SPOKANE, Wash., (May 1, 2014) – Twenty years ago, the region’s two competing health systems came together to take a bold move—join together services they were providing independently to better serve the region’s health care needs. In a progressive business move, Providence Services of Eastern Washington and Empire Health Services decided it would be in the community’s best interest to combine their air ambulance transport and their rehabilitation services to form a new collaborative organization named Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS).
“It was a remarkable showing of leadership by the hospital administrators and their boards of directors,” said Tom Fritz, CEO of INHS. “To have the vision and the courage to enter into a partnership with your competitor because it’s the right thing to do for the community is rare and that success should be celebrated.”
Over the last twenty years, INHS has built on that legacy of collaboration, growing its offerings to include eight distinct lines of business, including:
- Northwest MedStar – a critical care transport system which has grown from one to six bases across the northwest and has transported more than 64,000 people;
- St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute – the region’s largest inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation center which has served more than 140,000 patients since 1994;
- Information Resource Management (IRM) – a nationally renowned health information technology division, which provides connectivity, interoperability and meaningful use services to more than 40 hospitals and physician clinics across the region and beyond;
- COHE Community of Eastern Washington – a collaborative program with Washington State Department of L&I that has expanded from three to 19 counties getting injured workers to return to work while using occupational health best practices;
- Health Training – now one of the nation’s largest American Heart Association training centers providing professional education;
- Community Wellness - offers programs on diabetes education, weight and nutrition management and other topics to empower community members and area businesses and employees to live healthier.
- Northwest TeleHealth - provides access to clinical, administrative and educational programs and services in rural communities through the use of video technology.
“INHS is a true Spokane success story,” said Fritz. “We’ve taken the vision our founding members had around the benefits of collaboration and carried that philosophy throughout everything we’ve built – from ensuring health care providers have secure electronic access to critical health information to treat their patients, to connecting physicians and patients in different locations through our video conferencing network.”
As a result of the expansion of services over the last 20 years, INHS has grown from almost $10 million in annual revenue to more than $200 million in 2013. The organization has increased the number of people they employ from 422 in 1994 to nearly 1068 today, making INHS one of the top 20 employers in Spokane County.
“A healthy community is one that comes together for the greater good,” said Fritz. “Over the last 20 years, INHS has embraced that spirit by building on our legacy of collaboration with the goal of helping to create healthier communities. In collaboration with many health care partners and customers, we are proud of the contributions we’ve made in communities across the Northwest and beyond and look forward to the impact INHS will have over the next 20 years.”
To learn more about INHS’ remarkable history, please view the 20-year report at www.inhs.org/INHS20.
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About Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS):
Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) is a non-profit corporation in Spokane, Wash. providing collaboration in health care services on behalf of the community and its member organization, Providence Health Care. INHS oversees a variety of health care services: inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation therapy (St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute), critical care transport (Northwest MedStar), connectivity for providers to electronic health information (Information Resource Management), professional and community health education and training (Health Training and Community Wellness), access to occupational health best practices to return injured workers to work (Eastern Washington COHE), and access to clinical and educational information over video conferencing (Northwest TeleHealth). INHS is inspiring collaboration, leading the way in health care innovation and creating healthier communities. For more information on INHS, or to support our services through the INHS Foundation, please visit us:
Web: www.inhs.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/INHSonline
YouTube: www.youtube.com/thebuzzinhs Twitter: www.twitter.com/INHS