2020 highlights: A year of challenges was also a year of growth

CMH Annual Report 2020


Growing medical services
Nicole Williams, COO

In 2020, CMH welcomed 23 new physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. While some new recruits replaced someone who had retired or who had sought other opportunities, 10 filled new positions, including six physicians.

Columbia Memorial Hospital, Astoria, Oregon

Nicole Williams, COO

Each of these new positions increases the number of appointments available to serve our community’s medical needs. In 2020, CMH opened a multi-specialty clinic in Seaside with primary care, urgent care, pediatrics, women’s health, pharmacy, lab, imaging, and foot and ankle services.

Physicians and advance practice professionals are an economic boon to our local communities. They create new family-wage jobs to support patient care and generate additional business for local retailers, restaurants and professional services. A recent study by the American Medical Association found that physicians in Oregon have an average economic impact of $2.2 million per year and directly create 12.8 jobs.

CMH, in partnership with Oregon Health & Science University, will continue to focus on recruiting new providers to Clatsop County. We have already made a very strong start in 2021 and have plans to recruit 12 new providers, including five additional physicians.

Source: ama-assn.org/sites/ama-assn.org/files/corp/media-browser/public/2018-ama-economic-impact-study.pdf

Expanding services with Seaside Clinic
CMH celebrated the one-year anniversary of the CMH Medical Group & Urgent Care – Seaside in March 2021 at the Seaside Outlet Mall.

“CMH saw a need for more primary care providers in Seaside and knew we could fill it,” says Jeanette Schacher, director of CMH Medical Group. “Seeing almost 7,000 visits in the middle of a pandemic, when other illnesses have been less prevalent, is a pleasant surprise and proves that we opened at the right time.”CMH Medical Group Seaside

The clinic’s medical team is made up of several Seaside-based providers and rotating specialists. They are supported by other professionals who work with patients to help them reach health and wellness goals.

Since opening in March of 2020, the clinic has continued to add services and specialties. It now sees patients for primary care, urgent care, podiatry, medical oncology, women’s health, pediatrics, pharmacy, lab, social work and imaging services. There were 1,514 new patient visits to the clinic in 2020. The new clinic has created 15 new family-wage jobs in Seaside.

From specialty to Urgent Care, we’re here for you in Seaside at the Seaside Outlet Mall, seven days a week. Call 503-738-3002.

Investing in your care
Zach Schmitt, CFO

CMH upgraded medical equipment throughout the hospital to improve patient safety and comfort. In 2020, the hospital upgraded its IV pumps to better prevent medication errors,
medication dispensers to reduce waste and hospital beds to prevent falls.

Chief Financial Officer at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, Oregon

Zachary Schmitt, CFO

Smart IV pumps. CMH replaced all its hospital IV pumps with Baxter Spectrum IQ Pumps. These smart IV pumps pull safe medication concentrations and infusion rates from a drug library programmed by our pharmacists. They’re designed to alert nurses and intercept any dose changes that could be inaccurate. This is just another layer of safety to help protect patients from the risk of errors.

Medication dispensers. The CMH Pharmacy and IT departments replaced all medication dispensing machines to improve medication security. Using reports from the machines, frequently used medications were moved to more convenient drawers to save nurses time. Enhanced data allows the Pharmacy to better anticipate the demand in different locations, thus reducing waste and expense.

Hospital beds that reduce falls. The hospital bed is one of the most valuable pieces of medical equipment for patient comfort and safety. CMH caregivers and Patient & Family Advisory Council volunteers reviewed several beds. They chose two models that they put to the test in the hospital. New beds have arrived and already have been put to use.

Your gifts help us bring safer, more comfortable care to your community. Visit cmh-foundation.org to learn how you can help.

Enhancing critical care with tele-ICU services
In July, CMH’s Critical Care Unit welcomed a new, robotic member of the team.

Dr. Annie DurraniWhen visiting a patient, the attending physician (hospitalist) may bring the rolling robot with them to the bedside. The robot allows an OHSU intensive care physician (intensivist) to see and hear patients and provide consultations on the spot.

This remote collaboration between CMH hospitalists, caregivers and OHSU intensivists ensures that patients are receiving the highest level of intensive care services possible locally.

CMH is a member of the OHSU Telemedicine Network and has used this vital, lifesaving service in the CMH Emergency Department for years to care for stroke, pediatric and neonatal patients.

CMH is committed to your safety and comfort at every stage of your care. Our hospitals and clinics are safe to visit, but you may be able to get care without leaving home. Check out columbiamemorial.org/telehealth.

Spirit of Caring Awards
Every year, CMH celebrates exceptional caregivers with the Spirit of Caring Awards. These caregivers have gone above and beyond to provide excellent, person-centered care. CMH’s 2020 Spirit of Caring Award winners were Kelley Crusius, FNP-C, of the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative, and Melanie Vaughan, RN, from the CMH Emergency Department. Here’s what their colleagues said about them:

Kelley Crusius, FNP-C

Kelley Crusius, FNP-C

“Kelley goes above and beyond daily. She has come in on weekends to support patients and families, spending hours with them to provide comfort. She is one of the Cancer Collaborative’s best assets and a great patient advocate.”

Melanie Vaughan, RN

Melanie Vaughan, RN

“Melanie constantly goes the extra mile for patients, trying to make their experience in the ED a good one. One time, a patient came in without shoes and was going to leave that way. Melanie gave the patient the shoes off her feet. She is kind, compassionate and meets patients where they are at.”

Cancer Collaborative receives sought-after accreditation
In November, the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative received a rare honor. It was awarded Cancer Center Accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC).

There are fewer than 10 critical access hospitals in the United States that hold this designation. The recognition for the three-year-old Cancer Collaborative demonstrates the organization’s commitment to high quality, coordinated care.

“We have an extraordinary team at the Cancer Center who care for their patients as they would their own family members,” CMH CEO Erik Thorsen says. “Earning this designation from the Commission on Cancer validates their hard work and serves to further our mission to improve the health of our community by providing exceptional health care.”

Mark O’Hollaren, MD, vice president of Clinical Outreach at OHSU, lauds the achievement. “This center will serve patients long after all of us are gone, and for that reason, the teams at CMH and OHSU should be incredibly proud,” he says. “The Astoria community rallied behind the hard work of all of you in a way that I have not seen before. You leave a legacy for your community that will make a big difference for a very long time.”

Hear for yourself how compassionate cancer care can make a difference. Visit columbiamemorial.org/podcast-surviving-cancer, or search for “Hands on Health” wherever you listen to podcasts.

Masks continue to be required at CMH for patients, caregivers, and visitors.Learn More