Health Care Providers Impact Statement for Benton County
Number of docs in 2009: 347. That’s 20.6 physicians per 10,000 population: the fourth highest rate in eastern Washington. Washington’s rate is 21.2 physicians per 10,000; the national average is about 20.2 per 10,000. Washington imports about 85% of its physicians from other states or nations.
Health professional breakout:
---Kadlec Medical Center in Richland says it has more than 250 physicians on its staff in a wide range of specialties.
---Kennewick General Hospital employs 67 MDs, 10 DOs, seven nurse practitioners and nine registered anesthetists in its hospitals and community clinics.
---Prosser Memorial Hospital reports it has 22 MDs, five DOs, five nurse practitioners and four physician assistants at its hospital and clinics.
---A Yakima Valley Farm Workers’ clinic in Prosser employs four MDs, one DO and one nurse practitioner.4
Number of current WWAMI Spokane medical students from
Benton County: one
Number of current WSU pharmacy students from Benton County: seven
Number of current WSU nursing students from Benton County: 97
Number of current WSU Spokane nutrition/exercise physiology students from Benton County: three
Number of current WSU Spokane speech and hearing sciences students from Benton County: 10
UW School of Medicine clinical faculty in Benton County: none5
Health professionals in Benton County who graduated from Washington colleges:
---Kadlec Medical Center: 19 UW School of Medicine graduates, 20 served medical residencies in Washington.
---Kennewick General Hospital: 13 UW medical grads, 20 served residencies in Washington. Also: four UW Dental School graduates, three UW physician assistant grads and six nurse practitioner graduates, including four from WSU.
---Prosser Memorial Hospital: three UW medical grads, four served residencies; five WSU nursing grads.6
Richland serves as a site for third and fourth-year medical clerkships in obstetrics/gynecology. Prosser takes medical students who are interested in rural practice between their first and second years. Benton County is not currently a residency site. 7
Voice from Benton County: Russ Kiefer from Kennewick General Hospital says his hospital is the number two hospital in the Tri-Cities in terms of number of patients, behind Kadlec in Richland. He says it has grown rapidly since 2005, when it had 19 physicians. Another 8-12 are expected to be hired by 2012. Many of those are and will be specialists. He says it’s hard to attract specialists to the Tri-Cities. Kiefer says his hospital doesn’t have a very established relationship with the UWSOM and WSU; he says UW hasn’t seemed interested in developing one. He’d like to build a stronger institution-to-institution relationship with WSU’s medical education program. Meanwhile, the hospital is developing a relationship with the new osteopathic school in Yakima and is working toward developing a formal residency program for its students. The hospital typically has 6-12 of that school’s first-year students at any one time.
About 600 medical professionals in 26 eastern and central Washington communities serve as preceptors (instructors) for UW/WSU medical students. About a third of those work in small cities and towns. In addition, Benton County hosts some of the 350 providers who train pharmacy students throughout Washington.
The WSU College of Pharmacy operates a research program at the university’s campus in Richland. Researchers in radiochemistry, radiobiology and health physics are studying the effects of radiation on human tissues. They also maintain the national repository for the bodies donated to science for this research. The program is called the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries.
The WSU College of Nursing offers classes for undergraduate and graduate students, from bachelor’s degrees to doctorate programs at the university’s campus in Richland.
Benton County unemployment rate (Apr. 2013): 8.2% (state average 7.0% seasonally adjusted, 6.5% not seasonally adjusted)8
Health care/social assistance employment in Benton County 9: 7,982 (out of 80,000 jobs). It’s the county’s fifth-largest employer, providing about $83.4 million in payroll, about 8% of the county’s total payroll.
Tripp Umbach estimate of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Benton County (2009): 28.8 jobs, $5.5 million in economic impact, $438,000 in local taxes
Tripp Umbach projection of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Benton County (2030): 242 jobs, $41.8 million in economic impact, $2.9 million in local taxes
1UW Center for Health Workforce Studies
2UW Center for Health Workforce Studies
3Association of American Medical Colleges
4Numbers gleaned from hospital and clinic websites
5UW Clinical faculty listing: http://depts.washington.edu/fammed/clinical_faculty/listings
6Numbers calculated from hospital and clinic websites
8Washington Department of Employment Security
9Washington Department of Employment Security (third quarter, 2010)
Congressional District: 4
Legislative Districts: 8, 16
County Seat: Prosser
Ben Arthurs from Richland was a member of the first medical education class in Spokane. After a year of study in Spokane and one in Seattle, he came back to Spokane to finish his clinical rotations. He's now at Stanford doing a residency in internal medicine.