The Center for Learning & Innovation

Exploring alternative models of care delivery to improve the patient experience, lower costs and improve population health.


View our latest medical & health innovations

Learning Opportunities

Expand your knowledge with a variety of community outreach & educational opportunities.

Connect With Us

Encouraging community connections, comments & collaboration

Bold Visions & Big Ideas for the Future of Healthcare

Beyond recognizing the ever-changing dynamic of healthcare, we seek to embrace it. We are acting on this opportunity to think differently, to make bold changes and to be proactive. From within, we foster an environment to embolden new ideas for a better way to care for patients. Our community is rich with resources and creative minds; together, we can transform healthcare to serve our unique needs.

  • “There’s never been a better time to think about healthcare differently than now. Amidst the uncertainty, this is an exciting time, and the Center for Learning and Innovation is positioning Pullman Regional Hospital to thrive.”-Scott Adams, CEO


Maximizing Impact, Minimizing Cost

To continue striving towards this vision, the Center for Learning and Innovation will focus efforts in the following five areas:

  • Patient Experience – This area of innovation will give attention to processes for improving clinical quality as well as key areas for improving patient safety. Included in this work will be the environmental aspects of the patient experience, such as physical surroundings and atmosphere, as well as attention to supporting the needs of non-medical care givers involved with the patient.
  • Population Health – Innovations in this area of activity will explore new models for delivering and paying for medical services in our region that improve outcomes and reduce costs. Models such as care teams, patient centered care, care coordination, care navigators and a community wide electronic health record will be researched, developed and tested. Opportunities for implementation will be identified and progress monitored to improve outcomes and reduce costs.
  • Clinical Scholars – The primary focus of this area of activity will be to expand, improve, and redesign the educational experience for individuals who provide direct care to patients. We will strengthen our affiliation with the WWAMI medical education program and the University of Washington, the new Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Washington State University, local colleges and high schools. A later stage of activity will focus on residency training and the role of simulation training in preparing clinicians to provide safe, high quality care.
  • Personal Enrichment – This activity will organize and explore the best ways to deliver and evaluate training and education focused on areas such as life skills, wellness for life, resiliency, managing financial aspects of medical care, caregiver training, etc. These programs will be offered to community members, employers, patients, and hospital staff.
  • Leadership Development – These activities will focus on the skills and competencies necessary for effective leadership. Courses and training will be offered to hospital staff and community partners.


Community Health 2020

Learn more about Pullman Regional Hospital's solution to better access and more affordable healthcare.


Contact Us:

Do you have questions, ideas or just want to learn more about supporting innovation efforts through philanthropy?

  • Becky Highfill, Director for the Center for Learning and Innovation
  • (509) 332-2033
Community Health Impact Faculty Fellowship

The Fellowship application opens in October of each year.

Employee Innovation

Learn how we are supporting employee innovation.

Innovation in Leadership

Meet our National Board of Advisors (NBOA)

Our Staff
Becky Highfill
Director of the Center for Learning & Innovation

Becky Highfill is the Director of the Center for Learning & Innovation at Pullman Regional Hospital. Highfill will direct the activities of the Center for Learning & Innovation while continuing to administer the hospital’s grant program. The Center for Learning & Innovation was created to explore alternative models of care delivery, specifically to improve the patient experience, lower costs, and improve population health.

Gearld Early, MD
Chief Medical & Innovation Officer

Gerald Early, M.D., serves as the Chief Medical & Innovation Officer at Pullman Regional Hospital. Dr. Early came to Pullman from Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Missouri, where he practiced thoracic surgery and held an academic appointment as an associate professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is triple board certified in general surgery, critical care and cardiothoracic surgery. He has extensive experience in clinical quality initiatives and patient safety activities.

Noel Nicolai, PhD.
Healthier Communities Coordinator, Center for Learning & Innovation

Healthier Communities Coordinator for the Center for Learning & Innovation Dr. Nicolai coordinates community education and outreach programs for Pullman Regional Hospital as well as Telehealth/Telemedicine administration and oversight for the resource library. The Center for Learning and Innovation adds to her role by adding greater exposure to partnership opportunities, prevention and awareness programs and grant writing.