Dozens of university leaders, health care personnel, and community members gathered Thursday for the unveiling of the future home of a new Family Medicine Residency program within Pullman Regional Hospital.
Approximately 5,000 square feet of space within the hospital was remodeled to accommodate the new Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine residency program. Among the additions were 14 patient exam rooms, a waiting and reception area, a library and conference room, procedure rooms and office space for faculty and residents.
“What a great day to be a Coug,” WSU President Kirk Schulz told audience members, noting that many in attendance had been working on this project for years since the idea of bringing a family medicine residency program to Pullman took shape. Schulz said he hoped and expected to hear from community leaders seeking guidance on how the program took shape.
“I want other communities to see that we got it to work here and have them ask how they can make it work within their communities,” Schulz said.
The program will welcome its first group of residents in the summer of 2023. Physician residents are practicing doctors who’ve graduated from medical school and are pursuing a specialty. The three-year program will have up to three new physicians every year, reaching its maximum of nine residents by 2026.
“We’re not done until we have seen positive changes in health care outcomes in this community.”Dr. James Record
Interim dean of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Washington State University
The importance of serving rural communities with first-class medical care featured prominently in remarks from hospital and university leaders, as did the importance of keeping new physicians in communities like Pullman.
“Our mission is to train medical students and ensure they are receiving training here in Washington, but also to get them into a residency program where they want to stay and support their communities,” Dr. James Record, interim dean for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, said. “We’re not done until we have seen positive changes in health care outcomes in this community.”
Scott Adams, CEO of Pullman Regional Hospital, characterized the partnership between the hospital and WSU as “a fusion between a world-class university and a world-class healthcare community.”
Adams also spoke about the array of support the project received in the years after the idea was first discussed. Development of the new Family Medicine Residency Center was funded entirely through philanthropy, with ongoing fundraising going to support the program.
Several high-profile grants and gifts led to the creation of the new family medicine residency program:
- $5.5 million in grants from Premera Blue Cross
- A $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration
- The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust grant totaling $450,000
- A $300,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation
- Tom and Linda Nihoul, WSU alums and healthcare advocates, provided a $250,000 gift
The new residency center was part of a $7.6 million fundraising campaign — The Next Era of Excellence — managed by the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation and its volunteer campaign cabinet members. The campaign also supported the hospital’s Orthopedic Center of Excellence, allowing it to procure state-of-the-art imaging equipment, expand its patient care space and support its Regional High School Athletic Training Program.
Among those who spoke ahead of the ribbon cutting were Adams, Schulz and Record, as well as a representative for Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dr. Steven Hall, who has been providing medical care to the Palouse for more than 13 years. Among those who officially opened the center with a ribbon cutting were WSU Spokane Chancellor Daryll DeWald and Elizabeth Chilton, chancellor of WSU Pullman, provost and executive vice president
WSU Family Medicine Residency Center
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