By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“This is a really exciting position,” said Burke, who began work at the Port Townsend-based hospital Sept. 4.
“Part of my job will be to let people know what services are available here and let them know that they don't have to travel to Seattle, [Bremerton's] Harrison hospital or Sequim to get needed health care,” she added.
Burke was one of 25 applicants for the position, which pays $80,017 annually.
Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn said Burke's background and experience exceeded those of other candidates.
“We have an aggressive agenda of what needs to be accomplished to make Jefferson Healthcare our community's choice for health and wellness, and ensure the delivery of exceptional health care services,” Glenn said in a statement.
“I feel that Kate can provide the added support to our success.”
Said Burke: “We have hired chef Arran Stark to do our food service, which changes the perception of hospital food, and the affiliation with Swedish Hospital creates some new opportunities.”
Burke made her first public appearance on behalf of the hospital Saturday at the Quilcene Fair and Parade.
Burke was displaced from her position as Fort Worden State Park manager in January by the present manager, Allison Alderman, whose job elsewhere in the state parks system was eliminated because of agency-wide budget cuts.
Burke had overseen 33 full-time-equivalent positions as manager of Fort Worden and Fort Townsend state parks and the small Rothschild House park in uptown Port Townsend since 2002.
During her parks tenure, she worked on behalf of the creation of a Fort Worden Lifelong Learning Center in conjunction with the city public development authority.
The Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority hired Burke as a consultant in a $24,000 contract that expired in May.
Burke applied for the hospital position when it was advertised July 20.
“I thought this was a place where I can use my experience,” she said.
Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.