Contact: Mardi Ford
With their grown children now living on the West Coast and the majority of their families still here in Oregon and Washington states, Dr. Gerry and Suzanne Funk have always planned to move back to Oregon. A few years ago, they began searching for communities with the right medical opportunities where Dr. Funk could practice general otolaryngology and still offer the specialty services and skills he has spent the first part of his medical career honing and perfecting.
“Bottom line? I’m still an Oregonian, and I feel like I’m coming home,” Dr. Funk says.
Dr. Funk grew up in Oregon City, Oregon, graduated from Oregon City High School, and went to the University of Oregon. After that, he was on to the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. He completed his residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery at Los Angeles County – University of Southern California. After residency he completed a fellowship in Head and Neck Cancer and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Iowa, which has been ranked #1 in the country for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and is still in the top ten. After fellowship, he stayed on at the University, most recently serving as the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Division prior to La Grande. Although the position in Iowa was exciting and challenging, he wanted to come home to Oregon and have a broader practice.
“We are looking forward to becoming a part of the La Grande community. I have been extremely impressed with the leadership and all of the people at Grande Ronde Hospital who have helped us with this transition – we really feel like we are coming home,” he says.
Growing up in a small town on the wetter, western side of Oregon, Dr. Funk says he has always admired the rugged geography and weather of eastern Oregon. He believes that the valleys and mountains of eastern Oregon are as beautiful as any place he has seen. After spending much of his adult life in the Midwest, he is unconcerned by the possibility of experiencing four seasons in one day or being snowed in during winter. Dr. Funk has experienced hot, cold, humidity, floods and draughts in the Midwest. The 23 years spent in tornado prone Iowa have further helped him respect extreme weather.
He and his wife are excited about building a life and a practice in La Grande. Both he and his wife have been very impressed with La Grande every time they have passed through or stayed here over the years. He was already familiar with the community when he saw the opportunity to join Grande Ronde Hospital’s Otolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery (ENT) Clinic located in the Regional Medical Plaza, 710 Sunset Drive, La Grande, OR.