Health Care Providers Impact Statement for Pend Oreille County
Number of docs in 2009: nine. That’s 7.0 physicians per 10,000 population1: the fourth lowest rate in eastern Washington. Washington’s rate is 21.2 physicians per 10,000; the national average is about 20.2 per 10,000.2 Washington imports about 85% of its physicians from other states or nations.3
Health professional breakout: Newport Hospital and Health Services employs five MDs, two DOs and two physician assistants in its hospital and clinic.4
Number of current WWAMI Spokane medical students from Pend Oreille County: zero
Number of current WSU pharmacy students from Pend Oreille County: zero
Number of current WSU Spokane nursing students from Pend Oreille County: four
UW School of Medicine clinical faculty in Pend Oreille County: one MD5
Health professionals in Pend Oreille County who graduated from Washington counties: One of Newport Hospital’s physicians came from the UW School of Medicine. Four had residencies in Washington, one had a fellowship.6
Newport hosts third-year medical students through the WRITE program (WWAMI Integrated Rural Training Experience). Those students spend a few weeks of their first/second years practicing in Newport, then work there for five months during their third years. Newport is also a site for first-year medical students looking to practice their skills in a rural setting (Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program).7
About 600 medical professionals in 26 eastern and central Washington communities serve as preceptors (instructors) for UW/WSU medical students. In addition, Newport hosts a few of the 231 professional preceptors who work with WSU pharmacy students at clinical sites in the Greater Spokane/northeastern Washington/northern Idaho region.
Voice from Pend Oreille County: Tom Wilbur is the CEO for the Newport Hospital District. It operates a hospital and two clinics, plus assisted living and skilled nursing centers. The district employs seven MDs, including one surgeon, and six physicians assistants. Its 24/7 emergency room is always staffed by PAs. “We had trouble recruiting mid-levels last year,” Wilbur says, as urban hospitals shifted toward hiring more less expensive providers. “We had to readjust our pay levels.” Wilbur says four of the district’s six PAs came from the WWAMI Rural Residency program. “We’ve been very lucky” when it comes to recruiting doctors. Their average age is 43. All were born and raised in rural areas and all want to work in rural settings. “We’ve been able to recruit good docs,” Wilbur says. “We don’t have to take what we can get. Many come to us.” He tells of one recent medical student who was all fired up after his clinical experience in Newport. “He’s ready to come work for us.” Wilbur’s district has taken on WWAMI students for 3-4 week rotations. Next year, it will become a WRITE site. He says the hospital would love to take more students. “It’s the best recruiting tool we have,” he says.
Pend Oreille County unemployment rate (Apr. 2013): 11.0% (state average 7.0% seasonally adjusted, 6.5% not seasonally adjusted) 8
Health care/social assistance employment in Pend Oreille County 9: 102 (out of 3,000 jobs). It’s the county’s sixth-largest employer, providing about $583,000 in payroll, about 2.1% of the county’s total payroll.
Tripp Umbach estimate of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Pend Oreille County (2009): 27 jobs, $5 million in economic impact, $402,000 in local taxes
Tripp Umbach projection of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Pend Oreille County (2030): 223 jobs, $38.4 million, $2.68 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)