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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Wed. Oct. 27 - 12:47 pm
Tue. 10/26/21
Providence Health Plan to Offer Pacific Northwest Families and Individuals New Benefits This Open Enrollment Season
Providence Health & Services - 10/26/21 9:00 AM

Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 and lasts until Jan. 15 in Oregon and Washington state; Providence is one of the highest-rated health plans in the region


PORTLAND, Ore. (October. 26, 2021) — Providence Health Plan (PHP) will include new offerings during this year’s open enrollment period to best suit both members’ and their families’ needs. The open enrollment period begins in Oregon and Washington state Nov. 1 and lasts until Jan. 15. 


This year, members will enjoy enhanced mental health offerings, new wellness benefits and an expanded telehealth network. Recognized for providing members with affordable, value-based care and coverage, PHP will continue offering high-quality health insurance to the Pacific Northwest. The plan is consistently rated by government and industry authorities for high-quality coverage and differentiated offerings, as evidenced by a 4.0 rating from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), which evaluates health plans on the quality of care patients receive, how happy patients are with their care and health plans' efforts to keep improving. Currently, there are no PPO plans in Oregon that rate higher than PHP.


“This past year has been incredibly challenging for the communities we serve, and we are committed to helping individuals and families find and select a plan that best suits their unique needs. Providence provides members with access to high-quality care and excellent member service for a seamless experience,” Don Antonucci, CEO of Providence Health Plan, said. “We remain committed to putting members first and providing excellent care.” 


As a result of the global pandemic, people’s emotional well-being has been challenged in new ways. Even before COVID-19, PHP continued to strengthen its behavioral health services with more convenient offerings such as an extended network of providers and access to behavioral health provider referrals. PHP has also increased the number of visits for chiropractic manipulations and acupuncture services. Members also will enjoy access to an expanded telehealth network of providers across the Pacific Northwest to improve care, keep patients close to home and save lives — especially as the pandemic remains. 


“Providence listens to members and offers benefits that best address their needs. Our new features included as part of individual and family plans allow members to live well-balanced lives and provide convenient options to members and their families. We continually strive to provide members with affordable, high-quality care and coverage,” Caresse Sakagawa, vice president of product development of Providence Health Plan, said.


PHP believes that health care is a human right and is committed to reducing health disparities and achieving health equity. From the beginning, the Providence community of caregivers has championed True Health as a human right when founding the region’s orphanages, hospitals, community housing and schools. This work continues to eliminate barriers and inequities that may prevent vulnerable populations from receiving quality care, including covering the costs of uncompensated care for anyone who cannot afford to pay, increasing access to care, making care more affordable and improving the health of the communities PHP serves. With Providence, when we take care of each other, we tighten the bonds that connect and strengthen us all.


To learn more about individual and family plans available from PHP, please visit https://www.providencehealthplan.com/individuals-and-families.




About Providence Health Plan

Providence Health Plan (PHP) is an integral part of a 160-year-old not-for-profit health care collective that has set the health and well-being standard for the communities we serve. PHP provides high quality, affordable coverage to members via plans for small and large groups, self-insured plan sponsors, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as individuals and families. 


Fri. 10/22/21
Liberty Middle School switching to remote learning on Oct. 25
Bethel SD (WA) - 10/22/21 3:00 PM

Dear Bethel School District families,

In consultation with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, regarding the spread of COVID-19 cases, all staff and students at Liberty Middle School will switch to remote learning starting Monday, Oct. 25 through Friday, October 29, 2021. As previously scheduled, October 27 through 29 will be early dismissal days for student conferences. We hope to return to in-person learning at Liberty Middle School on Monday, Nov. 1.  
Liberty Middle School families will be receiving additional information regarding remote learning schedules soon. If students do not have their iPads at home, please contact the main office 253-800-6500 to set up a time to pick it up.

Why is Liberty Middle School switching to remote learning?
In the last seven days, there were 24 COVID cases at Liberty Middle School. Of the 850 enrolled students, 228 students and staff have been identified as COVID-19 close contacts.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department strongly recommends and supports the decision to move Liberty Middle School to remote learning next week to help slow the transmission of COVID-19. This aligns with the latest guidance from the Washington State Department of Health

Close contacts already in quarantine will still need to quarantine until the date previously given by the school, and should not go to other activities or child care. 

Students and staff not notified as being a close contact do not need to quarantine, but should seek testing and monitor for symptoms. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department strongly recommends that all Liberty Middle School students seek out testing for COVID-19. If your child tests positive, please notify the school immediately.
Our staff’s experience with remote learning last year will be called upon again as we make this brief adjustment out of caution. Though this disruption to in-person learning is not welcome, it was certainly not unexpected. Even though our staff and students are following the mask and social distancing guidance from the health department, COVID-19 and its many variants are a reality we must continue to face together. I remain a proponent of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are able.
We appreciate your understanding as we do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.


Tom Seigel
Superintendent, Bethel School District

Bellevue School District to seek renewal of two significant school funding measures in the February 8, 2022 election
Bellevue SD - 10/22/21 3:00 PM

The Board of Directors of the Bellevue School Board voted Oct. 21 to place measures on the ballot

Bellevue School District is seeking two levy renewals to continue our work to provide an excellent education for every Bellevue student.

These two levies, which will be on the February 8, 2022, ballot, would continue local funding for high-quality academics, staff, programs, and student opportunities, as well as maintaining our investment in safe and modern technology and school buildings. The School Board unanimously voted on Thursday to place the measures on the ballot.

Interim Superintendent Art Jarvis stated, “Local levies have a significant impact on the quality of our public education by providing the funding needed to ensure our students have the academic and social-emotional opportunities they deserve.  In addition, these levy renewals enable us to continue to provide students with computers, tablets, and other technology and facilities needed for them to prepare and compete as leaders in their future world.”

The replacement EP&O Levy continues funding for critical day-to-day school operations to ensure EVERY student in our district has access to additional staff, including nurses and counselors. The levy also funds opportunities such as 7th-period classes in high schools and World languages in middle school.

The levy also funds student programs not fully funded by the state such as special education, advanced learning, STEM programs, and AP classes. Levies also fund orchestra, band, music, and art in elementary schools, athletics, and other after-school activities. 

The replacement Technology & Capital Projects Levy maintains and updates our student technology and our school buildings, so every BSD student has access to a safe and modern learning environment. Renewal of this levy continues critical funding for access to new technologies that support student learning, laptops or devices for all students, and technology for teaching and learning in our classrooms.

This levy also helps maintain our investment in school buildings, funding large-scale school improvements like carpeting, roofing, and heating and cooling systems, and repairs and maintenance to our school buildings.

Bellevue School District will spend the fall and winter informing families and communities about the need for the levies. For more information, check