Sunday, July 21, 2024
Point of View

Three Rivers says ‘thank you’ for 75 years

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Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) play a crucial role in providing healthcare services to residents in remote and underserved areas. Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster is one such organization. We cover about 2,500 square miles that includes the quad cities of Brewster, Bridgeport, Mansfield and Pateros, as well as the entire Methow Valley up to the Canadian border.

It’s no secret that small rural hospitals like ours have faced quite a few challenges, the biggest one being financial. Our district has a large population of lower income residents, many of whom have Medicare or Medicaid, or they’re uninsured. We have some avenues to help patients with their hospital bills, such as financial assistance, but the overall state of the economy has impacted people’s decisions about whether to seek healthcare or to put it off.

Other obstacles include recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals, maintaining outdated infrastructure, and keeping up with ever-changing regulations and requirements from state and federal health agencies.

Despite these challenges, Three Rivers stands as a beacon of resilience and dedication to our communities. We marked 75 years of service in January this year, an achievement that we hope speaks to our commitment to providing high-quality healthcare to all of you. Over the years, Three Rivers Hospital has continued to adapt and innovate to meet the needs of our patients.

In the last 10 years, we have:

  • Paid off about $3 million in registered warrants to Okanogan County;
  • Invested in state-of-the-art patient care equipment;
  • Recruited a team of excellent providers;
  • Built up our family practice and specialty clinic;
  • Strengthened our hiring processes to ensure each employee is aligned with our organizational values and goals; and
  • Started plans to one day replace the existing building so that we can be here for 75 more years. 

The hospital's anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on our rich history while also looking ahead to the future. It serves as a reminder of the vital role that rural CAHs play in ensuring access to healthcare for all individuals, regardless of their geographical location or socioeconomic status. As Three Rivers Hospital observes this milestone during National Hospital Week, we know we can and will continue to overcome hurdles. We gratefully share the credit with everyone who supports our hospital. We deeply appreciate not only our patients, but the dozens of organizations we work with to make our communities healthier.

The nature of healthcare is continuously evolving, but one thing that will never change is our dedication to do the right things for our patients and hospital district.

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