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Hastings behind plan to improve rural health care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Doc Hastings is part of a bipartisan group of 60 legislators who are introducing a plan to ensure that those living in rural communities have access to affordable health care.

“Our rural communities face health care challenges that are very different than those faced in urban areas such as Seattle or Chicago,” said Hastings (R-Pasco). “This bill is an important step towards reducing the barriers faced by rural doctors and hospitals and ensuring that rural areas in Central Washington have health care.”

The bill in questions focuses on assisting doctors, nurses, hospitals and health clinics in their efforts to provide quality health care. The bill increases and improves payments to medical facilities, provides for health information technology grants and makes loans available to rural hospitals for modernization and expansion.

Mother, unborn child perish

in auto accident

GRANDVIEW – A 41-year-old Grandview woman and her unborn child died yesterday as the result of a one-car rollover accident on I-82, approximately one-tenth of a mile west of Grandview.

Washington State Patrol troopers report that Maria T. Zepeda, 41, of Grandview died at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland at 9:47 a.m. Thursday morning, about three hours after the accident occurred. Pregnant, Zepeda’s unborn child also did not survive.

According to the WSP, Zepeda was westbound on I-82 at about 6:45 a.m. yesterday in a 1994 Nissan sedan. State troopers said she failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and her vehicle exited the left side of the freeway. The automobile rolled, ejecting the driver.

Zepeda, according to troopers, was using a passive shoulder restraint, but her lap belt was not fastened.

Pearl Hughes Guild to meet

Sunnyside’s Pearl Hughes Guild of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle will hold its first meeting of the 2006-07 club year next Friday, Sept. 15, at the Sunny Spot restaurant.

Joyce Carter will provide the hostess gift at Friday’s meeting, one of the fundraising projects the local guild holds for the Seattle hospital.

Guild member Betty George also reports that the 2007 Children’s calendars are now available in Sunnyside, at Neva’s Beauty Salon and Scissor City. All calendar sales benefit the Seattle medical facility.

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