OMAK – Mid-Valley Hospital is poised to become the leader in medical services for Okanogan County, CEO Alan Fisher told the city council Aug. 5.

Fisher updated the council on the hospital’s operations.

Mid-Valley recently took on obstetrics cases that previously would have gone to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket. Confluence Health, one of the area’s largest clinics, recently lost two doctors who did deliveries at North Valley.

A Family Health Centers midwife recently became credentialed at Mid-Valley and another doctor has applied for privileges, he said.

Fisher said Mid-Valley also recently purchased several pieces of equipment, including a CT scanner and new lab equipment, and is seeing “marked growth” in surgeries and emergency room visits.

But a problem facing Okanogan County is slow population growth and questions about whether it can sustain three hospital districts – North Valley, Mid-Valley and Okanogan-Douglas (Three Rivers). Part of Coulee Medical Center’s district lies within the eastern portion of the county.

More than 200 rural hospitals nationwide closed last year, he said.

Mid-Valley’s finances are looking better overall, Fisher said, noting it’s gone from a loss situation the past two years to a positive balance this year.

In other business, the council:

-Approved a resolution authorizing investment of city monies in the Local Government Investment Pool. The previous resolution designated City Administrator Ralph Malone by name; Malone is no longer with the city.

-Approved an ordinance amending the municipal code concerning single family and duplex general regulations, minimum dwelling unit sizes, mobile vendors and storage container use.

-Learned the city’s redesigned website is online.

-Learned the 2020 budget calendar is out.

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