I have been with The Center for twelve years, having had the opportunity to serve as the CEO since 2010, and 2018 was a remarkable year of growth for The Center. As the year draws to a close, here’s a brief summary of what we achieved this year and what we look forward to accomplishing in 2019.

We successfully brought on seven new providers to help us keep pace with the growth of Central Oregon. Our sports medicine team expanded in the spring with the addition of Dr. Katya Urch and Nate Schwab, PA-C. In the fall, we added Dr. Anthony DiGirolamo to our physiatry team and Dr. David Holt joined our hand/upper extremity team of orthopedic surgeons. We expanded our pediatric services with Dr. Roth, who is fellowship trained in pediatric orthopedics and also specializes in adult trauma, and Dr. Pang who practices pediatric and adult neurosurgery. We were also pleased to add Dr. Rod Wigle to our orthopedic team of physicians as he transitions toward retirement. In 2019, we will look forward to introducing Dr. Christopher Healy to our community. Fellowship trained in orthopedic hand surgery, he will be an excellent addition to our orthopedic team.

The Center expanded services in John Day this year. We contracted with Bend Air Taxi to efficiently transport more of our medical providers to the region on a regular basis. Patients living in Grant County no longer need to travel to Bend as often for appointments in any of our specialties; neurosurgery, orthopedics, and physiatry.

We partnered with High Lakes Urgent Care to provide x-ray services for their patients at The Center located in the Shevlin Health & Wellness Center complex. Our imaging services are available to their patients seven days a week so they can treat a full range of walk-in injuries in a currently underserved portion of West Bend.

The Center understands the important role healthcare organizations play in supporting our community. In 2018, we continued to provide team physicians at sporting events for high schools in our region including Bend-La Pine, Crook County, Sisters, Culver, and Madras. We were also proud to continue as the official medical provider for the Bend Elks, Bend FC Timbers, Bend Endurance Academy, Mt. Bachelor National Ski Patrol, and XC Oregon.

Our staff of 23 physicians and 20 advanced practice professionals strongly believe in education and prevention. In 2018, our physicians gave eight free community lectures on topics such as concussion prevention and management, joint replacement, shoulder pain, and sports injury prevention. We want our community to stay healthy, and to have the necessary information to make educated decisions about their health care.

With this amount of growth, inevitably there will be some growing pains. It came to our attention that we had a major issue managing the high volume of phone calls from patients we are caring for. To remedy this, we hired additional staff and implemented a new workflow so patients are connected to the right department more efficiently. Our call answer times and abandonment rates have both dropped significantly. We hope that you will notice this improvement the next time you call The Center.

Thank you for choosing The Center. We look forward to serving you, your families, and the Central Oregon community for years to come. If you have any feedback for us, please email us at communityrelations@www.thecenteroregon.com.


Mike Gonsalves