A $3 Million Health Education Center on the medical campus of Pacific Communities Hospital was heralded by a warm, if slightly breezy groundbreaking Friday morning in Newport. On hand were many of those founding personalities that made the original hospital possible, then upgraded, and now to be further strengthened with a 12,000 square foot addition that boosts the roles of health and wellness – preventing sickness and disease rather than having to treat it later.
Speaker after speaker praised the founding fathers and mothers for their efforts that brought more advanced and comprehensive medical services to the Central Coast which has grown tremendously over the years. Further, the establishment of a health district that created public funds to supplement resources invested by Samaritan Health Services based in Corvallis, including a permanent MRI and digital mammogram. They reminded the crowd that this latest step was a huge team effort, orchestrated by Pacific Communities Health District Foundation Director Ursula Marinelli and Linda Kilbride among others too numerous to name but certainly to include Bonnie Saxton, Chair of the Pacific Communities Health District and medical community icon Dr. Richard Fox, now retired, and Chair of the Center for Heath Education Committee.
Although many had warm and wonderful things to say about the tireless efforts of so many in the community pushing the project forward, Dr. Fox just about stole the show with his enrapturing sincerity of his enjoyment and respect for everyone who hand a hand in bringing the new Health Education Center off the planning boards and onto the ground right on Highway 101 on the west side of the medical campus. Dr. Fox challenged those in attendance to spread the message throughout the community that donors are also OWNERS when they donate to the cause of health and wellness for the residents and visitors of Lincoln County. Dr. Fox showed no hesitance in announcing that “We still have a need for a little more “ownership” to come forward for the cause.”
The groundbreaking enlisted the “Good Earth Services” of soils brought from many communities around Lincoln County which symbolized not only the well grounded commitment to physical and mental health for but also the new center’s location right on Highway 101 – out front and proud to offer health and wellness services – to remind everyone that living healthy, eating healthy and being healthy starts here, at the Center for Health Education, spreading knowledge and care throughout the communities of Lincoln County.
The Center for Health Education will become the hub for disease prevention and for managing chronic conditions, helping to promote health, attract and retain the best health care providers, improve quality-of-life for all citizens and lower their health care costs. The two story, 12,000 square foot building will contain a community resource center, a teaching kitchen and laboratories for ongoing health professional training. Also, there will be dedicated spaces for support groups and other community health-related activities. Along with over two thousand members of the community and their organizations, the Pacific Communities Health District, Samaritan Pacific Health Services and PCHD Foundation have all collaborated, over the past NINE YEARS, to take the community’s dream of ever improving community well being to an ever higher level.
Plans are to have the New Health Education Center to begin its many years of service to the community at about this time next year.
Those who would like to become involved in this lofty mission can visit the hospital district’s foundation office on line at samhealth.org/PCHDF or call the Foundation office at 541-574-1810.