- The COVID-19 pandemic creates an opportunity to focus attention on the fragility of rural hospitals.
- A Washington hospital on the brink of closure found support from its community through a special election.
- With a 70% approval rate, the community agreed to a onetime property-tax levy to support the hospital.
Like many critical access hospitals, Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster, Wash., had no financial reserves to keep it afloat when revenue dried up because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing a two-week window before the hospital would be unable to make its payroll, CEO J. Scott Graham in March called the state hospital association to discuss closing.
Within the hour, state and federal officials called Graham to find out how they could help the hospital survive, Graham said in an April 22 webinar hosted by the Alliance for Health Policy. It was the kind of support Three Rivers has needed for at least a decade, he added.