(Waterville, WA) On November 1, Wenatchee Valley Medical Center (WVMC) began providing healthcare services at “Wenatchee Valley Medical Center: Waterville” located in the same facility that previously housed the Waterville Clinic. Derek Whitehall, PA-C, has been hired as the primary provider and will serve the Waterville community full time. Additionally, physicians from WVMC will continue seeing patients in Waterville on a regular basis.
Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and the Douglas County Hospital District #2 entered into an agreement for WVMC to provide healthcare services in Waterville. This decision came after the hospital’s board of commissioners spent several months looking at alternatives to allow continued provision of primary care and urgent care services in Waterville, given the previous operations’ significant financial losses. Although the hospital district is funded in part by tax dollars, the Waterville Clinic had been impacted by changes in the healthcare industry, as well as low patient counts. Without a change, healthcare services in Waterville would have ceased by the end of 2012.
Wenatchee Valley Medical Center had a longstanding relationship with the Waterville Clinic, and this provided an opportunity to expand on that partnership and offer additional services to the community. In addition to the services previously offered at the Waterville Clinic, pharmacy, digital x-ray, vaccinations and infant care are now available with the opening of Wenatchee Valley Medical Center: Waterville. The goal is to make primary health care services easily accessible and convenient for residents of the Waterville area. The Douglas County Hospital District will continue to run the ambulance services, as they are currently.
Dr. Peter Rutherford, Chairman and CEO of Wenatchee Valley Medical Center said “Over the years, the goal of WVMC has been to build a regional healthcare network that delivers high quality, safe, efficient and cost-effective care for the residents of North Central Washington. We felt it was important for the residents of Waterville to continue having access to primary health care and a pharmacy, without needing to travel for that care.”