions.


Patricia Dawson, Medical director, Swedish Medical Center

Since beginning her medical career in the 1970s, Patricia Dawson has made significant strides as a caregiver. As the medical director and a breast surgeon at the Comprehensive Breast Center at the Swedish/Cherry Hill Campus, Dawson focuses on building relationships with her patients. In 2012, she will head up her most ambitious project yet, the True Family Women’s Cancer Center. Addressing the physical, psychosocial and educational needs of women with cancer, the center will be the Northwest’s largest and most comprehensive unit devoted to treating cancers affecting women.

Stephen Setter, Associate professor of pharmacotherapy, Washington State University

A popular professor with pioneering pharmacy practice Elder Services, Stephen Setter’s contributions to the field of pharmacy reach beyond the arenas of patient care and education. He is an active researcher in the pharmaceutical care of older adults, with notable work in the early detection and resolution of medication discrepancies in home-bound elderly patients, for which WSU received funding from the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was one of the founding board members of the Parkinson’s Resource Center of Spokane and often gives free medication consultations to people with Parkinson’s disease.


How Vacuum Systems Will Change the Landscape for Health Care Facilities

How Vacuum Systems Will Change the Landscape for Health Care Facilities


Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

The Polyclinic Northgate wanted to do something that had never been done before — create a medical clinic that could be rearranged in a weekend, located in virtually any building, and most importantly, a place that would not cost a lot to change in the future. How could there be a flexible system with the constraints that sewer lines currently impose on existing facilities? The Polyclinic turned to its mechanical contractor, MacDonald-Miller, to come up with a solution.

We interviewed Steve Amann, project executive, to find out how vacuum plumbing systems will revolutionize the healthcare industry.  

What is the vacuum system solution?

Vacuum plumbing is a modular drainage system, which allows for immediate and future room reconfigurations. Rather than the standard protocol of requiring slab penetrations to accommodate gravity drainage, vacuum piping serving waste fixtures is installed in overhead spaces, delivering wastewater to a central vacuum center that exits the building at a single, convenient location. 

How will this flexible system change the healthcare industry?

The vacuum system is the first ever application of its kind in a medical clinic utilizing demountable, movable interior walls. Now medical clinic spaces can be remodeled at a fraction of the time and cost formerly required given standard plumbing and fixed walls. This efficiency provides new opportunities for business while maximizing revenue. Now, health care teams can drive project decisions, rather than decisions being made by the constraints of an existing space layout, or lack of plumbing infrastructure.

How will it change the landscape for healthcare facilities?

Medical clinics can now be located in nontraditional locations, such as standard office buildings with lower lease rates than designated-use medical office buildings.

What is the environment and financial impact?

The environmental impact of vacuum toilets is substantially less compared to standard low-flush toilets. With only half a gallon per flush, tenants realize big savings on their water and sewer costs. The system also prevents waste pipe leaks, which occur in gravity-driven systems and contribute to a deterioration of a building’s health over time.

With the ever-changing nature of the health care industry and mounting price pressure, the combination of demountable walls and vacuum plumbing creates flexibility and provides long-term economic benefits — two elements which are in high demand within this emerging industry. 

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is a full-service, design-build, mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s recent projects.