Health Care Provider Impact Statement for Chelan County
Number of docs in 2009: 226. That’s 31.2 physicians per 10,000 population1: the highest rate in eastern Washington. Washington’s rate is 21.2 physicians per 10,000;2 the national average is about 20.2 per 10,000. Washington imports about 85% of its physicians from other states or nations.3
Health professional breakout:
---Wenatchee Valley Medical Center has 122 physicians, 19 physician assistants and 11 nurse practitioners at its main facility. It also employs 14 MDs, one DO, three physician assistants and one nurse practitioner at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee. It has 54 MDs, three DOs, 15 physician assistants and 11 nurse practitioners at seven other community clinics in Chelan, Okanogan and Grant Counties.
---Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee employs 15 MDs, one DO, two physician assistants and two nurse practitioners.
---Lake Chelan Hospital in Chelan lists 18 MDs, one DO, two physician assistants and one pharmacist.
---Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth has seven MDs, one DO, one physician assistant and one nurse practitioner.4
Number of current WWAMI Spokane medical students from
Chelan County: one
Number of current WSU pharmacy students from Chelan County: seven
Number of current WSU nursing students from Chelan County: 17
Number of current WSU Spokane speech/hearing sciences students from Chelan County: three
UW School of Medicine clinical faculty in Chelan County: 15 MDs5
Health professionals in Chelan County who graduated from Washington colleges: 6
---Wenatchee Valley Medical Center (at its two Wenatchee hospitals and clinics in Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan Counties) says it employs 49 University of Washington Medical School graduates; 41 of them worked at residencies in Washington. Six doctors served fellowships in Washington. Wenatchee Valley also employs 15 UW physician assistant graduates. Sixteen of its nurse practitioners received their degrees at Washington universities.
---Of Wenatchee Valley’s 14 physicians working at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, one is a UW Medical School graduate, four did their residencies in Washington.
---At Lake Chelan Hospital, two of 18 MDs are UW graduates, four served residencies in the state.
---At Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth, three of the seven physicians are UW graduates.
Wenatchee provides clerkships for third and fourth-year medical students in these areas: family medicine, internal medicine, neurology and pediatrics. Chelan participates in the WRITE program (WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience) for students who want a rural experience. Those students spend a few weeks in their first and second years training in their communities, then five months of their third year there. Wenatchee, Chelan and Leavenworth also serve as sites for medical students looking to practice their skills in a rural setting between their first and second years (Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program). Chelan County does not currently have a residency site.7
Voice from Chelan County: Kevin Abel is the CEO at Lake Chelan Community Hospital. He says his hospital has only one opening right now, for an emergency room physician. He’s happy with the age mix of his physician staff. But he says the need for more doctors (especially those who deliver babies) will grow, especially if Chelan County grows as projected, 20-30% during the next 20 years. ”We’re going to see challenges in our workforce just for demographic reasons.” So he supports WSU Spokane’s efforts to expand the capacity in its medical education programs. Most of his doctors were drawn to Lake Chelan in part because they had rural residencies. Lake Chelan is one of WWAMI’s WRITE program participants. Abel says that was driven by Dr. Clements in one of the local clinics. Abel says his doctors enjoy having medical students. ”One of the benefits of that is that, because we’re in a rural community, it’s easier to get isolated.” He says bringing in medical students “kind of helps us break out of that.”
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, Chelan County hosts some of the 378 professional preceptors who work with WSU pharmacy students at clinical sites in eastern and central Washington.
Chelan County unemployment rate (Nov. 2012): 7.4% (state average 7.8% seasonally adjusted, 7.3% not seasonally adjusted) 8
Health care/social assistance employment in Chelan County 9: 4,846
(out of 43,200 jobs). It’s the county’s third-largest employer, providing about $61.3 million in payroll, almost 18.4% of the county’s total payroll.
Tripp Umbach estimate of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Chelan County (2009): 13.5 jobs, $2.6 million in economic impact, $205,000 in local taxes
Tripp Umbach projection of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Chelan County (2030): 113 jobs, $19.5 million in economic impact, $1.36 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: 8
Legislative District: 12
County Seat: Wenatchee
WSU Extension helps jailed men in Chelan County become 'Fit Fathers.'
"We use yoga as a way to help them strengthen their parenting skills." Read more.
(Photo courtesy of Jennifer Crawford)