March 23, 2017

Overlake to Participate in Unique ‘Reverse Pitch’ Event for Tech Start-Ups

Overlake Medical Center logoCambia Grove Hosts Series Designed to Promote Innovation in Health Care Marketplace

 Overlake Medical Center will be participating in a unique health technology project Aug. 25 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cambia Grove collaborative think tank space in Seattle.  During the event, members of Overlake’s leadership team Dr. Dennis Rochier, CEO of Overlake Medical Clinics, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Knoepfler, will be presenting real-life Overlake business challenges faced by doctors and patients to dozens of health care startups from all over the world.  The scenarios are shared with the startups, and the most innovative solutions will be given the opportunity to land a paid pilot project to solve the challenge. [Read more…]

Cosmetic Surgery & Dermatology Issaquah Celebrates 25 Years

Dermatology IssaquahCosmetic Surgery & Dermatology Issaquah Reaches Business Milestone

Cosmetic Surgery & Dermatology Issaquah, Inc. is celebrating 25 years in business this September 2016. Quite a milestone.  Especially considering how much business has changed.

Director Dr. Victor R. Michalak, M.D. established the facility in 1991 after falling in love with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. “My team and I are proud to be a longstanding establishment in Issaquah,” Dr. Michalak says. “We will continue to serve the community with professional care and exceptional service, as we have been for the past 25 years.”  [Read more…]

August is THE Month for Student Athlete Sports Physicals

Overlake Urgent CareOverlake Urgent Care Clinics Offer $40 Drop-in Appointments

Overlake Urgent Care now offering sports physicals.  Where did the summer go?  With classes set to start in four or five short weeks, it’s time for student athletes to get their annual sports physicals.

Overlake Medical Clinics is there to help make sure all kids are healthy before the fall sports season kicks off.  By keeping the cost of a sports physical low at $40, the teams at Overlake urgent care clinics are making the exams more accessible than ever to Eastside families.  [Read more…]

Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue Opens Lake Hills Medical Clinic

Overlake Lake Hills Medical ClinicCommunity Invited to Meet Provider Team at Aug. 6 Lake Hills Medical Clinic Open House

 Overlake Medical Center invites members of Lake Hills’ community and area residents to an open house at its new Lake Hills Medical clinic, Aug. 6, from 9 am – noon. The center is located at 619 156th Ave. SE.

With primary care and urgent care available in the same location, the Lake Hills Medical Clinic is able to refer urgent care patients to primary care providers, and ensure they seamlessly receive the proper follow-up care.  Community members will be steps away from accessible care for everything from sports physicals to women’s care, to illnesses and injuries that are not life threatening but still require immediate attention. The co-pay for an urgent care visit is typically far lower than the cost of a visit to the emergency room, and the wait time is typically shorter. [Read more…]

Overlake Medical Center Welcomes New Providers

Overlake Medical Center logoOverlake Medical Center announced today the addition of five new team members, including Dr. Olav Jaren who joined the Neuroscience Institute.

A number of Overlake Medical Center primary care and specialty providers are currently accepting new patients, including the latest additions to the team.

Overlake Medical Center New Additions are:

[Read more…]

Affordable Senior Day Program Opening in Kirkland-Redmond

Old Friends ClubOld Friends Club Fills Important Need for Seniors Requiring Cognitive Care & Family Support

Old Friends Club is bringing affordable client-centered care to Eastside families dealing with dementia. They plan to open their doors later this month in the Rose Hill neighborhood bordering Kirkland and Redmond. The innovative non-profit that celebrates strengths and commonalities of those living with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive challenges, [Read more…]


Overlake Hospital Careers in MedicineBELLEVUE, WASH. – (March 15, 2016) – On Monday, March 14, Overlake Medical Center hosted a panel discussion called Careers in Medicine.

Photo credit: Anna Hoychuk 

More than 125 high school students and parents, representing 14 area schools, had the opportunity to talk to and ask questions of Overlake doctors from a range of specialties about medical careers, education paths, a typical ‘day in the life’ of a specialist, and more.  Overlake President and CEO J. Michael Marsh moderated the lively discussion.

“Inspiring students to pursue careers in medicine is something that is very important to us,” said Marsh. “There are so many exciting discoveries and medical advances on the horizon. The high schoolers who participated in today’s panel have the opportunity to be involved in an exciting and revolutionary era in technology and medicine.” 

Martin and Matthew ChawMartin Chaw and his son Matthew Chaw snap a pic in the Careers in Med photo booth.

Photo credit: Anna Hoychuk 

“Since I was 6 years old I’ve been interested in medicine. I take every chance I can get to learn more about it,” said Matthew Chaw, a junior at Eastside Catholic High School.

About Overlake Medical Center 

Overlake Medical Center is the only nonprofit, non-tax-supported regional medical center with a network of medical clinics throughout the Eastside. The hospital is licensed for 349 beds and offers a comprehensive range of services including cardiac care, cancer care, general and specialty surgery, women’s programs, senior care and psychiatric services.  It was the first Level III trauma service on the Eastside. For more information, visit

Primary Care Providers Deliver Continuity of Care Over Your Lifetime

By Sara May, MD
Contributing writer
It is common for people – especially young, working adults who are seemingly healthy – to ask themselves at some point whether they need a primary care provider. The answer is yes, you do, because having one will help keep you healthier throughout your life.

Numerous studies in medical journals have confirmed this, including one in International Journal of Health Services, which showed that states with more primary care providers per capita have better health outcomes, including fewer deaths from heart disease, stroke or cancer.

In addition, a different study in the same journal suggested that a sufficient supply of primary care providers is linked to a longer life span and fewer premature deaths.

Primary care providers can significantly impact your health by delivering “continuity of care.” This means you establish a professional relationship with a health care provider, which improves year after year. This provider gets to know you, your health history and health goals, and also helps manage your overall progress. Continuity provides real benefits that have been shown to amount to better health. Examples of continuity include:


In the short term, continuity of care greatly increases the chances that you will receive a correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Primary care providers acquire important information by following a health issue over time and can make treatment decisions as a result. Over time, a provider who knows your personality, tendencies and health history is in a better position to identify signs that might indicate a potential health change. For example, a primary care provider would know that a mole you’re concerned about isn’t a problem since it has remained the same since they began keeping an eye on it years ago.

Point person

If you need to see a specialist, a primary care provider will refer you to someone they know, respect and collaborate with. If you are worried about getting different suggestions from different specialists, your primary care provider can help you decide which recommendation to act on first. Your primary care provider has working relationships with the specialists they refer to and keeps track of your care with them.

Time saver

Establishing a professional relationship with a primary care provider can help you receive care more quickly. Since that person knows more about you and your medical history, they can often help you over the phone or via secure email.


If you see your primary care provider for annual physicals rather than only seeing them when you’re sick, they can educate you about your health and help avoid chronic illnesses in the future. Yearly physicals are a time when your primary care provider can give you information about your unique health needs and goals. Subjects could include high blood pressure, weight loss, STD prevention, alcohol and tobacco use, or stress management and anxiety.

The problem with self-referrals

When people refer themselves to a specialist without first seeing their primary care provider, they have already self-identified a source of the issue and picked a specialist based on that biased, and often under-informed, perspective. Visiting specialists takes time, which can delay your diagnosis, result in over-testing and risks and be accompanied by unforeseen medical costs that can sometimes be avoided. However, when you see your primary care provider, you avoid a narrow approach to your issue – along with unnecessary tests that sometimes accompany that route – since their goal is to care for your overall health and wellness.

Broader picture

Everyone should have a primary care provider who can take a broad look at their health, especially when a diagnosis is needed. Primary care physicians are trained to keep an open mind, listen carefully and weigh all possibilities.


When seeking a primary care provider, people should look for feeling a sense of safety, rapport, trust, thoroughness and a broad depth of knowledge. Experts also recommend finding a provider who values and asks for your opinion and input.

Types of primary care providers

There are several types of primary care providers people can choose to establish a professional relationship with depending on the type of care needed. The most common primary care providers include:

·      Family medicine or family practice providers care for the general medical, psychological and developmental needs of people and any family members.

·      Internal medicine providers focus on adult medicine and have had special training on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases.

·      Pediatriciansspecialize in child and adolescent health care from birth until age 21.

Whether or not you currently have a primary care provider, I wish you the best of health now and in the years ahead.

Sara May, MD, is board certified in Internal Medicine. She specializes in Primary Care and Travel Health and practices at Virginia Mason Issaquah Medical Center (100 N.E. Gilman Blvd., Issaquah, WA 98027; 425-557-8000), which is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about primary care, visit these websites:

·      American Academy of Family Physicians (

·      American College of Physicians (

·      U.S. National Library of Medicine (

·      Washington State Medical Association (

·      Virginia Mason ( 

Governor To Sign NFIB-Backed Health-Care Costs Bill

NFIB logoAt a bill-signing ceremony scheduled for this morning at 10:30 a.m. in his office, Gov. Jay Inslee will put his signature on a measure that NFIB led the coordination and legislative passage of: An All-Payer Claims Database (APCD) that will eventually empower everyone in Washington state to compare quality and costs among health-care providers.

“Pairing cost and quality metrics in an All-Payer Claims Database is our best hope of educating and empowering employers to identify or design health-benefits plans that meet the needs of their particular workforce, and ultimately, give families and individuals access to meaningful information to guide their health-care purchasing decisions,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for America’s leading small-business association, the National Federation of Independent Business.

According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Basics of All-Payer Claims Databases, “APCDs are large-scale databases that systematically collect medical claims, pharmacy claims, dental claims (typically, but not always), and eligibility and provider files from private and public payers. The first statewide APCD system was established in Maine in 2003 … Currently, more than 30
states have, are implementing, or have strong interest in APCDs.”

Senate Bill 5084, which the governor will sign into law today, had strong support among small businesses, health-care providers and patient organizations with 35 groups supporting the bill when it was initially heard in the Senate Health Care Committee and 27 groups signing in support of the House version of the bill. No group stated opposition to the bill.

SB 5084 corrects flaws in a law passed by the Legislature last year to establish an APCD. Among the problems with the existing law was that it lacked a requirement for all health insurers to submit their data. Experience in other states has shown that without a mandate, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive picture of the cost and quality of health care.

Data that would be submitted under the new law would include financial information, which would allow for analyses about health-care value—meaning quality and cost information about the cost of episodes of care, such as hospitalizations, which had not previously been broadly available.

Because the cost and availability of health care has been the No. 1 worry of small-business owners for 30 years, Connor took the lead in coordinating the activities of the Coalition for Health Care Cost Transparency. “It has been a two-year effort to enact and perfect the statutory framework authorizing a true All-Payer Claims Database for Washington state, but once it is fully up and running, employers, consumers, providers, and even policymakers should see the immense value of it in making health-care providers more competitive, the result of which will make medical coverage more affordable while improving outcomes for patients.”

How Could Olympia Stoop So Low? by Michael “Buffalo” Mazzetti

Why does the Washington State Legislature (WSL) want to undermine medical cannabis? Alison Holcomb and Peter Holmes with Initiative 502 clearly stated that if passed, it would have no effect on medical cannabis laws. Reassuring voters that “I-502 won’t harm patients”.

Senate Bill SB 5052 is an effort by the WSL that could doom our medical cannabis patient rights. This bill could bring harm and even death to many medical cannabis patients. Why would the WSL do this? Immediately, three reasons grab my attention: knowledge deficit, power, and greed. Let’s examine this.

Knowledge deficit: The WSL is way behind the leading edge of medical cannabis study. Amazing anecdotal stories of healing are coming to the public’s attention daily. Legislative bills presented in this session don’t recognize the unique organism of each individual human nor our specific medical condition. New and promising cannabis plant varieties and delivery systems are being developed as we speak. They would limit the number of plants a patient could grow to less than half the current amount-severely limiting the patient’s right and ability to find out if a high CBD plant serves them better than a THC plant, not to mention CBG, CBN or a variety of terpines.

Greed: I- 502 created a huge lobby of 502 growers, processors and retail store owners in Olympia. Many members know nothing about the exciting miracle of medical cannabis. They want to sell recreational pot. SB 5052 would force patients to purchase their medicine from recreational stores under the guidance of the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). Growers following the guidelines of the WSLCB can produce cannabis heavily laden with non-organic chemicals (248 pesticides are approved for use). Medical patients lose again, by being forced to smoke, ingest or topically use medicine grown with chemicals known to exacerbate their conditions. The WSLCB have held secret meetings to end medical cannabis.1

Power: Campaign contributions put and keep our Legislators in office. Public records show that the prime sponsor of SB 5052, Senator Ann Rivers-(R) 18th District, has received substantial contributions from large pharmaceutical corporations. Pfizer, Abbott and Eli Lilly have all contributed heavily to her last campaign. Big Pharma has always been opposed to medical cannabis because this natural remedy will cut deeply into their billion $ profits.

It is up to the public to hold the WSL accountable. SB 5052 has not passed the House. Please call your representative today and tell them SB 5052 is not acceptable. The legislature needs to work with cannabis patients groups to work out an acceptable way to provide safe access to quality medicine.

If these efforts fail to convince the WSL that we need medical cannabis, the public must once again take the initiative.

Citizens Initiative-1372 will strengthen and protect medical use of cannabis. You can find petitions at: Please download a copy, sign it, get your friends to sign it and send it to the address on the petitions by June 27, 2015. This may be the only way to bring common sense regarding medical cannabis to the WSL. I-1372 creates a board made up of the state and the community to govern over all aspects of the medical cannabis market with a separate revenue to remain revenue neutral. This is something that the WSL will not do.