ATTENTION: If you think you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call our COVID-19 triage line at 503-814-0099 before entering a Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics facility. This includes staff. Anyone at a Salem Health facility (inside or outside) must wear a facial mask at all times.
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May 3 Common Ground: Breakfast with the CEO, credentialing changes
May 3, 2015
breakfastQ&A from Breakfast with the CEO
Salem Health Chief Operating Officer Cheryl Nester-Wolfe filled in for Norm Gruber at March's breakfasts. She answered physician questions, including inquiries about the processes surrounding changes to the answering and paging services, Building D remodeling and information flow to providers. Read the questions and Cheryl's responses.
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revisionsLast chance to weigh in on Credentials Procedure Manual revisions
Medical staff have the opportunity to provide input on proposed changes to the Credentials Procedure Manual before they are implemented. A change to the "provisional" staff status as outlined in the Credential Procedure Manual is currently under consideration. Read the proposal and email Kelli Fussell if you have any input on the changes.


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cardiacCardiac Rehab and Pulmonary Rehab Epic launch 

Cardiac Rehab and Pulmonary Rehab are going live with Epic Ambulatory on Monday, May 11, 2015. Providers can expect to see more communication from Cardiac and Pulmonary through Epic, rather than fax and mail. A command center will be established Monday, May 11, through Friday, May 15, and the Solution Center will be taking calls at extension 4-4357.  


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hcgHCG testing changes
Ordering a serum pregnancy test instead of an HCG, quantitative test can save patients money. Read more about the HCG testing changes and additions that will be implemented at the hospital starting Wednesday, May 6, and look at the HCG testing options.
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TBSuspected tuberculosis and time to isolation

In the fall of 2014 a state surveyor identified an opportunity to initiate airborne isolation earlier for patients suspected of having tuberculosis (TB).  

As a result of these findings the order to initiate airborne isolation has been added to the Epic order for laboratory tests normally used to diagnose TB, including PPD, Quantiferon Gold, and NAAT (PCR).  

In addition, the Multidisciplinary Peer Review Committee (MPRC) has recommended that education be provided to the medical staff regarding TB. This is in the planning stage under the guidance of Jennifer Williams, MPRC chair.


What are the typical signs and symptoms of TB? 

  • Cough for more than three weeks 
  • Hemoptysis 
  • Weight loss, no appetite 
  • Night sweats, chills, fever 
  • Cavitation on chest X-ray

What does this mean for the medical staff?

Any patient suspected of having TB should be placed immediately in an airborne infection isolation (AII) room under negative pressure until TB is ruled out. Consider ordering the NAAT test (PCR) on sputum as it usually results the same day, and can be tested seven days per week.

  • All TB suspects should have three sputum specimens obtained at least eight hours apart (one of these obtained in the morning) for AFB smear microscopy and AFB culture. At least one of these specimens should be submitted for NAAT
  • Patients with any combination of three negative smears or NAATs collected at least eight hours apart can be released from isolation
  • Alternately, patients with two negative NAATs, regardless of smear results, can be released from isolation. In such cases where smears are positive, they can be attributed to nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM).

Early initiation of airborne isolation prevents inadvertent exposure of all of our health care team members and patients to tuberculosis. 


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CMONew chief medical officer announced

Steve Gordon, MD, has been selected as Salem Health's new chief medical officer. Dr. Gordon will be assuming the role Monday, June 1, 2015.


Dr. Gordon and his family currently reside in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Gordon brings to Salem Health a wide range of skills and experience, most recently as the system vice president of care transformation at PeaceHealth.  He was responsible for leading the care transformation strategy, including initiatives of ICD-10 and Epic EHR adoption. He led PeaceHealth hospitals to achieve stage 1 meaningful use in 2013.  Dr. Gordon's previous roles include regional vice president and chief quality officer as well as a practicing physician. He also serves on a variety of healthcare and community Boards. 


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choiOctavio S. Choi, MD - Psychiatry

Oregon State Hospital

Medical Education

University of California
San Diego-La Jolla, California

September 1994 to June 2004 

UCLA-Semel Institute
Los Angeles, California

July 2004 to July 2008  


University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 



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kohHeajeoung E. Koh, MD - Emergency medicine

Salem Emergency Physicians Service, P.C.

Medical Education: 
Texas A&M University College of Medicine
College Station, Texas

August 2003 to May 2007


Case Western Reserve University,

Metrohealth Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Cleveland, Ohio


July 2007 to June 2010 
Board Certification:  American Board of Emergency Medicine


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colladaMaurice Collada, Team Award

In an effort to reduce variation and costs for lumbar fusion patients, Maurice Collada, MD, and the affinity team implemented multiple tests of change targeted to improve patient care. The team reviewed literature and developed a clinical care pathway based on evidence based practice. The order set was modified to compliment the clinical pathway. The team also worked on creating a hospital stay algorithm, to standardize the criteria used to determine discharge eligibility.


The 24-month cost savings outcome for this patient population was $551,000. Most notably, patients are now staying one day less than before the project began. Additionally, the percent of patients discharging home has increased from 88 percent to 94 percent. And lastly, the 30-day inpatient readmission rate was reduced from 7.14 percent to 3.36 percent and the 30-day ED visit rate was reduced from 11.7 percent to 8.7 percent.


Read more details about the project in Dr. Collada's Team award.

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kishanKishan Ramachandran, Role Model for Excellence 

Kishan Ramachandran, MD, was an outstanding leader during the process of internal organ donation after circulatory death. In his own words, the process of withdrawal to 'comfort care in the operating room,' requires a calm and well-informed physician leader. His leadership at the end-of-life for one man led to new lives for at least three others. He followed Salem Hospital policies and procedures with both accuracy and compassion. Dr. Ramachandran received the Role Model for Excellence award for his work.

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wolfeRobert Wolf, Excellence Above and Beyond

Robert Wolf, MD, has spent more than 15 years serving Salem Hospital patients and the community. He is known for his availability, fairness as a leader, hard work and trust he has earned with patients. Read his  Excellence Above and Beyond award for more about his dedication to patients and staff.

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rasmussenMichelle Rasmussen, Leader in Practice and Teaching of Excellence

Michelle Rasmussen, MD, has been working as part of Salem Health's outpatient family medicine group for three years. Her patients appreciate her careful, detailed and personalized care, and her staff find in Dr. Rasmussen a role model for how to treat others. Read more about Dr. Rasmussen's excellent work and reputation in her Leader in Practice and Teaching of Excellence award.

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checUpcoming classes at the CHEC  

Select class headlines to download a flier to print and share with your patients. For more information and to register visit the CHEC website or call 503-814-2432 (CHEC). 


Healthy Back

This class is offered by the Salem Spine Center and is taught by an experienced physical therapist. In this class, participants will learn how to keep their back strong and decrease their risk of injury.
Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 1 to 2 p.m.


Infant CPR

For new and expectant parents, grandparents and anyone who will be with a newborn.
Offered twice a month, except on holidays
Dates: second Monday of the month, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
fourth Monday of the month, 4 to 5:30 p.m.


Learn how Medicare works, supplemental insurance options, assistance for people with low income and resources, how the Affordable Care Act improves Medicare, and more. 

Date: Wednesday, May 13
Time: 1 to 2:30 p.m.


Drop-in grief support group who can help you cope with the shock, sadness and isolation you may feel as part of the grieving process when you experience the death of a loved one. This support group is led by a team of community professionals.

Dates: first and third Wednesdays, 1 to 2 p.m.
second and fourth Wednesdays, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 




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Common Ground Newsletter Editorial Board 
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Email us anytime with feedback, suggestions, or something for the next issue!  Dr. Ian Loewen-Thomas, Chair, Compact Implementation Committee

Salem Health