Why Tom and Linda Nihoul Gave $250,000 to Support Access to Rural Medicine
Growing up in tiny Eastern Washington towns gave Tom and Linda Nihoul a shared appreciation for what it takes to have a thriving community.
The Nihouls, wealth management professionals, healthcare advocates and WSU alums, who now live in Spokane, WA, will tell you it takes three things—excellence in education, medical care and housing.
“When we were learning about the joint efforts of WSU and Pullman Regional Hospital to establish a residency program in Pullman, it really resonated with us,” said Tom.
“We met with a member of the Mader family—a longtime farmer on the Palouse, who felt equally passionate about investing in the medical care of rural communities,” said Linda. “He knew it, and we knew it—this is what Pullman needs.”
“We’ve actually been hosting a WSU medical school student, from Pullman,” added Linda. “It all fit together.”
It fit so well, Tom and Linda made a $250,000 gift to help fund the future home of the family medicine residency program clinic, which will be housed at Pullman Regional Hospital. Construction will begin this fall on the 5,000 square feet of renovated space that will house clinical and educational facilities exclusively for family medicine physician residents to see and treat patients during their three-year training.
“The Nihoul’s generosity and support of Pullman-based physician training will help the hospital realize our vision for better access to exceptional primary care,” said Scott Adams, Pullman Regional Hospital CEO. “This gift will have a meaningful impact for generations of families cared for by the physicians who train here.”
“Tom and Linda have shared their time and treasure to help the community of Pullman and our hospital for years,” said Rueben Mayes, Pullman Regional Hospital Chief Development & External Relations Officer. “We are so grateful for their leadership gift and desire to be part of such an important development in eastern WA.”
With longtime careers in wealth management, Tom and Linda have heard it all when clients talk about reasons for giving.
“There’s investors, there’s planners. And then, there’s irrational giving,” joked Tom. “When we give, we’ve always found more.”
As true philanthropists, the Nihouls see their gift as a way to give back and make an impact. “We are a tiny piece of it,” said Tom. “We like to be able to give and build on the success of a program we believe in. Giving to the vision of enhancing access to rural medicine is also how we honor WSU President, Elson S. Floyd.”
“We need to give medical students the opportunity to practice family medicine in eastern WA,” explained Linda. “And we need the residency program in Pullman to do that.”
The Nihouls see the residency program as a larger investment in ensuring Pullman thrives as a hub for producing crops. “We’re feeding the world from rural communities, and they need medical care,” said Tom.
“Healthcare is a nationwide issue, and we need to contribute to this opportunity,” added Linda.
On a more personal note, Tom reflected, “We’re all going to need medical care. We want the best care we can get when we’re in Pullman. If Pullman Regional Hospital can train family physicians that can provide exceptional, accessible care to us, what more could you want?”
“We will always need great medical care in Pullman; investing in the residency program is how we keep it going,” concluded Linda.