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An open letter to our community from President and CEO Jeremy Davis

Corporate news | Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Contact: Mardi Ford

Back in March of 2020, the best defense against COVID-19 was to limit exposure. There was no official cure and no effective treatment. Less than 18 months later, we have a variety of coronavirus treatment options and new vaccines. We are experiencing a downward trend in the numbers of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The best news may be that as of June 30, most of Oregon is able to fully open. Health care, however, is one of the industries excluded from the lifting of restrictions. We ask for your patience as we comply for your protection and that of our workforce.

Approximately 36 percent of Union County residents are now vaccinated with many more in progress. We understand there are concerns about the new vaccines. We encourage you to discuss concerns with your provider. Your provider knows your history and health issues, and will best understand and respect your concerns about COVID-19 vaccines and treatment options.

Unfortunately, the mental, physical, and financial fallout from the pandemic is still impacting our nation’s efforts to move forward. One example is in the health care industry, as “COVID-fatigue” is trending as a reason some health care workers, nursing staff in particular, are opting for something other than hands-on patient care. We saw this trend coming and have proactively worked to ensure we provide the best care for our patients.

Of bigger concern is the national trend of pandemic-delayed routine health maintenance - the best way to stay physically healthy to fight viruses or diseases. Sadly, health professionals across the nation are seeing patients put off regular health maintenance appointments, diagnostic testing and screenings, only to find they now may need surgery or hospitalization. Delayed care costs you money and impairs your health. Please be vigilant about your own self-care and contact your provider with concerns. If you are a GRH clinic patient and have MyChart, you can securely message your GRH provider with questions or request an appointment to discuss them.

We are here to care for you. For a year and a half, our employees have navigated the changes to providing care, protecting patients, and serving our community under often contradictory and ever-changing guidelines and regulations. Our front line and support staff have weathered concerns and complaints while continuing to show up each day with a smile. Our patient care staff has cried at the bedside of COVID patients who did not get to go home, and cheered enthusiastically for those who did.

Our vision statement reads:

Quality Health Care is our Mission. Patients are our Passion.

We did not think that up in the Board Room. We did not hire a Public Relations firm to craft it. We asked our employees what they thought. We do not think of ourselves as an institution. We are your community hospital. We’re your neighbors and friends. And we are moving on to better days ahead with you - side by side.