25 years! It sounds like a long time….but it felt like a short time. How can that be? I guess when you have a steady purpose, and you pursue it one day at a time, it adds up. It’s just a whole bunch of days. You don’t think much about it.
That’s why our 25th Anniversary is so important. It causes us to stop and think about it, to reflect on it, and to appreciate all that has happened over those many days. A lot of our workers weren’t even born when we started the journey. Of course, we have grown and changed a lot over those years. So has our community.
We had a unique beginning. Our hospitals joined forces to build a primary care access clinic and a family medicine residency. It’s hard to imagine that that could even happen today. But that was a different time. Though we were owned by the hospitals, we looked like the rest of the medical community: we operated like a small private practice. Back then, Yakima had about 200 doctors, and they operated dozens of private practices. Today, that model is almost absent from the community. There are many more doctors, but they are mostly employed by one of the two hospitals, or one of the three community health centers (including ours). Back then, almost all of us went to both hospitals, and there was one “conjoint” medical staff. Today, mostly specialists and hospitalists are in the hospital, and most serve only one hospital. A similar transition took place in Kittitas County.
We have changed with the times, but we have stayed true to our roots. We are primary care. We aim to be the health home for our patients, wherever that may take us. We serve them throughout our communities, and in all of our hospitals. Our patients are not defined by gender, condition or any status other than their need for care.
And that’s what draws people to work with us: caring for the community, especially those most in need.
The next 25 years are sure to bring as much change as the past 25. My job is to make sure that we are ready for it. Thank-you for pulling with us to assure that we will be here for our patients, no matter what.
Mike Maples, MD