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Meet Dr. Bernadine Bank

Life's Work

Dr. Bernadine Bank was born the youngest of ten children to a working-class Catholic family in Joliet, Illinois. She attended public school from K-8; then an all girls Catholic high school. During her senior year in high school,  she was a Rotary International Exchange student for a year and lived with 4 different families. While in Australia, she was accepted into the University of Illinois - but needed money to pay for it.  She received a job assisting farmers in the rural outback by hunting invasive foxes that were introduced from England and were troublesome for farmers and native wildlife. 

Upon her return to the United States, Bernadine excelled in college and earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry.  She then went on to earn her medical degree at Northwestern’s School of Medicine, now the Feinberg School of Medicine.  Dr. Bank completed her OB/GYN residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX, and went on to deliver over 3,000 babies during her 19 years serving the Dallas area - all while raising children of her own.

By 2006, it was time for a change.  The Bank family moved to Colbert, Washington, and Dr. Bank took a break to raise her children.  As her children got older, Dr. Bank returned to work, and eventually began working at hospitals and clinics across Spokane County.  In 2009, she joined the Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS), which is a healthcare safety net for 20% of the greater Spokane community. While working at CHAS, Dr. Bank assisted on Gynecologic Oncology cases at Deaconess and Sacred Heart hospitals in Spokane from 2016 to 2018 and still provides outpatient Gynecology services at CHAS. 

In 2016, she founded the Gynecology Department at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (MGVAMC).  Working at the VA proved to be a turning point in her life.  Women account for roughly 30% of new VA patients.  In 2010 there was a national mandate by Congress to establish Gynecology  departments in all VA hospitals. Although she resigned in 2021 after running the Gynecology  department for 5 years, the Spokane VA maintains a dedicated Gynecology department with two part-time physicians to ensure the vital health services to female veterans.

Public Service

Since 2022, Dr. Bank has been involved in politics as a  Democratic precinct committee officer, the Chair of the 6th Legislative District, one of two Spokane County State Committee Members, and a member of the  Environment and Climate State Caucus. It was the dangerous fallout from the Dobbs decision that pushed her to run for Congress.

Women’s Health

The decision by the United States Supreme Court in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has thrown the fate of millions of women into the jaws of politics.  Dozens of regressive reproductive health laws have already been passed across the nation, setting precedent for future restrictions. Just across the border in Idaho, over 20% of OB/GYN and 50% of fetal medicine specialists have left the state since 2022.  This means reduced access to prenatal, labor & delivery, and post-natal care, restricted fertility services, and fewer specialists for high-risk pregnancies in Idaho, as well as reduced chances of early identification of medical issues such as cancer, sexually acquired diseases, and other infections.  Furthermore, reduced care in Idaho means Idahoans must rely on Eastern Washington hospitals to provide those same services.  This must end.

While Dr. Bank is a firm supporter of a woman’s right to choose, she has never performed an elective abortion.

Dr. Bernadine Bank is for women’s health. She has been caring for women her entire career and understands there are concerns and conditions only a woman, her doctor, and her God should be involved in.

Veteran's Health Care

In 2020, Mann-Grandstaff VA hospital became a beta test site for a new record-keeping system called Cerner. This system was thrust upon MGVAMC with a no-bid contract, and care for our veterans fell apart. Medical staff reported system shutdowns lasting hours or even days at a time, preventing access to medical records and freezing orders for critical medications. Patients couldn’t make specialty appointments, and Veterans would come from as far away as Okanogan County to find their appointments arbitrarily canceled.

Despite widespread complaints, the VA showed no interest in changing or updating the system. As a result of these problems, Dr. Bank and several others have resigned in protest.  The harm to veterans caused by Cerner is well documented, but the VA continues to deny Cerner is the problem.  Dr. Bank realized that change would have to come from outside, so in December 2021 she resigned, leaving the department she helped build.

Nine percent of the population of Eastern Washington are veterans. The impacts of such inferior care for our veterans cannot be overstated - this must be addressed now.

Dr Bank has seen first hand the type of care and services our veterans receive, and she knows it is not enough.  Cerner must be replaced.  Satellite clinics must be re-established throughout the district.  Services at Jonathan M. Wainwright VAMC in Walla Walla must be expanded.

Working Men and Women

Dr. Bank understands that Eastern Washington is founded on industry and small businesses. Our healthcare, agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, mining, construction, and transportation industries all run on working men and women.  Economies are only as strong as their foundations, and we must constantly work to prevent their erosion.  Public policy can significantly impact industry, as evidenced by recent concerns over Snake River dams and logging restrictions due to climate change.

Lawmakers control millions of dollars in funding for public infrastructure projects, pollutant clean-up, and job creation - our workers and businesses need a representative in Congress who listens to their concerns and works to encourage economic development.

A Moderate Voice

Dr. Bank has always voted with her conscience; she believes in voting for the person who will do the most good. In recent years, the fringe political groups have held too much influence over our nation, and both political parties suffer the consequences.  So many politicians push hardline agendas - Eastern Washington needs someone who seeks compromise.  Instead of representatives vying for extremist voters, we need someone who understands the diversity of our district and works with it.

Dr Bank isn’t running for Congress. She’s running for WOMEN. She’s running for VETERANS. She’s running for JOBS, for FARMERS, for INFRASTRUCTURE, for RAIL, for BROADBAND.  These aren’t partisan issues to be used for political clout - they’re non-partisan issues that must be heard and addressed with respect for those who stand to benefit - or lose - because of them.

Dr. Bank is the moderate voice of the voters.  She is YOUR voice in Congress.  Be heard.

Paid for by Friends of Dr. Bernadine Bank 
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