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MI Pediatrics honored

Mercer Island Pediatrics has been inducted into the “Overall Quality” category of Premera Blue Cross’ Quality Award Program (QAP). This year, Premera is honoring 27 of the best practices in Washington for high-quality patient healthcare. A total of 778 practices in Washington were taken into consideration. The “Overall Quality” category is one of several in the “Care Indices” criteria: Acute, Chronic and Preventive Quality.

“We couldn’t have been more pleased. We feel like we’re doing something special here,” said Dr. Hal Quinn of Mercer Island Pediatrics, which was established in the 1950s. “I’m thrilled that they gave us this award.”

Premera evaluated Mercer Island Pediatrics in four areas, according to Quinn: use of optimal medication for asthma, ear infections and bronchitis, and child examinations.

The Healthcare Quality Awards Program was founded three years ago and follows the existing Quality Score Card measure set, a methodology created to measure performance in the areas of preventive care, acute care, chronic care and overall quality. The “Overall Care” category is a comprehensive measurement that examines efficiency and recognizes a practice’s performance in acute, chronic and preventive care.

Premera Blue Cross belongs to a group of companies headquartered in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., that provides health, life, vision, dental and long-term care insurance and other related services. Premera, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, has operated in Washington since 1933 and Alaska since 1952, and provides healthcare coverage and related services for over 1.3 million people.

The J. D. Power and Associates 2007 National Health Insurance Plan Satisfaction StudySM, which debuted this year, rated Premera with the “highest member satisfaction with commercial health plans” among regional and national companies in the western United States.

For more information visit

Mercer Island Pediatrics can be reached at 275-2122.

Step it Up

Islander Allison Campbell Schwartz and her husband, Brian, joined the nationwide “Step it Up” campaign to participate in “National Day of Climate Action” on Nov. 3. Across the nation, Americans rallied friends and family together to write letters to their local Congress representatives, asking them to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent before 2050. This exact goal was recently passed by the Mercer Island City Council in May 2007.

Playing their part, Schwartz and her husband hosted a letter-writing party on Nov. 3 at their Island home. The young couple invited family, neighbors and friends to make holiday greeting cards for Washington Representatives Dave Reichert and Maria Cantwell. Islanders asked Reichert and Cantwell to “be leaders on climate change solutions” and support the 2006 Safe Climate Act currently set before the House of Representatives. They also painted a giant poster for the representatives. Twenty Island residents attended the event, making just under 40 personalized cards. Later this month, Schwartz will deliver the messages to Reichert. For the time being, she is still accepting letters. To contribute your own “Step it Up” letter, please contact Schwartz at

For more information on Step it Up, visit:

Dr. Bruce Gilliland honored by UW

Dr. Bruce Collins Gilliland, who lived on Mercer Island for 39 years until his death on Feb. 17, 2007 at age 75, was remembered at a University of Washington School of Medicine ceremony, Oct. 26. During his 45-year career at the UW School of Medicine, Dr. Gilliland served as an intern, resident, fellow, physician, acting dean, administrator and professor. He was also an expert in rheumatology, a Grand Master of the American College of Physicians and the recipient of the 1997 Medical Alumni Service Award, 2003 UW Medicine Alumni Association Lifetime of Service Award and several teacher awards.

Dr. Gilliland was born in Lima, Peru, where his parents served as medical missionaries. He grew up in Los Angeles, attended the University of Arizona, served in the U.S. Army for two years, graduated from Occidental College, Los Angeles, in 1956 and earned an M.D. degree from Northwestern School of Medicine in 1960.

Dr. Gilliland was a member of the UW faculty for 40 years.

Veterans Day at Island schools

Island Park Elementary Veterans Day Assembly: 7 p.m., Nov. 7, multi-purpose room. All Mercer Islanders are welcome to attend. The school choir will perform, and fifth graders will read essays written in honor of Veterans Day. Sing and celebrate America and veterans. Susan Hamp, (206) 230-6254.

West Mercer Elementary Veterans Day Assembly: 9:30 a.m., Nov. 8, in the gymnasium. Veterans from Mercer Island’s VFW Post 5760 will attend.

Lakeridge Elementary Veterans Day Assembly: 10 a.m., Nov. 8, featuring patriotic music. Students are welcome to bring veterans. Red, white and blue stars with veterans’ names are displayed in the school’s hallways.

Islander Middle School will show short videos during each class, Nov. 9. Students will play “Taps,” and a Powerpoint show of patriotic pictures will be shown during lunch. Sixth through eighth graders made cards for Marines of 1st Battalion, 4th Division, which will return from Iraq soon.

St. Monica School Veterans Day Assembly: 8:30 a.m., Nov. 9, gym, led by sixth graders to honor veterans. VFW Post 5760 veterans will attend.

Mercer Island High School will observe a moment of silence during class on Nov. 9 with a live trumpet performance of “Taps.” A brief reading about the meaning of Veterans Day will be broadcasted over the loudspeaker with the names of MIHS alumni who died in military service.

For more information, visit

St. Monica School’s little Sparrow

Every year for the past four years, the students at St. Monica School have sponsored a child in need of medical assistance. With the help of the Sparrow Foundation, students are happy to have “adopted” a 9-month-old little boy, Luke Smith, who was born with a heart defect. St. Monica students come up with different fundraisers to help Smith and his family.

The students have designed a label for water bottles and sell the water for $1 a bottle or $20 per case. All proceeds go directly to Smith and his family. Please consider supporting this great cause. The next time you need to buy water for a meeting or event, stop by the school office and buy some “Sparrow Water.”

Learn more about the Sparrow Foundation and our Sparrow, Smith, by going to the school’s Web site,, and clicking on the “Our Sparrow Luke Smith” link.

Park and Ride is nearly ready

The artwork of local artist Julie Berger, a Vashon Island resident, is beginning to take shape on the street-front of the new Mercer Island Park and Ride currently under construction.

Though the bus center will not be open until next month, crews have been adding the finishing cosmetic touches during the past few weeks.

Using a theme titled “Migration,” Berger has created two light-emitting gateway sculptures for the park and ride. Standing 15 and 18 feet high, the stainless steel artworks have an organic, undulating form, she said. Though those sculptures have yet to be installed, Islanders may now see a series of wing-like shapes mimicking the geometry of migration on the garage railings. They are interspersed with a unique cast glass inspired by the color of the water as seen from a Puget Sound ferry.

Berger was initially trained as a jeweler and applies the meticulous attention to detail required of jewelry on her current, much larger projects. She earned a Master’s in Fine Arts in metal design from the University of Washington in 1991. Her resume includes the designs and construction of a series of benches for the Sound Transit Everett Station, which opened in 2002. She is also the lead artist for work at the new Burien Metro transfer center and did the art on a pedestrian bridge near Metro’s Atlantic station near Safeco Field in Seattle.

Regarding her work, Berger said her art is inspired from her rural upbringing and a passion for nature.

“My art is a balancing act, an expression of movement through structure, pattern and form,” she said.

For more information on the Park & Ride opening, go to

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