June 22, 2017: The closure of Walla Walla General Hospital has caused major dilemmas for several community partners that have relied on the hospital’s services.
Walla Walla’s Union-Bulletin reported that partners ranging from those relying on the facility for contracted medical care to nursing students needing work experience, have been adversely affected by the news.
Family Medical Center, a local clinic, worked with Walla Walla General for almost 30 years before the announcement that the hospital would be closed.
The clinic’s patients that were giving birth as well as those requiring other specialty care were referred to the hospital. The closure will mean the clinic having to find another partner
Similarly, the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center used Walla Walla General for non-campus appointments. These patients will now have to find other options with the VA and other providers.
Walla Walla Community College students are also negatively affected as the hospital closes.
Students studying nursing, allied health and phlebotomy will be impacted.
School officials are working to find alternative venues for these students to gain practical experience.
Walla Walla University is facing multiple challenges as it loses a fellow Adventist institution which it played a role in starting 118 years ago.
The university’s clinic has relied on the hospital for services. The university’s Nursing students trained at Walla Walla General. In addition, the hospital employed many of the institution’s graduates.
Plans announced in April to transfer the control of Walla Walla General from parent system Adventist Health to Providence Health & Services were halted earlier this week
Adventist Health announced that the hospital would instead be closed.
In addition to the shuttering of the hospital, Adventist Health Home Care Services and Adventist Health Medical Group will close.
Regulatory hurdles threatened to delay the intended transfer of control or make it impossible. This led to the closure decision.
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