Health, Education, and Research Complex

Recognized as one of the fastest-growing health sciences campuses in North America, the District hosts two medical schools (Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane's Elson S Floyd College of Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine - Gonzaga University Health Partnership - see new building pictured here), the Spokane Teaching Health Center (and WSU's recent partnership with the VA), numerous health-related graduate and undergraduate degree programs, a Spinout Space (sp3NW) to help launch life science companies, and 90,000 enrolled students at eight regional universities. This critical mass provides area employers with the next generation of medical professionals.

In particular, WWAMI,  the University of Washington School of Medicine’s one-of-a-kind, multi-state, award-winning medical education program has been the leader in serving rural communities for fifty years. The acronym, WWAMI, stands for the states served: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. UW School of Medicine students and faculty are critical to a network of programs designed to alleviate the shortages of healthcare providers and programs in rural and underserved urban areas. These programs include:

  • WWAMI Area Health Education Center Network (AHEC): A program that works to improve the diversity, distribution and quality of the health workforce in the WWAMI region, partners with communities to promote health career pathways, creates educational opportunities for students from junior high school (middle school) through professional and post-graduate training, and supports healthcare providers caring for underserved populations.

  • The UW Center for Health Workforce Studies conducts research in the WWAMI region that can inform policy and advance workforce needs to address state healthcare workforce issues.

  • WWAMI Rural Health Research Center focuses on policy affecting rural and underserved areas.

The Andy Hill CARE Fund and  HSSA (Health Sciences & Services Authority) also play a key role in promoting bioscience-based economic development in the region and beyond, advancing new therapies and procedures to combat disease and to promote public health. Additionally, the Spokane County Medical Examiner recently opened a state of the art facility in the heart of the UD. 


Largest Patient Catchment Region West of the Mississippi, East of Seattle

The Spokane area includes sizeable, established healthcare networks that serve a diverse and extensive patient population and that are active and adaptive in clinical trials and innovative initiatives in the life sciences community:

  • Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital - With 644 beds, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in the Northwest, employing more than 4,000 health care professionals and support staff. Our medical staff provides the expertise and skills of over 800 specialists and primary care doctors.

  • MultiCare Deaconess Hospital - Founded in 1896, MultiCare Deaconess Hospital is a 388-bed facility offering inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic imaging, medical, surgical and emergency services.  As an acute care hospital, MultiCare has a Level III Trauma Center, a Certified Chest Pain Center, a Certified Total Joint Restoration Center, an accredited Primary Stroke Center, and is the only hospital in the area to be nationally accredited in bariatric surgery. Deaconess also features a Maternal Fetal Medicine program and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Federal research dollars at area universities have almost tripled since 2010 and Spokane County invests a percentage of sales tax in bio and health science research. Eastern Washington’s life sciences sector is on track to reach $2.5 billion in ten years.