Meeting Essential Health Services And Reimagining Obstetrics In A Rural Community: Kittitas Valley Healthcare Recognized by the American Hospital Association

KVH includes a 25-bed critical access hospital and provides care through clinics and specialty services in Upper and Lower Kittitas County. According to the 2021 Kittitas Community Health Assessment & Improvement Plan, the leading causes of hospitalization in the county are: 1) complications of pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium, and 2) certain conditions originating in the perinatal period. For young adults ages 18-24, the leading cause of hospitalization is complications of pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium, and for children 17 years of age or younger, it is certain conditions originating in the perinatal period.

Given the demand, it is clear that the core of essential services provided by KVH is women’s health services, including obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN). However, in 2023, all three full-time (FT) OB/ GYNs gave notice of intent to leave the organization. KVH was in crisis. While OB services never paid for themselves, the board was committed to delivering babies for the community. With the loss of its FT OB/GYNs and the demand for a breadth of women’s health services, KVH needed a fix.

Read the full case study here.

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