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Submitted by Providence Swedish

For more than 160 years, the Providence family of organizations has served as a vital safety net for those who are vulnerable. Our steadfast commitment to responding to community needs is one of the many ways we live out our mission and work toward health for a better world.

Providence recently released its 2023 Annual Report to Our Communities. The report highlights how Providence partnered in the seven states where it operates to address the most difficult public health crisis of our time. In South Puget Sound, the Providence Swedish investment included $72 million in unpaid costs of Medicaid and other means-tested government programs and $12 million in free and discounted care for the uninsured and underinsured.

Additional community investment included $12 million toward health professional education and research, $6 million in subsidized health services and $226,000 in community health improvement and strategic partnerships.

“By focusing on the development of physicians in our residency programs, we strive to ensure access to health care for all while remaining dedicated to serving those who are most vulnerable,” said Providence Swedish South Puget Sound Chief Executive Darin Goss. “We take pride in the collaboration between our residents, faculty, and community partners to reach out and assist those in need wherever they may be.”

Photo courtesy: Providence Swedish

Residency Programs Fill Needs, Help Develop Providers of the Future

In 2023, Providence Swedish invested $12 million in the development of health professionals in South Puget Sound. There are currently 21 residents at St. Peter Family Medicine, 9 in the Chehalis Family Medicine Rural Residency Program, and 6 in the St. Peter Summit Pacific Rural Family Medicine Program.

The residents and interdisciplinary faculty steadfastly serve vulnerable populations, including those in rural, medically underserved areas. Residents and faculty work diligently to address health inequities, reduce healthcare disparities, and improve patient outcomes. 

These residents care for more than 15,000 patients annually in South Puget Sound, the vast majority of which are uninsured or underinsured and might not be able to find a provider otherwise.

The St. Peter and Chehalis residents also participate in numerous programs supporting vulnerable individuals, which might not be possible without resident participation, including:

  • Mobile Outreach Program – St. Peter Family Residency has a collaborative relationship with the Providence Street Medicine Team and Mobile Clinic Unit and with Olympic Health & Recovery Services’ Homeless Outreach and Stabilization Team, which allows primary care providers to bridge the gap between unhoused individuals and the many barriers that prevent them from accessing traditional primary care models. This work helps train the future primary care workforce to engage more effectively with stigmatized and marginalized populations and to understand the unique health challenges of unhoused patients as well as the community resources that exist to help them.
  • Adolescent Obstetrics- For 25 years, St. Peter Family Medicine has operated a prenatal care program for adolescent parents that incorporates group-based, resident/student-led education in pregnancy and newborn care and facilitation of peer support for this high-risk population.
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment – Residents rotate twice a month to support a Med First Clinic and identify patients for the Chehalis Family Medicine Substance Use Disorder Treatment Clinic. These patients then receive treatment at Chehalis Family Medicine for substance use/misuse and are also enabled to establish care with a primary care provider for all other medical needs. Residents also partner with the Lewis County Drug Court to help individuals with drug offenses through their treatment plans.
  • Health and Hope Free Clinic – Residents rotate at this Centralia free clinic monthly and provide access to care to a high number of patients with undocumented status and many language barriers.

For more information on these residency programs, go to their websites:

• St. Peter Family Medicine Residency

• Chehalis Rural Training Program

About Providence Swedish South Puget Sound

Providence Swedish in South Puget Sound touches more lives in the 550,000 five-county service area of Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties than any other health care provider.

It is made up of:

  • Providence St. Peter Hospital, a 372-bed facility founded in 1887
  • Providence Centralia Hospital, a 128-bed facility founded in 1926
  • Providence Medical Group in Southwest Washington, including more than 40 clinics with more than 1,000 primary, specialty care and hospital-based providers

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