Letter From the Executive
Community Health of Central Washington is growing to meet the needs of our communities. But being big is not what makes us great. It is a thousand little things that make great. Things like:
More than 60 dedicated primary care practitioners
– family doctors, pediatricians, internists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dental providers
– working together for quality, and working
individually to be a personal care provider to each of their patients;
More than 140 other staff members, teamed up with providers to assist patients with information, education, coordination, and other support they need to manage their own health and to navigate today’s complex health care system;
Pharmacists, psychologists, outreach workers, nurse care managers, lab techs, x-ray techs and others who, as part of the care team, expand the scope of services available to patients at CHCW sites;
The ability to respond to the needs of our communities with innovative programs like our family medicine residency training program, the Pediatric Hospitalist Service, WIC services, chronic pain management services, and oral health services; and
Our many fruitful collaborations that improve access to effective and efficient health care services in our communities with partners like Memorial Hospital and the Memorial Foundation; Yakima Regional Hospital; Kittitas Valley Community Hospital; Yakima Health District, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, and others.
Our staff has risen to the challenge of these times. They are providing more care with fewer resources, while maintaining quality. This unrelent- ing recession has caused more people to seek care in safety net settings like ours. At the same time, state and federal deficits have resulted in cuts to the programs that serve our patients, and in payment for our services. A lot of people are depending on us, and we plan to live up to their expectations.
Residency Program Grows
Education has always been an integral and fundamental part of the CHCW mission. The Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program was launched in 1993 with a commitment to the development of excellent family doctors.
Following graduation from medical school, new physicians spend at least three more years in residency training before entering independent practice. Our resident physicians provide continuous care to their patients at Central Washington Family Medicine, and participate in training experiences in specialty clinics and at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Yakima Regional Medical & Cardiac Center. Following completion of their training the residency graduates are eligible for specialty board certification and enter independent practice as new family medicine physicians.
The Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program celebrated its 18th graduation; 101 residents have completed the program, with 25 graduates remaining in the Yakima Valley to practice family medicine…
We are proud of the role the residency continues to play in improving the health of our communities.
Yakima Pediatrics Expands
Yakima Pediatrics had reached a turning point. Despite providing care to 500-570 children per week, they still had to defer parents and their sick children to the ER due to lack of appointment availability. In order to meet the needs of the community, they needed to hire additional providers; in order to hire new providers, they needed more space.
Thus began the quest to increase capacity at Yakima Pediatrics. after months of planning, the clinic expansion process began. Next- door neighbor, Valley Imaging, offered 1000 square feet of space, allowing for eight new exam rooms, as well as expanded waiting room and restroom space. Now, with the expansion complete, Yakima Pediatrics is fully prepared for the next flu season.
Yakima Pediatrics has added 500 new patients to their clinic, with plenty of room for additional growth.
Two additional providers have been added to the clinic’s staff, increasing the potential appointment capacity by an additional 125-175 patients every week. Yakima Pediatrics has been able to add 500 new patients to their clinic, with plenty of room for additional growth. As Clinic Manager, Jody Boggess, states, “We are now able to get most patients into our clinic on a same day basis. We anticipate a winter where we will be able to see all our patients here at the clinic… their medical home… rather than sending some to the ER.”
Pediatric Hospitalist Service
CHCW and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital joined forces in a collaborative effort to provide a higher level of care locally for children in our region who were very sick, and thus needing hospitalization. This Pediatric Hospitalist Service, led by Dr. Kerry Harthcock, allows children to stay in our community to receive their care, surrounded by family and loved ones. Because the Pediatric Hospitalist partnership provides consistent inpatient physician expertise, kids who otherwise might need to be transferred for care are now able to receive advanced care here in Yakima…their home. Outlying areas in our region benefit too, as this highly effective and efficient service allows residents access to care.
This new service is indeed meeting its goals, while also decreasing the length of stay, and subsequent cost for care for our pediatric patients. The number of children admitted for a hospital stay who reside in more remote areas of our region has increased, thus providing medical services that were previously not available in Yakima and Kittitas Counties. Communication between the Pediatric Hospitalist Service and families, upon discharge, ensures continuity of care for the patient. The service provides Pediatric Hospitalist coverage 24 hours per day, seven days a week. As Sandy Dahl, Memorial Hospital Vice President for Patient Care Services, says, “We are so pleased about the quality of the services provided, and could not have a better partner than CHCW!”
The goals of this service are simple, yet significant:
• Improve pediatric care
• Increase effectiveness and efficiencies
• Increase services to children in outlying areas
• Increase clinical expertise of the multi- disciplinary team
• Provide consistent hospital physician coverage
In Service to Others
The dedicated staff of Community Health of Central Washington participated in volunteer activities that better our communities, while also raising funds for local service organizations and foundations dedicated to improving the quality of life for residents in our region. Service organizations and facilities such as Children’s Village, March of Dimes, Camp Prime Time, Pegasus Project, and Rod’s House were recipients
of thousands of dollars raised by CHCW staff, while medical personnel volunteered hundreds of hours in service to the United Way of Yakima and Kittitas counties, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, and local area middle and high schools. With a special emphasis on helping those most vulnerable and those with the greatest needs in our communities, CHCW personnel indeed affirm that an essential part of a happy, healthy life is being of service to others.