Inslee visits WSU Bear Center family medicine training program – WSU Insider

As part of Thursday’s visit to Palouse, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took a behind-the-scenes tour of the WSU Bear Research, Education and Conservation Center and Pullman Regional Hospital’s new family medicine training program.

Accompanied by her granddaughter Zoe, Inslee, who is eager to help feed the resident grizzly bears, met with bear center scientists and other staff to discuss ongoing research. Of particular interest to the governor was research into the impact of climate change on bears and their ability to reliably find food.

Charles Robbins, director of research at the Bear Center, also introduced recent research into the ability of hibernating bears to restore insulin resistance caused by long periods of inactivity. This could have potential implications for our understanding of human diabetes.

“There’s a lot of amazing research being done here in Washington State,” Inslee said as several adult grizzly bears had their afternoon meal in one of the fields near the center.

Earlier that day, Mr. Inslee met with hospital and university officials at the Pullman Regional Hospital and spoke about the importance of doctor training programs in rural medical settings. WSU Spokane president and vice president Daryl Dewald was among those who greeted Inslee upon his arrival at Pullman Regional Hospital.

Training programs such as those established between Pullman Regional Hospital and WSU’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine work simultaneously to ensure access to quality care and to attract and retain physicians in communities in need. To do.

These efforts are critical, especially as Washington State grapples with a persistent shortage of doctors in rural areas across the state.

“We know there’s a shortage of doctors nationwide, but it’s very acute in rural areas,” said Jade Stelmon, program manager for Pullman’s WSU family medicine training program. “Twenty percent of the population lives in rural areas, but only nine percent of his doctors practice in rural areas.”

The first group of WSU’s family medicine residency programs will begin this summer. One such new resident, Dr. Bor Olawi, spoke with Inslee via Zoom during his visit. His previous work with rural Indigenous communities in rural Canada, the advantageous size of WSU’s program, and the opportunity to serve a community that made him feel so welcome on his first visit to Pullman have inspired him. It gave me the opportunity to accept a permanent job.

Asked by Inslee how doctors can best work with patients suffering from conditions such as obesity and depression, Dr. Ollawi stressed the importance of building connections between patients and their healthcare providers.

“Once you can communicate, you can break down barriers and start building trust,” Dr. Olawi said.

Inslee also asked her doctor if she had any advice for her granddaughter, and Olawi spoke of the importance of maintaining determination and a positive outlook.

“First of all, with hard work and dedication, you can become anything you want in life,” Dr. Olawi said. “There will be many ups and downs, but the sky is the limit as long as you don’t give up.”

During her stay at Pullman, Inslee also visited the Community Action Center.

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