With the support of a $30,000 grant from The Regence Foundation, a study by the local hospital district and park district has the potential to reshape community wellness for residents, the foundation says.
The Douglas Grant Lincoln & Okanogan Counties Public Hospital Dist. 6 will conduct a Central Washington Community Wellness Center feasibility study to determine whether a wellness center serving residents could help bring down high rates of chronic disease.
“Four diseases – cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory disease and diabetes – account for more than half of all deaths among Washington adults,” said Peggy Maguire, Regence Foundation board chair. “We believe prevention, wellness and education can make a difference, and that this grant can help determine the scope of need and where to target the counties’ efforts.”
Provider shortages, increased poverty, lack of specialized care centers, coupled with the isolation of rural communities, pose increased risk factors for chronic diseases.
The hospital distict is the public entity that operates Coulee Medical Center. It is researching the wellness center idea in partnership with the Coulee Area Park and Recreation District, which contributed a $20,000 grant from Grant County.
As part of the study, the hospital district will, over the next three months:
• Survey community organizations and facilities, both public and private.
• Define the number of users for each facility component, the frequency of use, and programs and services needed.
• Develop options on facility design, estimate construction costs, and project operating costs and revenues for a five-year period.
• Include examples of multi-use recreation facilities used in similar communities.
“We firmly believe that activities focused on prevention, wellness and education give every member in our community the best possible chance of staying healthy and enjoying their life to the fullest,” CMC Chief Executive Officer J. Scott Graham said. “We fully understand our responsibility to be a leader in this area and look forward to taking the next steps to make a wellness center a reality for this area.”
The Regence Foundation is affiliated with Asuris Northwest Health, an eastern Washington community-based, non-profit health plan. A non-profit grantmaking organization, Regence partners with organizations driving significant change in health care delivery and accessibility in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington.