Health Care

March 2012 marked the unveiling of the first phase of the multi-million dollar construction of Benewah Community Hospital and St. Maries Family Medicine, which includes a five-story building that house the hospital’s 16 patient rooms. The clinic will occupy the fourth and fifth floors of the tower.

This October 2012 photo shows the east entrance of the recently completed Benewah Community Hospital. Photo courtesy of the St. Maries Gazette Record.

You think that is an impressive lot of numbers crammed into one paragraph? Consider this one: $28.5 million. Even more impressive, every last penny of the multi-million dollar investment is funded entirely by hospital profits. Although voters approved the project in November of 2009, no tax dollars have been used to pay for the new facility.

Support services, including a new cafeteria, will be located in the first floor of the tower, and the hospital’s 16 patient rooms will be located on the second and third floors. The new rooms are designed to accommodate the families of patients as well as the patient. After the old clinic building was vacated and demolished, ample parking was added to the site. In addition, modifications will be made to improve security and privacy for the emergency room.  The wing of the hospital being replaced was built in 1955.

The hospital and clinic are not the only new medical facilities in the county.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe completed a $17.3 million clinic in Plummer. The new facility doubled the size of the previous clinic, built in 1990, and opened in the fall of 2012.

The tribe received a $11.8 million federal grant for the project and contributed $3 million towards the total cost. The clinic will provide the remaining $2.5 million.

New construction or not, St. Maries and the Benewah County area are blessed with an excellent rural health care system. At St. Maries Family Medicine, residency trained/board Certified Family Practice, Surgery and Obstetrics specialists (as well as a variety of visiting sub-specialists) provide a wealth of expertise and care. In Plummer, Benewah Medical Center and its physicians provide excellent primary care services to area residents.

A small crowd watches as the crane lowers the MRI next to the new hospital building January 2012. Photo courtesy of the St. Maries Gazette Record.

Three highly-trained and qualified dentists practice full time in St. Maries and an orthodontist visits frequently. An optometrist runs the local eye clinic on a full-time basis. The St. Maries area is served by well-trained ambulance crews and quick response units. When necessary, provisions have been made for helicopter transportation to larger medical facilities approximately 20 minutes flight time away.

There is a full-service pharmacy in St. Maries, a Home Health service and a local Hospice. Also serving the community are three chiropractors.

Unique to Benewah County is the willingness of all providers to work together to assure better patient care. Area physicians have consolidated with the hospital to reduce costs, improve quality and establish more services. All health care providers in the county have been invited to be a part of Benewah Health Services Corporation, an entity whose whole function is to encourage collaborative activities.

Utilizing the motto “Together We Care For You” the health care providers of Benewah County are a strong professional and economic asset to the area. The rapid developments in health care during recent years are a testament to what can be done when all providers are headed in the same direction.




Valley Vista Care Center

Valley Vista Care Services offers a variety of long-term care options for seniors and the disabled of the area, including a 70-bed care center, 16-bed assisted living cottage care as well as an assortment of home care options. Valley Vista at this time, also offers the only state-approved Behavior Management program for residents with special behavior needs such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington disease. Valley Vista Care Corporation is a locally owned and operated, non-profit, Christian organization dedicated to delivering the highest quality care possible.