It’s a sure bet there’s a great story to accompany a half a million-dollar gift.
The story begins like this…
“I recently happened upon an entry in a family bible pertaining to a successful appendectomy performed on my brother by a family doctor. He was a rural general practitioner and not a surgeon. It was his first, but my father trusted him,” he said.
Many years have passed since the story was penned, but the significance of such trusting relationships remains. “My father carried this philosophy throughout his career, as did I did in my mine.”
In keeping with shared values for fostering relationships, a couple, blessed with wonderful stories and a gift for telling them, has made a remarkably generous $500,000 gift to support the Washington State University Family Medicine Residency Program at Pullman Regional Hospital.
The three-year physician residency training program is a partnership with the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and Pullman Regional Hospital, and earned accreditation status in May.
The gift will support programmatic costs of the Pullman-based residency program and completes a $1.55 million fundraising goal to build 5,000 square feet of clinical and educational space at the hospital, where physician residents will complete their training and care for patients.
While the couple wishes to remain anonymous, they attribute the quality of education and strong friendships he made—while attending what was then WSC—sources of inspiration for their generosity.
One special friendship they wish to honor through their support of the residency program is Walt and Orbie Gray of Pullman, “The Grays are a source of inspiration to us and for this gift,” they said.
“The Grays, and people like them throughout the Palouse, are important people to us. Ensuring Pullman is home to the highest caliber of family medicine physicians will serve those we care deeply about and will empower Pullman Regional Hospital to continue caring for the university we respect and continue to cherish,” he said.
“This incredible act of generosity makes for a defining moment in Pullman,” said Scott Adams, Pullman Regional Hospital CEO. “For years, our medical community has had a vision to host a residency program, and now it’s a reality because of dedicated campaign volunteers and extraordinary donors.”
“We’re so grateful to have philanthropists outside the region join with us in partnership with WSU and the medical school to train physicians,” said Rueben Mayes, Pullman Regional Hospital Chief Development and External Relations Officer. “Fundraising for ongoing program support will continue, but today we celebrate meeting our $1.55 million goal for the future home of the family medicine residency program here at Pullman Regional Hospital.
The first physician residents are slated to begin their training at Pullman Regional Hospital in 2023. As a three-year training program, with a class size of three, the program will grow to a total of nine physician residents in three years.
The high likelihood for physician residents to continue to practice medicine where they completed their residency program makes a residency program an excellent recruiting pipeline and physician retention strategy.
“Our physician residents will have the opportunity to experience the entire spectrum of care and be involved with their patient from the first clinic visit to diagnostics, to being a hospital inpatient—that will produce well-rounded, well-educated physician residents,” said Dr. Stephen Hall, Program Director and family medicine physician with Palouse Medical. “When a resident completes three years of training here, we’re confident the decision to stay will be an easy one.”
“With this gift, we want to encourage others to add whatever they can to this very worthwhile project. There is a true and specific need to support family doctors committed to rural medicine. This is possible in Pullman, and we value supporting a program committed to serving the people we respect, appreciate and believe in,” the couple shared.
This is not the end of the story, but rather, just the beginning of the WSU Family Medicine Residency Program at Pullman Regional Hospital.