Announcing the Partnership for Health Innovation

Dean Record speaks at PLU
Dean James Record speaks at the Partnership for Health Innovation announcement on Feb. 6, 2024.

More than 140 health care providers, educators, and community leaders gathered Tuesday at Pacific Lutheran University for the announcement of the Partnership for Health Innovation. The exciting new partnership unites PLU, MultiCare, and Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine around two common goals: preparing students to become local health care leaders and improving health outcomes in Pierce County, particularly for traditionally underserved and vulnerable populations in Parkland-Spanaway and the surrounding unincorporated area.
“Together, we will develop innovative programs and resources that will positively impact the health and well-being of this community,” said PLU President Allan Belton. “That impact will be achieved through providing quality health services and through the education and training of future health care leaders.”

MultiCare CEO Bill Robertson announced that the partnership will include the construction of the MultiCare Medical Center at Pacific Lutheran University. Funded by MultiCare and located on campus at PLU, the new center will provide high-quality, culturally appropriate outpatient services to the almost 200,000 people in and around Central Pierce County.

“Joining together with Pacific Lutheran University and Washington State University’s College of Medicine to launch this Partnership for Health Innovation was a natural fit for our organization. I’m confident that our partnership is going to play a significant role in the future of health care and health care education for our region,” said Robertson. “The MultiCare Medical Center at Pacific Lutheran University will provide care to everyone who lives in Parkland-Spanaway and the surrounding areas. It will also help provide even more learning opportunities for students at PLU and WSU who are pursuing health care careers.”

Officials from the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine announced plans to place medical students throughout Central Pierce County who will train in and provide care to the community, have opportunities to live on the PLU campus, and have access to PLU and MultiCare instructional and clinical facilities. Additionally, future partnership plans include increasing access to graduate medical education for WSU residents to encourage them to complete their training in Pierce County.

“We are deeply committed to expanding medical education and health care access in communities across Washington,” said Dr. Jim Record, dean of the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “For the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, a critical component of this is seeking community partnerships that are innovative, collaborative, and mission-aligned. The partnership with PLU and MultiCare meets all these criteria. Launching this new initiative will allow us to change the health care ecosystem and take an important step toward helping Pierce County residents access the equitable health care they need.”

WSU, MultiCare, and PLU officials affirmed their expectation that Partnership for Health Innovation will be a long-term initiative and say that community members will play a vital role in identifying opportunities for additional plans and programs. “We’re just beginning to explore the possibilities of this partnership,” said Belton.

Additional event speakers included Connie McCloud from the Puyallup Tribe and Claudia Miller from the Franklin Pierce School District.

Information about the Partnership for Health Innovation can be found by clicking the link below.