Gateway’s business people ‘hit the road’ – and pick new meeting place

Find out what folks with the Gateway Area Business Association learned, when they lunched at Adventist Medical Center – and learn where they’ll be meeting this month …

Adventist Medical Center welcomes members and guests of the Gateway Area Business Association, as it host a monthly luncheon in one of its meeting rooms.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After almost year of meeting at Izzy’s Pizza – Gateway, members and guests of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) held their last event of the year – their November membership meeting – at Adventist Medical Center (AMC). And their next meeting will be somewhere else…read on to find out where.

But at the November meeting, AMC treated its GABA visitors to a gourmet luncheon that was so delicious that very few noticed it was vegetarian, in keeping with the tenants of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which operates the Center.

Steadfast Gateway area booster Fred Sanchez, of Realty Brokers, introduces AMC President and CEO Thomas Russell.

After a preliminary warm-up by President-Elect Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers, Lee Powell from Powell Farmers Insurance Agency welcomed the guests and introduced AMC President and CEO Thomas Russell to tell more about the venue they were meeting in that day.

“I want to give you a sense of what the organization is about, and a little bit about the healthcare issues we’re all facing right now,” Russell began.

The organization that owns and operates AMC started in Battle Creek, Michigan, in the 1860s, with the founding of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. “It was a large facility that was designed and built by Dr. J. Harvey Kellogg, whose passion was for preventative healthcare. He also invented a healthy breakfast cereal which we know now as ‘Kellogg’s Corn Flakes’.

Thomas Russell traces AMC’s Portland roots back, spanning longer than a century.

“He not only treated patients, but also trained physicians who would go to other parts of the country to make a difference in the lives of people,” Russell continued. “One of those physicians was Dr. Belknap; in 1993, he and his wife opened a six-bed facility at SE 12th Avenue and SE Ash Street – the first incarnation of what is now known as Adventist Medical Center.”

The current configuration of Adventist Medical Center, located near I-205 in outer East Portland off SE Market Street, is designed to serve the projected population through 2025, Russell commented. “We’re going to see an increased need for orthopedics, oncology, and minimally-invasive procedures, as technology advances.”

  • Statistics about the hospital include:
  • A 302 bed facility,
  • Home care and hospice services,
  • More thano 2,000 employees,
  • 500 physicians, and
  • A large volunteer base, that includes David Douglas High School students.

“We’ll see 48,000 emergency room visits this year – and this number is continuing to increase, particularly as there is a challenge with access to healthcare,” Russell said.

Jim Pelch, the executive director of AMC’s Cardiovascular Services, tells of their integrated heart health programs.

Good place for a heart attack
One of their specialties, Russell pointed out, is cardiac care – which is said to now be the best available, since the addition of their Northwest Regional Heart Center. “We see a little more than one-third of all heart attacks in Multnomah County.”

Russell introduced Jim Pelch, the executive director of AMC’s Cardiovascular Services.

“You’ve heard that we treat many cardiac patients and have a very busy emergency department,” Pelch began. “It became very evident to us and we need to offer a full range of advanced cardiovascular health services at our hospital.”

The Heart Center treats conditions ranging from coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease, to stroke, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, and heart disease, Pelch stated. “They’re all interrelated. Because cardiovascular disease is integrated, we needed to have a staff and facilities that are integrated.”

He went on to detail how the Center’s rooms and apartments are set up to provide care.

Concluding the presentation, Russell discussed how various levels of government and insurance providers can make for a more challenging relationship between patient and health care provider. “There are great number of levels now between you and your healthcare.”

AMC’s mission, Thomas Russell says, is a “healing ministry”.

In closing, Russell said, “Our mission is to demonstrate the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. When we talk about the healing ministry, it’s about healing and ministry.  It’s not just about the technical piece, the healing.

“[Patients don’t talk about] the latest piece of equipment or medical technique,” Russell added. “They always talk about the physician, nurse, or staff member, and how that person made a difference with them at a high level. This is what we think that healthcare is about.”

GABA meetings change day – and location
The next GABA general meeting isn’t on the second Wednesday of the month in the past. They’re now on Thursdays — January 12 to be specific.

Networking starts at 11:30 a.m.; their meeting starts at 11:45 and ends promptly at 1:00 p.m. This month’s program is the “Parkrose Schools Music CD Project Kick-Off”

It will be at Russellville Park West Building in the Theater – 23 SE 103rd, Portland. Lunch: $8 Directions: From SE 102nd, turn east on SE Ankeny Street toward SE 103rd, turn left into underground parking, take elevator up to Theater. For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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