Eastern Washington Center of Occupational Health & Education (COHE) Renews Contract and Expands Service Territory
August 14, 2013
Spokane, WA

The Eastern Washington Center of Occupational Health & Education (Eastern WA COHE), a program of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute and Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), has a renewed contract with Washington State Labor & Industries (L&I) to continue its successful work in getting injured workers back to work.

“We are extremely pleased that INHS and St. Luke’s are sponsoring a COHE that will serve injured workers in 19 Eastern Washington counties,” said Gary Franklin, MD, Medical Director at L&I. “Their leadership shares our vision of integrated health care aimed at preventing work-related disability. This type of public/private collaboration is an emerging paradigm for health care, a strategy that can improve treatment of many chronic conditions in a community.”

The contract, which goes thru June, 2016 with a two-cycle renew option, expands Eastern WA COHE’s service territory into Benton, Franklin and Kittitas counties bringing the total counties served to 19.

“In collaboration with L&I, employers, labor unions and health care providers, our Eastern Washington COHE will continue to achieve great results in improving outcomes for injured workers and get people back to work faster and more efficiently,” said Tom Fritz, CEO of INHS. “We look forward to expanding services and covering the entire eastern and central Washington region.”

Eastern WA COHE currently provides services from offices in Spokane, Yakima and Wenatchee. To accommodate the new expansion, Eastern WA COHE will look to establish a local presence in the TriCities area over the next several months. Additional hospital emergency departments and health care providers that treat injured workers in the expansion areas will be added to the COHE program.

“Our COHE has enjoyed a good relationship with providers, employers and labor unions throughout the region,” said Daniel Hansen, DC, program director of the Eastern WA COHE. “Our expanded presence will magnify that commitment to our communities of using best practices in treating injured workers and getting them back on the job.”

Eastern WA COHE currently has more than 1,100 participating COHE health care providers, 30 hospital emergency departments, 800 employers and several labor unions. 
For more information about the Eastern WA COHE, visit www.gocohe.com.

Eastern Washington Center of Occupational Health & Education is dedicated to providing training and organizational support to medical providers to increase use of best practices in treating injured workers in 19 counties. A 2011 study found that injured workers treated by COHE-affiliated health care providers are away from work for 20 percent fewer days than other injured workers. COHE care also reduces disability and medical costs by $510 per claim during the first year. Eastern Washington COHE is a program of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, a division of Inland Northwest Health Services. For more information, visit www.inhs.org.


Nicole Stewart
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