SEATTLE – Summit Pacific Medical Center in Elma has earned the Washington State Hospital Association’s Community Health Leadership Award, one of two hospitals to receive the honor.
Summit Pacific and the Edward Thomas House Expanded Medical Respite Program received the award during the association’s annual meeting on Oct. 17 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.
The purpose of the Community Health Leadership Award is to recognize health care organizations that provide a strong programs to benefit the broader health needs of their communities.
Summit Pacific in Elma opened in February 2013, hoping to provide the residents of East Grays Harbor County with much-needed access to primary care, prevention and chronic care management. Grays Harbor County has some of the poorest health in the state, with health outcomes ranked 36 among Washington’s 39 counties. The community had been served by a 50-year-old Mark Reed facility that hospital officials say was not well suited to deliver care in a modern, well-coordinated way.
The board and leadership team built community support for the project and secured a loan from Washington State’s USDA Rural Development Office, the first loan of its type to be awarded by that department. With the funding in hand, they built the new Elma facility that provides access to emergency services and acute care, but its primary focus is on helping people access health care services that will keep them healthy, according to hospital officials.
Edward Thomas House in Seattle provides homeless patients with a temporary place to stay when they are discharged from the hospital.
The Washington State Hospital Association represents all of Washington’s 98 community hospitals. The association takes a leadership role in issues that affect delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of health care. It works to improve the health status of the residents of Washington State. WSHA is online at www.wsha.org.