Frequently Asked Questions

Partnership for Health Innovation

There is an urgent and growing need for health care in our region and to bring expansive, high-quality health education and services to Central Pierce County. As the communities in Parkland, Spanaway, and surrounding areas have grown, health disparities have also increased exponentially. A collaborative partnership between Pacific Lutheran University, MultiCare, and Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine has been formed to help address health care inequities and provider shortages in Pierce County and beyond.

Washington is grappling with a severe shortage of health care professionals (e.g., nurses, doctors, health technicians, etc.). This partnership will help qualified students join the next generation of health care leadership by:

  • Hosting a wide variety of opportunities at the new MultiCare Medical Center at Pacific Lutheran University for students from PLU and the WSU College of Medicine who want to learn from expert providers while serving the community. 
  • Providing more rotations in clinical settings at MultiCare facilities to give PLU and WSU students increased exposure to health care environments and enhanced learning opportunities.
  • Increasing access to graduate medical education for WSU residents to complete their training in Pierce County.
  • Expanding opportunities for WSU medical students on the PLU campus, including creating a model comparable to WSU’s Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett campuses.
  • Focusing on innovative approaches to teaching and learning so students will not only be able to join the workforce, but also be ready to lead.

This collaborative partnership will work to address health care inequities and provider shortages in Pierce County and beyond. To take a deeper look at the current and future plans for the partnership, click here.

Over the last fifty years, the Parkland community has experienced substantial expansion, and is now  the most rapidly growing Census Designated Place (CDP) in Pierce County.  Despite Parkland’s ongoing population surge, the advancement of the essential infrastructure to sustain the community has been notably delayed, making it one of the most medically underserved areas in Western Washington. The community surrounding PLU experiences multiple barriers to health care, including a shortage of primary care providers and limited access to essential health services.

This partnership aligns three organizations committed to health access and care, experiential learning, and service. Broadly, the new medical center will create a wide-ranging set of new jobs in health care, facilities management, information and technology, construction, security services, and more.

This new facility constructed on PLU’s campus will offer urgently needed outpatient care. Planning for the MultiCare Medical Center at PLU will consider information collected by recent community focus groups facilitated by PLU. MultiCare will also be announcing a series of listening events to engage Parkland-Spanaway neighbors, school districts, and local organizations to help shape the services the center will provide.

MultiCare will be hosting a number of community forums and information sessions this coming fall. This is part of the initiative’s commitment to change shaped by the community. As forums are scheduled, they will be added to the website.

Based on the initial feedback from the community, the preferred location for the medical center would be the southeastern portion of the former golf course near South Yakima Avenue.

The construction of the medical center will begin no later than 2027, with an opening date planned for the following year.

No. This is a long-term land-lease agreement with MultiCare.

The utilization of land on PLU’s campus is guided by our desire to increase educational offerings, enrich the campus environment, honor the land itself, better engage with our communities, and expand partnerships.

By leasing this land, we complement our other announced plans for the lower campus, including our commitment to create a land conservancy for the further restoration and preservation of the native prairie ecosystem, along with Indigenous and outdoor education.

PLU and MultiCare will jointly work to support community safety and security. We recognize the critical importance of collaboration in ensuring the well-being of students, faculty, staff, patients, and visitors alike. PLU and MultiCare will work hand in hand to leverage our respective expertise and resources to implement comprehensive safety measures, including proactive strategies and ongoing communication to address the evolving needs of the medical center and the PLU campus. Both organizations are committed to creating a safe and thriving environment for PLU and the broader Parkland community that is built on compassion, cooperation, and resilience.

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