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Providence expanding into Spokane Valley

Spokesman-Review reporter John Stucke has a story in today's paper about Providence Health Care's plans to build a $58 million medical campus in Spokane Valley. The campus would include an outpatient surgery center and doctor offices. The center, which is scheduled to open in 2014, would be located along I-90 east of Sullivan Road. Read John's story here for more details.

Suggest a name for the new Spokane medical company, and win Atticus gift cards

Over here at Office Hours, we're feeling generous, what with the kind weather and all.

We're going to offer three Atticus Coffee/Tea gift cards to the person or persons who come up with the best names for the new joint operation announced by Group Health Collective and Providence Health.

The SR story today laid out the general idea: The two providers will mix and match about 400 Spokane area docs, specialists and nurses across the area, creating an alternative to the alliance forged last year by Community Health Association and Rockwood Clinics. (Rockwood was acquired by Community in mid-2011, creating the then-largest medical operation in this area.)

So the challenge:  Each person can nominate up to three separate names for the new medical group that will be the umbrella operation for Group Health and Providence. You can't use a name that's already in use by another medical institution.

We'll choose three winners from the suggested names.

Good luck. Plunk down your suggestions in the comments field. Winners will be chosen by a committee of local name authorities.  Deadline for submissions is 11:45 p.m. Aug. 6

Inland Imaging spins off its own tech services company, Nuvodia

Spokane’s growing Inland Imaging LLC has spun off an IT subsidiary, Nuvodia, with plans to become a nationwide provider of technology integration and services.

During a Thursday breakfast hosted by Spokane group Connect Northwest, Nuvodia’s CEO Jon Copeland said the need for reliable, secure technology services in health care is similar to the growing “smart grid” effort across the energy industry.

Nuvodia — a name chosen to suggest “new day” — was incorporated the start of this year. But Copeland said its website and formal launch will come on June 1.

While health care is the obvious first focus, Nuvodia will also extend into other sectors, including accounting and energy, Copeland said.

(Story continues below.)

Hospital, cardiology practices to combine

Providence Health Care and two Spokane-based cardiology groups today announced they will merge this fall to create a national center that could become a destination for patients seeking state-of-the-art heart care.

Providence Chief Executive Dr. Andy Agwunobi said Spokane Cardiology and Heart Clinics Northwest, consolidated as Providence Spokane Heart Institute, will improve the safety, quality and efficiency of care, in part as a response to changes anticipated under health care reform.

Spokane Cardiology President Dr. Braden Batkoff said the Heart Institute would be able to attract more specialists providing a broader array of services to patients who might now travel outside Spokane for treatment.

Dr. Dean Hill, Heart Clinics Northwest president, said the consolidation will also enable the groups to maintain offices in four states, which might not be possible as reforms are implemented.

Agwunobi said financial terms of the merger are still being negotiated.