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Hospital forges bond with OHSU

Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria (Courtesy CMH)
Thursday, March 14, 2019

Columbia Memorial Hospital recently signed a new collaboration agreement with Oregon Health Science University that’s expected to help the hospital expand access to health care.

The local hospital has developed other programs with OHSU during the past decade, including cancer care, cardiology, emergency medicine and general surgery.

“CMH’s relationship with OHSU has allowed us to maintain at-risk services and add numerous new services during a turbulent time in the health care industry,” said Erik Thorsen, CMH’s chief executive. “CMH is committed to providing local access to care, and this collaboration will help us do that.”

Both organizations recognize that greater coordination is needed to achieve seamless care that benefits patients and supports clinicians.

Under the agreement, the local hospital’s Board of Trustees will add an OHSU representative as a full voting member. That person also will serve as a liaison between OHSU and CMH.

Together, the two hospitals will hire a physician to serve as chief medical officer in Astoria to help direct clinical strategy, oversee quality control and serve as a key member of the hospital’s leadership team.

The two hospitals also will work to standardize the organizational structure and governance model of various clinics.

“Every joint program we have pursued with Columbia Memorial Hospital has been successful in serving patients and clinicians on Oregon’s North Coast, and has brought valuable lessons back to OHSU,” said Dr. Mark O’Hollaren, vice president of strategic outreach at OHSU. “We look forward to continuing to learn from each other as we expand our collaborative programs.”

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