News Release
April 6, 2020

Media Contacts:
CVHC and SMH: Lenne Bonner,, (208) 476-8008

Kootenai Health: Kim Anderson,, (208) 625-5305

Purchase of Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s Hospitals by Kootenai Health Complete

On April 1, 2020, ownership of Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics, CVHC, and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics, SMH, officially transferred to Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Last August the north-central Idaho critical access hospitals announced they had entered into a letter of intent to transfer ownership from Essentia Health to Kootenai Health. Since that time, the three organizations have been working to finalize the terms of the partnership, develop a transition plan, and seek their respective organizational boards’ approval.

This partnership is intended to strengthen health care in north-central Idaho. It will create an environment where the organizations can share knowledge, information, resources, and best practices. Any changes that come as a result of the new relationship, however, will be paced and thoughtful. This is especially true now that health care providers across the country are working to address COVID-19.

“Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s are strong organizations with good programs, processes and cultures,” said Jeremy Evans, executive vice president of hospital and regional operations at Kootenai Health. “Our intent is to keep that and learn from their rural expertise.  At the same time, Kootenai Health brings resources and expertise as an advanced regional health center. Our work together will benefit the entire North Idaho region”

Kootenai Health’s ownership of Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s is a model known as member substitution. It is a model non-profit hospitals can use to transfer ownership while maintaining their structures as critical access hospitals. Kootenai Health will become financially responsible for Clearwater Valley and St. Marys’ operations, but they will remain critical access hospitals.

The intent is for Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s to retain their current structures and boards. St. Mary’s will also maintain its catholic identity and operate in a manner consistent with its Catholic tradition, including compliance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Lenne Bonner will remain in the role of President, and both organizations will continue to operate with local management and a community board.

“Kootenai Health, Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics, and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics share several important ideals,” said Lenne Bonner, president of Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s. “We all value independence and decision-making that happens on the local level. We also value partnerships that improve patient care. We know our employees are our greatest asset. We know the health care industry is changing, and we must work together to keep services in our communities.”

In addition to the newly transitioned ownership of Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s, Kootenai Health has a management agreement with Syringa Hospital in Grangeville, Idaho. This is anticipated to allow additional collaboration and service enhancements for all three hospitals and clinics throughout the region.

Through Kootenai Health, all three organizations have access to needed resources, best practices and the opportunity for physicians and clinical staff members to work with other providers to share information and discuss complex cases. In time, additional areas of collaboration might include information technology, human resources support, revenue cycle and billing, and purchasing.

Kootenai Health has a long history of collaborating with other medical providers and critical access hospitals throughout the five northern counties of Idaho. Years of ongoing work with critical-access hospitals in rural communities has helped Kootenai Health understand their unique needs and how to provide meaningful help.

Strong regional relationships are critical for rural hospitals to remain independent and survive. Isolation puts rural hospitals at risk of closing their doors and leaving their communities without the strong health care they need. As a tertiary regional health system, Kootenai Health will help ensure local care in north-central Idaho will remain accessible and continue to be delivered with a high degree of clinical quality, safety and excellence.


About Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics:

Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics are award-winning critical access hospitals serving the health care needs of remote communities in north-central Idaho. Clearwater Valley Hospital is located in Orofino, Idaho. It has two clinics located in Orofino and Kooskia, one rural health clinic in Pierce and one physical therapy clinic located in Orofino.  St. Mary’s Hospital is located in Cottonwood, Idaho. It has five clinics located in Cottonwood, Grangeville, Kamiah, Craigmont and Nezperce, and three physical therapy clinics located in Cottonwood, Grangeville, and Kamiah. In addition to a deep commitment to deliver high-value, sustainable health care to their communities, Clearwater Valley and St. Mary’s strive to be the leaders in rural health care through continuous innovation. Their combined service area is 28,756 people over Clearwater, Idaho and Lewis, counties.  Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics and St. Mary’s Hospital and Clinics are part of Kootenai Health. To learn more, visit:

About Kootenai Health:

Kootenai Health provides comprehensive medical services to patients in northern Idaho and throughout the Inland Northwest. The main campus is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and includes a 330-bed, community-owned hospital. Kootenai is accredited by DNV and holds Magnet Designation for nursing excellence. Kootenai is regionally known for its programs in cardiac care, orthopedics, oncology, women’s and children’s services and behavioral health. Kootenai is a verified Trauma Center, a Center of Excellence for hip and knee replacement, a Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital, and is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Kootenai Clinic is a network of more than 200 physicians and advanced practice providers working in 25 different specialties throughout Kootenai County and the Inland Northwest. To learn more visit: