November 2, 2023

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lindsey Ruivivar, 509-935-6001,

Partners aim to expand rural access and equity to education, careers, and trainings locally.

On Thursday, November 2nd, State Senator Shelly Short and Chewelah Mayor Greg McCunn brought together stakeholders to support NEW Health and the Chewelah School District’s collaboration to create a Regional Workforce Development Center.

NEW Health and the Chewelah School District have entered into a fundraising partnership to renovate Chewelah’s vacant Middle School building to accommodate career training and expanded health care services. They are seeking to raise $16.5 million to support the renovation and equipment costs required for this project. The stakeholder meeting, which took place in the Middle School gymnasium, convened individuals representing state and local government, workforce and economic development entities, education, and supporting partners to work together to create a plan of action.

“While this innovative project will create a Regional Workforce Development Center co-located with primary health care services, the economic reach goes beyond the health care sector,” says State Senator Shelly Short. “This site will enable high school students in our rural communities to participate in internships and job shadowing experiences in a variety of disciplines, from finance and human resources to IT and marketing.”

Coordinated Care presented a $50,000 donation at the stakeholder meeting to kick-off the fundraising effort. “We are proud to support this one-of-a-kind approach to meet the healthcare needs of this rural community, as well as address the workforce needs that are impacting access to critical healthcare services,” says Beth Johnson, President and CEO of Coordinated Care. “This is an innovative solution that is only possible with community collaboration.”

Partners believe the Regional Workforce Development Center will provide high school students with career paths and training to stay in their local community. Once complete, the site is projected to support 60 high school student internships annually. “While this capital project is based in Chewelah it will support students across the tri-county region,” says NEW Health CEO Desiree Sweeney. “We are beyond thankful to Coordinated Care for their generous donation and for seeing our vision to support local youth.”

Individuals interested in joining a committee to support the ongoing fundraising efforts for this project are invited to contact Desiree Sweeney at 509-935-6001. Donations for the Chewelah capital campaign may be mailed to NEW Health, Attn: Finance, P.O. Box 808, Chewelah, WA, 99109.


The mission of NEW Health is to promote health and wellness within our communities by providing integrated, open-access healthcare for all. NEW Health operates primary medical, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy services for residents of Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties. NEW Health serves over 16,000 patients annually and employs more than 180 staff. NEW Health is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Bringing healthcare into communities and communities into healthcare since 1978.

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