March 31, 2010 -
Washington State Secretary of the Department of Health Mary Selecky, on behalf of the Washington Rural Health Association (WRHA), honored Dr. Jim Mowry and Dr. Bob Watkins as outstanding rural health practitioners at the WRHA annual awards luncheon this week. This distinguished honor recognizes Washington health practitioners who make a significant contribution to health care in rural communities.
Identified the Need, Took Action
In 2004, Dr. Bob Watkins and Dr. Jim Mowry – both comfortably retired – recognized a problem. Olympic Medical Center stood on the brink of losing 24/7 orthopaedic surgery coverage – a vital component of its State Level-3 Trauma status – as it was challenged with recruiting new orthopaedic surgeons to the area.
They could not sit back and watch as their neighbors, friends and family had to travel to trauma centers in the Seattle area on nights when there was no one to cover orthopaedic trauma. Knowing they had the skills and expertise needed, they chose to act.
“Both Dr. Mowry and Dr. Watkins graciously came out of retirement to rejoin Olympic Medical Center’s medical staff and establish the orthopaedic hospitalist program. To do so they had to complete extensive continuing education and proctoring by fellow orthopaedic surgeons on staff,” says Dr. Scott Kennedy, chief medical officer, Olympic Medical. “As a result, they defined a successful pathway that allows qualified retired surgeons to come back to active practice in this community.”
Dr. Mowry’s and Dr. Watkins’ continuing sense of community and teamwork has sustained the program. “They have provided outstanding service so there is never a day that orthopaedic call coverage for the emergency department is not covered, “ says Dr. Kennedy. “These two physicians have truly dedicated themselves to the health and safety of this rural community.”
The orthopaedic hospitalist program has afforded the Clallam County community with access, enhanced patient safety and quality, according to Eric Lewis, chief executive officer, Olympic Medical. “These two physicians set the example for the patient-centered care people have come to expect from OMC,” he says. “We are honored and proud to have Dr. Mowry and Dr. Watkins on our medical staff, and we are thrilled the WRHA has recognized their dedication.”
For more information on the WRHA and the annual rural health awards, please log on to www.wrha.com.
Olympic Medical Center (Clallam County Public Hospital District No. 2) is a comprehensive, award-winning health care provider for more than 70,000 residents of Clallam County. It has served the community since its establishment on Nov. 1, 1951, and is governed by a seven-member, publicly elected board. OMC is a sole community hospital and rural referral center. It provides inpatient services at its 80-bed acute-care facility in Port Angeles, including a level-three trauma designated emergency department, surgical services, and labor and delivery. OMC’s outpatient services include cardiac, imaging, physical therapy and rehabilitation, laboratory, sleep medicine, surgical services, home health, physician clinics and comprehensive regional cancer care at locations in Port Angeles and Sequim.