Health Care Provider Impact Statement for Stevens County
Number of docs in 2009: 43. That's 10.2 physicians per 10,000 population1, the ninth highest rate in eastern Washington. Washington's rate is 21.2 physicians per 10,000; the national average is about 20.2 per 10,000.2 Washington imports about 85% of its physicians from other states or nations.3
Health professional breakout:
---Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville lists seven MDs and one DO on staff. It also has access to 11 MDs and one DO from the Northeast Washington Medical Group.
---St. Joseph's Hospital in Chewelah lists six MDs from Chewelah Associated Physicians on its doctors' list.4
Number of current WWAMI Spokane medical students from Stevens County: zero
Number of current WSU pharmacy students from Stevens County: two
Number of current WSU nursing students from Stevens County: seven
Number of current WSU Spokane nutrition/exercise physiology students from Stevens County: one
Number of current WSU speech and hearing sciences students from Stevens County: one
UW School of Medicine clinical faculty in Stevens County: 20 MDs, one DO5
Health professionals from Stevens County who graduated from Washington colleges: Two of the physicians at Providence Mt. Carmel Hospital in Colville served their residencies in Washington.6
Colville shares a Family Medicine rural residency with Spokane. The students spend one year in Spokane and two in Colville. Kettle Falls and Chewelah 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).7
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, Stevens County also hosts some of the 231 pharmacy preceptors who work with WSU pharmacy students at clinical sites in northeastern Washington and northern Idaho.
Voices from Stevens County: Bob Campbell, the CEO at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville, volunteered to be an advocate for an expanded medical education program in Spokane. He says a rural residency program there has helped his hospital lure 15-18 doctors to Stevens County. "They train here, then stay here," he says. "Doctors here get to hone their diagnostic skills. They have to be more independent" because there aren't many specialists in Stevens County with whom they can consult. His hospital also has a few undergrad medical students cycle through each year. Barry Bacon from the Northeast Washington Medical Group in Colville says he's currently recruiting an internal medicine physician, two emergency room physicians and a family physician who can perform Caesarian sections. "The most difficult of the three is the internal medicine physician," he says. "Most internists specialize or they are swallowed up in the hospitalist programs, leaving very few who wish to go to a small town." As a result, he says many of the county's family doctors have to handle a broad range of cases and patients. He says it's getting harder to find physicians who will do that. "We see things getting worse in primary care, since most physicians specialize, for economic or lifestyle reasons."
Stevens 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 Stevens County 9: 1,547 (out of 9,900 jobs). It's the county's second-largest employer, behind government, providing about $13 million in payroll, about 16.1% of the county's total payroll.
Tripp Umbach estimate of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Stevens County (2009): 94 jobs, $18 million in economic impact, $1.43 million in local taxes
Tripp Umbach projection of annual impact of Spokane academic health sciences on Stevens County (2030): 791 jobs, $136.4 million, $9.5 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)