I’m often asked, “What’s new at the hospital?” I could speak about our initiatives for hours, but the conversation always boils down to this: West Valley Hospital is a strong, vital member of the community and we’re always looking for ways to partner and grow.

I’m proud to say that we were recently honored with a couple of awards that highlight our goals of constant improvement and partnership. The first award, Outstanding Community Partner, came from the Polk County board of commissioners and recognizes the support that the hospital has offered the community over the past several years. This support includes the Central Health and Wellness Center, Polk County’s first and only school-based health center and the Polk County donation center. The donation center houses the Polk County service integration teams’ household items donations.

We were also recognized by the Oregon Office of Rural Health as the top performing Critical Access Hospital for the second year in a row. We’re proud of our reporting team and our problem-solving culture here at the hospital. Understanding our quality measures shows us our successes and opportunities for improvement.

Our community has been growing, so we’ve increased access to services. Our hope is to decrease the need for patients to travel out of the area for their healthcare needs. We’ve recently added a second provider in our emergency department. There are now two providers on-hand at all times in order to serve the growing numbers of patients coming to the ED.

We’ve also grown in a number of other areas. We’ve brought in digestive health specialists from Salem Gastro that specialize in digestive disorders and colorectal screening. Our growing list of imaging services now includes MRIs, bone density dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, x-rays, mammograms, computerized tomography (CT) scans and ultrasounds. In addition to surgeries for breast cancer, gallbladder, hernia repair, appendectomy, and colonoscopy, we’ve increased the range of elective surgeries performed in our award-winning surgical suite to include ophthalmology, orthopedics, podiatry and urology.

Finally, we’re investing in the future of healthcare in our community through a scholarship program run by the West Valley Hospital Foundation. This year, the Foundation awarded a total of $19,500 in scholarships to students pursuing degrees in a variety of programs for the 2017-2018 school year. Through encouraging students in our community to pursue careers in healthcare, we are building a better future for ourselves and our community.

We are proud of our work and our partnerships within the community. It’s all part of helping our neighbors live healthier lives.

About the author: Bruce Rodgers is currently West Valley Hospital’s chief administrative officer. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and received his MBA in healthcare management from OHSU/Portland State. He’s spent most of the last decade engaged in local healthcare and currently serves on the Willamette Valley Community Health and Salem Art Association boards of directors. He’s passionate about the arts, sports, nature and coaching people to make profound impacts in their own areas of interest.

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