A modern hospital keeps the community healthy

Grande Ronde, Oregon – Two organizations are vital when trying to preserve smaller communities: good schools and a great hospital.

When Patrick Flynn took the job as manager of the Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation eight years ago, one of the first investments the foundation made was to purchase three 3D mammography machines for the hospital.

“We were told we were one of the first critical care hospitals west of the Mississippi to purchase these machines,” Flynn said. “That was my very first year on the job and right away the difference was felt in the community.”

One woman got an early breast cancer diagnosis because of the new equipment.

“Her husband came up to me at an event later that year and said thank you for saving her life,” Flynn said. “You never forget that.”

The Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation, which recently received some grant funding from the Avista Foundation, has also been the driving force behind a major expansion of the hospital.

“Since 2023, we have been doing a Healthier Together Campaign to support a 96,000 square foot expansion to our campus,” Flynn said. “We are in the last stages of that expansion which will give us new operating rooms, a new sterile core area, and double the footprint of our campus.”

Flynn said access to care in Grande Ronde is critical because larger hospitals in Walla Walla and Tri-cities are hours away. Mountain passes on each side of the town can make emergency ground transportation very difficult in the winter.

“The hospital is so important to us all,” Flynn said.

The additional space in the new expansion will allow other departments to spread into larger areas, utilizing the space that’s left behind when the operating rooms move.

The goal for the Healthier Together Campaign is $7.5 million by April 2025. At a recent gala, Flynn was able to announce another $708,000 in funding taking the total to $6.6 million.

“This campaign is going to affect generations to come. I grew up here, I remember what things looked like,” Flynn said. “Our grandkids will come and see these buildings and departments. They will be able to confidently get their care here.”

At Avista, we recognize our unique position gives us the chance to contribute in an impactful way and make a real difference in people’s lives. Since 2002, the Avista Foundation has made grants totaling over $13 million to organizations that support vulnerable and limited income populations, education, and economic and cultural vitality. The foundation is a separate, non-profit organization established by Avista Corp., and does not receive funding from Avista Utilities’ customers through rates. For more information on grant applications and geographical areas covered, please visit avistafoundation.com.

To donate and to learn more about the fundraising campaign visit foundation.grh.org.

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