Health Care

2018 Leaders in Health Care, Achievement in Community Outreach: North Valley Hospital District, EvergreenHealth

The Tonasket and Kirkland hospitals are being honored as Leaders in Health Care

By Teresa Kenney and Leslie Helm March 1, 2018


This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the March 2018 issue. Click here for a free subscription.


North Valley Hospital District
Tonasket |

North Valley Hospital District operates a critical access hospital and extended care facility serving a population of 11,000 living across 1,200 square miles in rural north-central Washington.

To assist with recruiting and retaining health care providers and to serve the health and economic needs of the community, the district developed a free Nursing Assistant Certification (NAC) training program with three branches: vocational, traditional and blended learning.

Through the vocational branch, nursing staff provides training to high school students who then receive vocational credit on their transcripts. The first vocational high school class had seven students enrolled. All graduated with grades of 80 percent or higher and two went to work at North Valley Hospital after graduation.

One of the other students was accepted into the Air Forces medical program, notes Chief Nursing Officer Marcia Naillon. Part of the [Air Forces] decision to accept her was based on her having her NAC.

The traditional NAC training is provided quarterly, while a new eight-week blended learning curriculum offers online learning with hands-on clinicals. The blended curriculum provides opportunities to individuals who may have other responsibilities or full-time jobs and want to explore a career change. The NAC program provides care, jobs and opportunities for north-central Washington.

NAC is an entry-level program with a high level of burnout, Naillon says. Keeping our staffing levels where we need them to provide safe patient care is critical. +



A two-hospital, integrated health care system, EvergreenHealth has responded to the rapidly growing population in its communities in part by providing outreach to disadvantaged populations through its 24/7 Nurse Navigator & Healthline.

The Healthline is a nurse consultation and referral service that triages patients to the right level of care at the right time. It also launched a pilot program in partnership with the Seattle Fire Department and the Downtown Emergency Service Center to serve the residents of King Countys shelters and low-income housing facilities.

The Healthline serves as an on-call resource for facility managers to guide them in assessing and evaluating residents low to moderate acute health situations.

See the full list of Leaders in Health Care winners here.

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