A Note from Dennis Knox

At this time last year, we were nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic wondering when life would start to look more “normal.” Most of us looked ahead wishing for 2021 to be happier, healthier and overall just better than 2020. As we now know, year two of the pandemic brought its own set of challenges, including the delta and omicron variants, an unexpected surge of patients affecting our entire region, and staffing shortages affecting hospitals all across the country. It was most certainly not the year we had envisioned when we were making our New Year’s wishes last December.

However, it is usually true that in darkness there is light, and MCMC has been brightly lit this year and this season by the enduring spirit and unwavering determination of our employees and our community. Together, we’ve continued to care for our neighbors, families and friends and made progress on a variety of fronts, including taking a big, bold step toward our vision for a new hospital campus.

None of what we accomplished this year would have been possible without the effort and teamwork or our 983 employees. Some of these achievements include:

  • Successfully navigating the patient surge thanks to many staff members, including the resilience and commitment of our Emergency Department team.
  • Partnering with Adventist Health Portland to bring their nationally recognized cardiology program, Northwest Regional Heart & Vascular, to MCMC.
  • Getting our Orthopedic and Sports Medicine team back on the field with local athletes to ensure safe training and injury prevention education.
  • Bringing 205 babies into the world in our birthing center.
  • Welcoming 17 new providers and 191 new employees to our team.
  • Opening a Transitional Care Clinic to help patients transition from hospital to home.
  • Improving the pre-surgical experience thanks to Gift Shop volunteers dedicating proceeds to buy patient stretchers.
  • Launching a medication disposal program for a safe way to dispose of unwanted or expired medication.
  • Receiving another prestigious three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for our inpatient rehabilitation program.
  • Preparing to launch new payroll and timekeeping platforms in the coming weeks to upgrade our existing functionality.
  • And so much more.

In addition, we have continued to benefit from the wonderful support of people and organizations that are committed to making a difference in our community, including:

  • Tonkin Subaru of the Gorge, which selected Mid-Columbia Health Foundation as their Hometown Charity for the 2021 Subaru Share the Love Event.
  • Columbia Gorge Toyota & Honda, which donated to the Health Foundation’s Breast Health for Strong Families Program to provide free screening mammograms for those in need.
  • Freebridge Brewery, for announcing plans to donate proceeds from a special lager to commemorate Celilo Cancer Center’s 20th anniversary, which we will celebrate next year.
  • And many others, including 10-year-old Natalie Morgan who donated a box of fidget toys--that she purchased with her allowance--to our ED for kids with anxiety.

As we look toward 2022, I am confident that we will continue this incredible spirit of collaboration and continue to do great things to ensure quality healthcare is available and accessible to local residents and continue to make MCMC a place where great employees come to work.

I appreciate each and every one of you. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire leadership team at MCMC, I wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season.

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