Improving health in rural communities

May 24, 2017
Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville, Wash.

To provide access to care and services that keep residents healthy in the rural northeast corner of Washington state, Providence conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment every three years.

By listening to the voices in our community, we can better understand the most pressing health needs from the perspective of some of the most marginalized groups of people. Key findings in Stevens County, Wash., communities served by Providence Mount Carmel Hospital and Providence St. Joseph Hospital include high rates of poverty, obesity and teen alcohol use.

Identifying top health priorities, together

Based on data and input gathered in the assessment, Providence’s community benefit investments and programs will be prioritized to address the following top priorities over the coming years.

  • Early childhood support
  • Basic food and nutrition
  • Behavioral health
  • Access to care

“We express our sincere gratitude to our community partners who help us identify the greatest needs and create lasting solutions,” said Elaine Couture, chief executive of Providence Health & Services Eastern Washington and Western Montana. “By working together, we are connecting resources, maximizing our collective strengths, and finding new ways to improve the health of our communities.”

Measuring our success

Guided by our Community Health Needs Assessments, Providence invested more than $125 million in community benefit throughout Spokane and Stevens Counties of Eastern Washington in 2016. Through programs and donations, health education, charity care, medical research and more, Providence fulfills unmet needs and improves the health and well-being of those we serve—especially for the most poor and vulnerable.