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First Residents Selected for Premera-Funded Spokane Pediatric Residency

April 4, 2024

On Friday, March 15, the Washington State University (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine celebrated its first-ever Match Day for a new pediatric residency program in Spokane. This new program is historic, representing the first pediatric residency program on the east side of the Cascade Mountains.

“Launching Washington’s first pediatric residency program east of the Cascades is a monumental step towards improving access to healthcare,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz when the residency was announced on March 28, 2023.

This program – a collaboration between WSU, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Spokane, and Premera Blue Cross – will not just train doctors. It will build a future where every child in eastern Washington has access to top-notch healthcare, right in their backyard. Out of more than 500 applicants, six were selected to the three-year program.

A historic win for rural health

According to American Board of Pediatrics data, eastern Washington has just over half as many pediatricians per capita as western Washington. West of the Cascade Mountains, there are 80.1 pediatricians per 100,000 children, compared to the rural eastern side’s 42.6.

This residency program seeks to change that.

“For too long, access to care has been dictated by what side of the state you live on,” said David Condon, vice president at Premera Blue Cross. “This new residency program will provide a much-needed pipeline to increase the number of pediatric specialists in eastern Washington. We commend the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and Providence for their leadership in developing this program and send our congratulations to the first class of residents for reaching this huge milestone.”

Premera is proud to support this and many other programs focused on improving health disparities in the communities we serve. And a huge round of applause for our first class of pediatric residents – your commitment to serving the Spokane community is truly inspiring. Congratulations!