WSU, local hospital partner to improve service

Steering committee will help give collaboration direction, CEO says



The partnership between WSU and Pullman Regional Hospital is the first official partnership of its kind. Some of the goals from both groups include joint fundraising and improved health care services.

CODY SCHOELER, Evergreen reporter

Officials from Pullman Regional Hospital and WSU announced a partnership Nov. 8 to improve health care services in the Pullman community.

PRH CEO Scott Adams said the official collaboration is an expansion on over 70 years of work with the university since the hospital was founded.

He said PRH will work with the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and the human development and kinesiology departments along with other sections of the university.

“Probably the most exciting one is the opportunity because of the college of medicine up in Spokane,” Adams said. “To collaborate and help organize a physician training residency in family medicine here in Pullman, that would be a huge benefit to the college of medicine and our community.”

Another goal for the hospital and WSU is to benefit from joint fundraising, Adams said. He said fundraising is not something PRH and the university have worked on together before, but he sees the collaboration as a service to the community.

There will also be a steering committee made of employees from both the hospital and the university, Adams said. The committee will meet to identify opportunities and coordinate ongoing activities.

“With a steering committee it’ll have some direction to it throughout,” he said. “Right now it’s kind of piecemeal … There’s nobody keeping track of what are all the things that are in place.”

As it is now, hospital employees have contacts at WSU and university employees reach out to various groups they know at the hospital. Adams said the steering committee will provide some direction for collaborators and allow both groups to keep better track of various programs.

He said hospital administrators talked regularly with President Kirk Schulz over the summer, which resulted in ideas to formalize the partnership for the first time.

He said Schulz and the university have established a commitment to positively influence the Pullman community and collaborating with the hospital is one way to do that.

“[It creates] a sense of the medical school being a part of the main campus of WSU,” Adams said, “and that adds to the sense of commitment, the sense of ownership that the Pullman community can feel for the medical school.”

The partnership was designed to improve work done by both WSU and the hospital, he said.

“[It is] an effort that brings people together,” Adams said. “We’re going to see a next level of excellence for health care, for the university’s involvement in the community, for the role of the WSU college of medicine strengthening and developing health care in Pullman.”