Photo courtesy of the News-Times

Reopening Elective Medical Services at SPCH

(Photo courtesy of the News-Times) Governor Kate Brown has announced a loosening of restrictions on elective medical services, and Samaritan Health Services (SHS) is implementing best practices and following guidelines to help us continue to safely serve our communities. On May 1, Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital (SPCH) cautiously reopened elective medical services that were closed since mid-March. We are strictly adhering to the Oregon Health Authority guidelines concerning regional bed capacity, personal protective equipment stock, testing turnaround times, visitor/employee policies, 50% previous service volume, and so forth. Early in the pandemic, SHS established local triage committees at each hospital to prioritize surgical procedures and make sure that emergent patients were cared for promptly. The SPCH committee is composed of local surgeons, a nurse manager, and a clinical administrator and they continue to address emergent cases and are now prioritizing elective cases as well. Elective doesn’t mean “not painful” or “not debilitating” so many delayed surgeries are much needed by our patients and these committees will help ensure that patients who urgently need our help are treated. Similar triage is occurring in each of our service areas and our clinicians are helping us prioritize how to best serve our therapy, diagnostic imaging and clinic patients, among others.

Testing Update

In addition to our existing drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Depoe Bay Clinic, SPCH opened a second testing site at the Waldport Clinic on April 28. Both sites can test symptomatic patients and require an order from the patient’s clinician. In most cases, test results are available within 24 to 48 hours.

Universal Masking Policy

All staff working in SHS facilities are required to follow the universal mask policy. This includes hospitals, clinics, corporate sites and any other Samaritan facility. In order to help ensure the safety of everyone who enters a Samaritan facility, all patients and visitors are now required to wear a face covering. Patients will receive appointment reminder calls and we will ask them to wear their own masks into our facilities. If they arrive without a face covering, one will be provided for them.

As we move through this reopening process, new policies and guidelines may be implemented and we will continue to make that information available here and at



Lesley Ogden, MD, CEO                                                            Ralph Breitenstein, MD, Chair

Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital                              Pacific Communities Health District

and Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital