Meet the new chief of the Multicare Health System's East Region

Dr. David O'Brien is the new chief executive for MultiCare Health System's East Region, and will lead the transition as MultiCare takes over Deaconess and Spokane Valley hospitals and Rockwood Clinic. O'Brien came to Spokane from Northern California, where he served in various leadership roles. He started work in mid-June.

"I spent my first two weeks meeting hundreds of my new colleagues, touring the hospitals and clinics and trying to understand who we are now," O'Brien says. "I was with the night shift employees at Valley Hospital at 11:59 pm on June 30 as we made the transition from Rockwood Health System to MultiCare Health System. They are all very excited to return to not-for-profit status with a focus on the community."

1. Not-for-Profit

With the shift to MultiCare, patients in Eastern Washington can expect upgrades to facilities by a hospital owner not beholden by demands to make more money.

"As a not-for-profit health system, we do not have shareholders," O'Brien says by email. "We are a community asset and our investments are in the community to continuously improve our services. You can expect some upgrades to the existing facilities to modernize the care here and expansion of services to meet the health care needs in the region."

2. Modernization

Patients can expect the health system to come on board with modern upgrades that will ease communication between regional health providers.

"We're bringing a new electronic health record to the three entities so everyone can stay connected," O'Brien writes. "It's the same one that Providence uses and that will mean better care coordination across our region."

3. Looking Ahead

MultiCare is also "very interested in collaborating on medical education to train new physicians, nurses and other clinical staff," and is "also looking for ways to expand our services to make sure patients have access to the services they need," O'Brien writes.

Some areas where the system can be improved have already been identified, he says, and MultiCare intends to be the Pacific Northwest's highest-value health care system.

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About The Author

Samantha Wohlfeil

Samantha Wohlfeil covers the environment, rural communities and cultural issues for the Inlander. Since joining the paper in 2017, she's reported how the weeks after getting out of prison can be deadly, how some terminally ill Eastern Washington patients have struggled to access lethal medication, and other sensitive...