From its emergency department and outpatient surgery to inpatient services, women’s imaging and diagnostic center, renal dialysis center, highly-skilled medical specialists and a host of other medical clinics and services, Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus proudly and professionally serves a population of approximately sixty thousand people in Washington State’s Lewis-Clark Valley and surrounding areas.
As the only community owned and operated, not-for-profit hospital in the area, the twenty-five-bed Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus is an important part of the health of community members of all ages.
In the 1950s, area residents felt there was a need for a medical facility in Clarkston, WA. Together, they set about raising funds and going through the process creating a community-owned hospital to serve the people of the area. After they put enough money together to build a hospital, ground was broken for construction, and Tri-State Memorial Hospital opened in 1955. Sixty-three years later, Tri-State continues to play a vital role serving a ten-county region in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. “We are the only community hospital around here,” says Tri-State’s David Jones, chief operating officer. “That’s very important to the community and the people that we serve.”
Tri-State Memorial Hospital meets community health needs with its more than five hundred highly-skilled full- and part-time providers and staff, over fifty dedicated volunteers, and a committed volunteer board of directors. The hospital has added a medical campus in recent years and other fresh initiatives include opening a new family practice clinic, the announcement of a new infectious disease clinic, and the acquisition of a medical clinic.
Tri-State is expanding to meet needs of the entire Lewis-Clark Valley community. In late May, Tri-State Family Practice Lewiston opened, and it is set to have four primary care providers by early this fall. Tri-State Family Practice Lewiston is in addition to the Clarkston, Washington clinic that offers a host of services including annual wellness exams, flu shots, DOT exam, and occupational health for employers on the Tri-State Memorial Hospital campus.
As well as the new family practice, Tri-State’s board of directors recently unanimously approved the acquisition of the Lewiston, Idaho-based Clearwater Medical Clinic that offers services ranging from general medicine to children’s health, senior health, aesthetics, radiology, and weight management programs. The transition is to be finalized by this October, and the move will see the over forty staff at Clearwater become an important part of Tri-State’s team. One provider from Clearwater Medical Clinic will be moving to join Tri-State Rheumatology to provide greater access to patients with rheumatology needs.
“We believe this transition will enable us to continue providing the highest standard of medical care to our patients and our community,” Celso Chavez, MD of the Clearwater Medical Clinic, said in a release. He looks forward to the collaboration improving patient care and to collaborating with Tri-State, “a facility whose vision aligns so closely with our own.” For Tri-State’s CEO Don Wee, the acquisition of the Clearwater clinic represents a bold move to bring health care outside of the four walls of the hospital – a very traditional model – “and to bring services out to the community.”
Worldwide, communities are faced with the issue of an aging population. Part of Tri-State is Evergreen Estates Retirement & Assisted Living Community, an independent and assisted living facility created in the mid-1980s. Evergreen Estates is undergoing significant improvements to serve the Lewis-Clark Valley community better, including a three-story addition to its existing building, along with a new memory care unit. Evergreen Estates currently serves over one hundred residents on the assisted living and independent living side, and the addition, which will also see upgrades to existing rooms, represents a significant investment.
“Serving the community, the organization has chosen to make a major investment with not only adding more space for residents this year but renovating older rooms,” says Tri-State’s Don Wee, chief executive officer, who has led Tri-State for almost a decade. “So it’s not just complementary business, but it’s another way we’re supporting the community.”
The 34,000-square-foot addition is to be completed in phases and is set for completion in late 2019, with the renovation and memory care unit expected to be finished by 2019. Once completed, the one-bedroom apartments will boast fully-outfitted kitchenettes, and constant access to caregivers will continue to be provided.
“Not only are we adding rooms and renovating current rooms on the medical side and Evergreen Estates, Tri-State likes to take care of the whole person,” states Wee, adding that the dietary area will also be redone. “It is not going to look like your typical seniors’ center. It’s going to have a little bistro, some positive distractions for the residents that they can find entertainment in as well, such as a movie theatre and those types of things.” Once completed, the total number of apartments will increase from 95 to 131, including the twenty new memory care units, which are being created to keep up with demand from people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Among Tri-State’s many other forward-looking changes was an announcement that Anubhav Kanwar, MD, joined the new Tri-State Infectious Disease Clinic which opened on July 23, 2018. The clinic specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of known or suspected infectious diseases and offers services including antibiotic therapy, infection prevention and counseling, immunizations, pre-travel consultations, and screening for HIV, MRSA, and Hepatitis C. And for patients with chronic and non-healing wounds, the new clinic works with Tri-State Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Services, conveniently located in Tri-State’s on-site medical office building, which houses all of the specialty medical clinics.
“With the addition of the infectious disease clinic, we have an incredible opportunity to improve access to high-quality prevention and treatment for some of the most complex conditions,” said Joleen Carper, Chief of Clinic Services for Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus in a release. “Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases are important now more than ever with an increase in international travel and potential antibiotic resistance. We are so pleased Dr. Kanwar has joined Tri-State and is committed to keeping our community healthy and safe.”
Tri-State also recently announced a new partnership with Rosauers Supermarkets, which will see the organization open its first Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic in October of this year inside of the Rosauers Supermarkets at 332 Thain Road in Lewiston, Idaho. “The clinic will be open seven days a week, and operating hours will align with Rosauers Pharmacy. This will be the first of several convenient care clinics that Tri-State Memorial Hospital plans to open in the LC Valley and surrounding areas,” says the company in a press release. “The community will now have a fast, convenient, affordable alternative to receiving healthcare if they cannot get in to see their primary care provider. The Tri-State Convenient Care Clinic will provide same day service with no appointment necessary for non-life threatening injury and illness including sore throats, sinus infections, colds and flu, minor cuts and sprains, as well offer basic lab services, vaccinations, wellness exams, and sports physicals.”
To be sure, Tri-State Memorial Hospital & Medical Campus provides thousands of residents in the Lewis-Clark Valley with professional medical services, but is also active in other areas, including a comprehensive range of community education classes, events, and support groups to promote health and wellness in community, and these represent a significant initiative of the hospital. Tri-State has received numerous awards for patient satisfaction over the years and was honored to be the recipient of the accountable care organization (ACO) of the year award in 2017 at the Caravan Health Accountable Care Symposium.
“That’s nice, because it is a national award and shows the commitment of our physicians and providers, along with our staff, towards improving quality outcomes and lowering costs,” says Wee. “But if you look at us locally, the 60,000-plus locals voted us for many years ‘Best of the West’ for Tri-State Memorial Hospital and Evergreen Estates, and we are very proud of that, since that’s voted on by the community.” Tri-State was also awarded HealthCare’s ‘Most Wired’ award for technology in 2016 and in 2017 and is ISO 9001 certified for healthcare, which means it both meets requirements for healthcare standards and is continually improving its processes.
“With respect to challenges, Tri-State is doing very well with patient satisfaction, quality results, and financially,” says Jones. “When our community has challenges, we accept those challenges, because for us to be successful, the community has to be successful. That’s why it’s important we are a community hospital. So what we do when we talk about diabetes or obesity, we take those challenges, and we give the community tools. Among those tools that we are supplying is a very strong diabetes program. We have a dedicated diabetes educator and a group of registered dietitian nutritionists who are active in the community. So we take a preventative approach to support those challenges in the community,” Jones shares.
“We want to take care of the entire person. For us, that means we want to concentrate on preventative care and those type of things in a very quick manner, where people don’t have to go to the hospital for everything. We want them to go to the neighborhoods where they live and receive preventative care,” he said, adding, “We want to take care of the entire person closer to their own homes.”