Contact: Thomas Hottman
Below are comments made by Paul Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer at Sky Lakes Medical Center, during the October 19, 2015, ribbon-cutting of the OHSU Campus for Rural Health Academic Headquarters at Klamath Falls. The office is located inside the Cascades East Family Medicine Center, a Sky Lakes department.
"Most academic medical centers and universities function in the rarefied atmosphere of multifaceted research and complex tertiary medical care. As such, these centers of learning are almost uniformly located in major metropolitan areas – with access to innumerable healthcare resources.
"Many of us who have worked in metropolitan areas choose instead the lifestyle presented by rural America. We value the out of doors, short commutes, beautiful scenery, and an agrarian economy.
"But healthcare in rural areas is vastly different from healthcare in metropolitan areas. Our resources and 'bench strength' are not as deep, our need for collaboration and communication is greater, and the challenges we face are more, well, challenging.
"It is not often then that we see the leadership of these training centers step out of the comfort of their home base and pursue a broader statewide mission of preparing health care professionals to practice in the wide array of communities that many of us call home in rural Oregon. Dr. Robertson and Dr. Maladenovic and Amy Dunkak represent that rare breed who envision their academic role as serving the entire state, not just Portland.
"We are grateful to them for helping create the vision that brings us here today. By establishing the Campus for Rural Health, we acknowledge the unique challenges of serving the healthcare needs of people who live and work in rural areas. And we seek to train a new breed of healthcare professionals -- ones we will train using this model – young women and men who embrace those challenges – will find their educational experience enriched beyond measure.
"With this enhanced experience, they will be better prepared to practice amid these unique challenges that face rural healthcare providers.
"Whether it's building a medical center or creating a new medical-education model, it requires hard work. It requires focused effort. It requires cooperation and collaboration and a shared vision.
"Everyone involved in the development of the Campus for Rural Health understands what's required for success to fulfill that vision."
PHOTOS: (Top) Paul Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer at Sky Lakes Medical Center, delivers remarks during the October 19, 2015, dedication of the OHSU Campus for Rural Health dedication ceremony.
(Bottom) Performing the ceremonial ribbon-cutting are Joe Robertson, MD, OHSU President, Jeanette Mladenovic, MD, OHSU Executive Vice President and Provost, Paul Stewart, and Joyce Hollander-Rodriguez, MD, program director at Cascades East Family Medicine Residency and Regional Associate Dean for the OHSU Campus for Rural Medicine--Klamath.