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Adventist Health Tillamook Hosts Oregon Legislators


Twelve Oregon legislators, including those who serve on House/Senate healthcare committees, joined Adventist Health Tillamook President Eric Swanson and Patient Care Executive Heather Thompson, RN, on November 20, 2022, for a tour of the medical center, and a discussion about recent healthcare systematic changes coming out of the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the tour, facilitated by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, was for legislators to determine facts and priorities related to patient care challenges unique to hospitals serving rural Oregon.

“Rural hospitals like ours face issues of immediate need like staffing. We are also pushing against systemic challenges that long-term community needs for high-quality, dependable healthcare at risk,” shared Eric Swanson. He continues, “This tour was an important opportunity to discuss current issues openly and, at the same time, share my enthusiasm for what the future of healthcare in Tillamook County could look like with legislative support of rural Oregon communities like ours.”

The tour, which began in Astoria at Columbia Memorial Hospital and completed at the Adventist Health Tillamook campus, served to accurately detail the role rural hospitals play in community health, including access to care, social services roles, community infrastructure and economic development. The changes in hospital care from 2019 to 2022 present more challenging and complex care needs, including acuity, length of stay and discharge difficulties to post-acute care. Oregon legislators in attendance included Ed Diehl, Representative-elect, HD17; Rob Nosse, State Representative, House Committee on Health Care Chair; Brian G. Stout, State Representative-elect, HD31; James I. Manning, Jr., State Senator; Tim Knopp, State Senator; Suzanne Weber, State Representative; and Maxine Dexter, MD, State Representative.

Photo: Eric Swanson, President of Adventist Health Tillamook and Heather Thompson, RN and Patient Care Executive lead a tour of the Medical Center departments at Adventist Health Tillamook.