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Improving Quality and Lowering Costs at the Front Lines of Care
SEATTLE - (October 26, 2011) —Health care professionals from more than 40 different organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest will gather at Virginia Mason's Volney Richmond Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 28, to share ideas about how to transform health care by focusing on quality.

This unique educational opportunity is being sponsored by Virginia Mason Medical Center, The Everett Clinic and Group Health Cooperative.

"Rising costs and economic pressures are challenging providers to lower costs without sacrificing quality," said Robert Mecklenburg, MD, Medical Director of Virginia Mason's Center for Health Care Solutions. "This day-long course will help providers understand how focusing on prevention, evidence-based medicine and shared decision-making with patients will lead to better outcomes, lower costs, and more financially successful practices by eliminating waste and rework."

The day will begin with keynote presentations from Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason; Scott Armstrong, CEO of Group Health Cooperative; and Rick Cooper, CEO of The Everett Clinic. They will each address how their organization is working to lead health care reform from the Pacific Northwest.

Other sessions will focus on topics such as making the business case for quality health care and achieving 100 percent compliance in screening and prevention measures.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit comprehensive regional health care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area, and Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing facility and chronic care management program for people with HIV/AIDS. The medical center is affiliated with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety. For more information, visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

For media inquiries, contact:
John Gillespie, Media Relations Manager
(206) 341-1509 (o)
(206) 402-2822 (m)

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