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Whitworth to Present Elaine Couture, Retired Regional Chief Executive for Providence, with Distinguished Leader Award

April 11, 2022

Whitworth University will present Elaine Couture, Providence Health & Services’ retired executive vice president and regional chief executive for Washington and Montana, with the university’s Distinguished Leader Award on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in Weyerhaeuser Hall’s Robinson Teaching Theatre.

Couture retired in 2021 after working for Providence for close to 34 years. As regional chief executive, Couture faced perhaps her most challenging time in the industry, leading her employees through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In her role, Couture oversaw operations for 11 hospitals and several clinics in Washington and Montana. Under her leadership, the provider’s regional network expanded to more than 21,000 employees and 127,000 hospital admissions per year.

The award presentation will be followed by a panel discussion titled “Navigating the Intersection of Science, Healthcare and Communication.” Whitworth Professor of Health Sciences Mike Ediger will moderate the panel, whose members will include Kim Papich, communications director at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Aaron Putzke, Whitworth professor of biology; and Troy Mattox, emergency department physician at Holy Family Hospital.

The event is free and open to the public and will be livestreamed on YouTube:

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Rashel Rogers, events manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4974 or

Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or