St. Luke’s recently purchased the building at 212 N. Third Street in McCall to help support the McCall Medical Center’s increasing workforce housing challenges.
St. Luke’s McCall has been affected by the inability to fill several positions that are critical to supporting clinical care and overall operations. Over the past few years, candidates have turned down job offers because they have not been able to find housing within the area.
This newly acquired building is expected to help change that. The property is mixed-use and has commercial and residential space, with 10 studio apartments and four retail spaces.
To counter the challenge to fill permanent positions, the medical center is contracting with more agency staff to fill the need.
Agency staff, also known as travelers, are short-term contracts — typically three months — and are used to fill staffing shortages and support seasonal peaks.
“This year, we have had to contract with more travelers for longer periods of time and for positions we typically have not had a need for in the past,” St. Luke’s McCall Chief Operating and Nursing Officer Amber Green said, adding that “recently, we’ve had travelers turn down positions due to the lack of housing and the cost.”
St. Luke’s McCall currently has contracts for 14 travelers. They are filling staffing gaps in surgical services, lab, medical imaging, nursing and clinic support positions.
The studio units will primarily be used for travelers. Consideration will be made for permanent staff if the units meet their housing needs.
“Having access to 10 new studio units will make a big difference in our ability to accommodate housing needs of travelers, which have become necessary for us to continue to provide services,” Green said.
St. Luke’s will honor current tenants’ leases. Once the apartments become available, they will transition to meet the medical center’s workforce housing needs. Plans for the retail space are being explored.
The St. Luke’s McCall Foundation played an active role in identifying and securing the property for St. Luke’s to purchase.
“We’re so grateful to the Foundation for their commitment to health care and supporting our workforce housing needs,” Green said.
In addition to the newly acquired property, St. Luke’s owns a home and two duplexes in McCall and leases another home near the hospital campus. They are used for short-term needs for medical residents, clinical rotations and to house St. Luke’s staff traveling from other sites. The new property helps a need, but there are still housing challenges St. Luke’s is aiming to address.
“We are still lacking in housing options for our permanent staff and are exploring opportunities to meet this need,” Green said.
Laura Crawford works in the Communications and Marketing department at St. Luke's.