An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Community Health Centers Work to Alleviate Physician Shortage

Community Health Plan of Washington


There is a new volunteer effort underway to help alleviate a physician shortage here in Washington.

The effort is spearheaded by the Community Health Plan of Washington, a community-governed, local not-for-profit health plan.

The group offers managed care to Medicaid and Medicare members across the state.

The organization has teamed up with the Maven project, which has organized retired and semi-retired physicians to volunteer their time by providing medical consultation services to primary care providers at community health centers.

The Community Health Plan’s Leanne Berge says physicians from other parts of the country can consult on-line with a doctor in a local clinic who is examining a patient for advice.

“It enables a physician in a local clinic to say I have a problem with a cardiac o a dermatology issue, so it way to and give expertise to a clinic they might not otherwise have,” said Berge.

The project comes at a time when 38 of the 39 counties in Washington State are experiencing physician shortages, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This topic and others will be examined at our Health Forum , “Living in the health care Maze”. It will take place Tuesday, March 20th at the Spokane City Council Chambers from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. You are invited to attended and ask questions related to healthcare from our panel of experts.




Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.