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A message from our president and CEO, Joe Sluka

Author: Joe Sluka, 8/28/2019 10:00:00 AM

As a regional health system, one of St. Charles' greatest challenges is understanding the unique health care needs of each community we serve – and doing our best to meet those needs when possible.

That's why we spend a lot of time and effort in all of our communities: listening to people like you, studying how our facilities are used and identifying opportunities to provide services that will help create a healthier place to live.

It’s that kind of work that has led to increased access to health care for patients throughout our region. Feedback from our communities resulted in St. Charles Family Care opening a clinic in La Pine last year. Just recently, I attended a meeting in Sisters where we discussed the community’s future health care needs, and we are committed to working with folks there as they plan for growth.

Similarly, a few years ago in Prineville, we recognized a lack of walk-in health care options for residents. Currently, if you are sick or injured and need immediate care, your best bet is to head to St. Charles Prineville's Emergency Department, even if that's not the most appropriate (or most cost-effective) place to receive care.

So we got to work.

With generous donations from the Prineville Hospital Foundation and the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Residual Board, we’re expanding St. Charles Family Care in Prineville and adding primary care providers to make sure care is available when people need it. These improvements will allow the clinic to accept walk-in patients, which will not only ensure those people are getting the appropriate care, but also ease pressure on the Emergency Department.

You can read more about the expansion project elsewhere in this edition of our community e-newsletter. But as long as you're here, I want you to know that no matter where you live in Central Oregon, caregivers at St. Charles are thinking every day about how our organization can better serve you – not because that's their job, but because it's our responsibility as your health system.

Here are a few other things happening at St. Charles that we think might interest you:

We’re gearing up for the fifth anniversary of the opening of our award-winning St. Charles Cancer Center.

We’ve partnered with the local Ronald McDonald House to bring their commitment to compassionate hospitality into our Bend hospital.

We’ve got folks traveling far and wide on their own time because they’re passionate about caring for the most vulnerable among us.

We’re providing financial support to a pilot program aimed at solving Central Oregon’s child care shortage.

As always, thanks for reading.

Joe Sluka
President and CEO
St. Charles Health System