Making us Better: 2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards


The 2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards offer evidence of the 
enormous impact of UW Medicine. The entity that owns or operates the University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, the UW School of Medicine and Airlift Northwest affects the lives of thousands of people every day.

It’s hardly surprising that 10 of the 25 honorees this year are affiliated in some way with UW Medicine. Still, health care in Washington state remains a remarkably diversified industry, populated by brilliant and heroic people doing noble things for selfless reasons. We salute all of this year’s inspiring honorees for their enthusiastic support of excellent health care.

2014 Leaders in Health Care Finalists

Outstanding Health Care Executive

Winners: Johnese Spisso
Chief Health System Officer, UW Medicine; Vice President Medical Affairs, University of Washington

Joyce Jackson
President and CEO, Northwest Kidney Centers

Silver Award: Claire Trescott, M.D.
Medical Director of Primary Care, Group Health Cooperative

Outstanding Health Care Practitioner

Winner: J. Randall Curtis, M.D.
Director, UW Palliative Care Center of Excellence

Silver Awards: Sean Adelman, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon, Group Health Cooperative

Elizabeth Loggers, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research 
Center; Clinical Assistant Professor, UW School of Medicine

Achievement in Medical Research

Winner: William Catterall, M.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology, UW School of Medicine

Silver Award: Gregory Belenky, M.D.
Director, WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center

Achievement in Biopharmaceuticals

Winner: Kineta

Silver Award: Novo Nordisk

Achievement in Medical Devices

Winner: Paul Yager, Ph.D.
Professor, UW Department of Bioengineering

Silver Awards: Brian Glaister
President and CEO, Cadence Biomedical

Conrad Smits
SVP Philips Healthcare, CEO Ultrasound Division

Achievement in Community Outreach (Individuals)

Winner: Beti Thompson, Ph.D.
Center for Community Health Promotion, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Silver Awards: Julie Gralow, M.D.
Director, Breast Medical Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care 
Alliance; Clinical Research Division Member, Fred 
Hutchinson Cancer Research Cente

Phil Dyer
Senior Vice President, Health Management Services, Kibble & Prentice, a USI Company

Achievement in Community Outreach (Organizations)

Winner: Swedish Community Benefits Program
Swedish Medical Center

Silver Awards: WWAMI Program
UW Medicine

Silence Whooping Cough
Group Health Foundation

Achievement in Wellness Programs

Winner: Faculty & Staff Wellness Program
Western Washington University

Silver Award: Live Well
Miller Nash LLP

Outstanding Global Health Organization

Winner: Grand Challenges in Global Health
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Silver Awards: Department of Global Health
University of Washington

Disaster Relief
World Vision

Lifetime Achievement 

Frederick  Appelbaum, M.D. 

Executive VP and Deputy Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Executive Director and President, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance


Judges for the 2014 Leaders in Health Care Awards

Lisa Cohen, Executive Director, Washington Global Health Alliance 

Leo Greenawalt, Retired President, Washington State Hospital Association

Mary McWilliams, Executive Director, Washington Health Alliance

Joseph Phillips, Ph.D., Dean, Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University

Chris Rivera, President and CEO, Washington 
Biotechnology & Biomedical Association

Roger Stark, M.D., Health Care Policy Analyst, Washington Policy Center


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.