Better health care in the backcountry
A new hospital and innovative partnership are bringing doctors and improved medical services to remote Wallowa County.
posted March 17, 2016
More than 20 years ago, Wallowa County was facing a health care crisis. Like many rural communities, this remote northeastern Oregon county had a shortage of doctors and its aging hospital could no longer meet the community's medical needs.
Today, thanks to the generous support of local residents, Wallowa County has a new 25-bed hospital with a trauma team that can handle emergencies any time of the day or night. A four-wheel drive ambulance can reach rugged backcountry locations even on winter roads.
That's important in a place where people often live miles from the nearest town and work in hazardous occupations such as logging and ranching. Without a hospital nearby, a serious accident or illness could mean traveling for many hours to get help.
Since 1991, Wallowa County citizens have contributed more than $2.4 million to improve and expand services at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. Through an innovative partnership with Oregon Health Sciences University, the county also has been successful in recruiting new doctors, including three with a focus in obstetrics.
The dedicated men and women of the Wallowa County Health Care District are among the many Oregonians working to make life better for their fellow citizens. Learn about others and see online issues of Comp News, our policyholder magazine.