The Chamber Leadership class had the opportunity to focus on healthcare services in Southern Oregon for the month of January. We heard from the foundation staff at both Asante and Providence and learned an extensive amount about the good (and often charitable) work these organizations provide to our communities.
Our day started at Asante Rogue Regional where we learned firsthand about the dramatic need for changes to the way treatment is delivered to mental health patients. The need for psychiatric care in our area continues to climb, yet we heard about the significant financial challenges of continuing these important programs. Despite this, Asante Rogue Regional is currently undertaking a multimillion-dollar renovation of their Behavioral Health Unit thanks to generous donors who responded to a three-year fundraising campaign. They are also implementing a trauma informed care model that equips staff to use non-confrontational communication and partners with local agencies, mental health professionals and police departments. The addition of beds will help Asante to provide services to some of our most vulnerable community members.
The rest of our time at Asante was spent in their simulation lab where we saw the latest in training techniques used by caregivers and student nurses to provide them hands on experiences and training. The high-fidelity mannequins we saw ranged in age from a newborn to an older individual and included the ability to deliver a baby or assess CPR techniques. Again, thanking the Asante Foundation for supporting the significant investment required to keep these simulation labs functional; the experience gained here ultimately provides patients with better care.

As we moved on to Providence, we were again reminded how much our local healthcare providers give back to our communities through charitable donations and their work with other non-profits.   Hearing about the Sisters of Providence was a great reminder of how care and compassion are combined in the delivery of healthcare.  We also learned about the amazing apps available from your phone, often providing almost immediate input regarding your healthcare.
There was really so much to learn about the options for healthcare in Southern Oregon. The biggest takeaway is that we are fortunate to have 5-star healthcare right here in the Rogue Valley.
Article by Teri Smith, M.Ed. Class of 2018 -2019 Dean of Health and Public Service
February: Technology & Natural Resources
The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
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