A look back at 2019

A look back at 2019

by Chief Executive Officer Dan Grigg

Happy New Year everyone!  As we look forward to the new year, we have an opportunity to reflect back on 2019. The past year was one of great progress for the Harney County Health District, and that progress was made possible through a concerted effort by the entire organization. In the spirit of appreciation and celebration, here are some of the highlights from 2019.

Revised vision and values

Harney District Hospital (HDH) will continue our mission of “enriching lives through better health.” However, the board recently approved a revision to our vision and values. Our new vision is “to be the healthcare partner of choice for our community.” Our revised values are compassion, integrity, quality, safety, and teamwork. Our values define who we are as an organization, what we stand for, and how we will fulfill our mission and vision.

Let’s take a look at what our values mean to us:

Compassion:  Treating others with sensitivity and empathy provides for a healing environment and shows respect for the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of others.  We value team members who care about people and demonstrate this through their words and actions.

Integrity:  Integrity demonstrates our moral and ethical principles and is the foundation where we build our relationships.  We value team members who follow through on their commitments and adhere to high moral principles and professional standards of honesty, confidentiality, trust, respect, and transparency.

Quality:  We take great pride in continually seeking excellence in our performance and the services we provide.  We value team members who are willing to embrace change and adopt best practices.

Safety:  Safety is rooted in our culture because our work involves caring for people who lay their trust in us when they are at their most vulnerable.  We value team members who are committed to safety, expect it of their colleagues, and apply safe practices without taking shortcuts.

Teamwork:  Strong teams embrace the unique talents of every member, including patients and families.  They hold each other accountable and are built on trust, assertive communication, and a focus on results.  We value team members who care more about the success of their team than their own individual success.

General statistics

In 2019, HDH served 260 inpatients who stayed a combined total of 879 days.  There were 48 patients who delivered their babies at HDH and stayed a combined total of 76 days. The hospital’s transitional care program served 54 patients this past year, and they stayed a combined total of 1,116 days.  There were 3,895 visits to the emergency room, and a total of 634 surgeries were completed at HDH this past year. HDH Family Care clinic providers served a total of 19,379 visits.


During this past year, we continued our focus on safety – both patient safety and staff safety.

HDH staff received training to perfect their communication and teamwork skills and prevent workplace violence. A new video surveillance system was also implemented this past year. We now have camera coverage of all of our outside parking areas as well as key locations inside the facility.

EOCCO quality measures

Each year, the Oregon Health Authority designates quality measures that it expects each Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) in the state to meet for Oregon Health Plan members. A set payment is made when those measures are met. Harney County Health District is part of the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO).  Every year, EOCCO tracks the progress that each provider group makes toward meeting the designated quality measures. I am pleased to announce that, in 2019, HDH Family Care was the EOCCO provider group that met the highest number of quality measures, making us the number one performer in Eastern Oregon.

Specialty services

We have now completed a full year of offering dermatology in Harney County. During 2019, Dr. Wisco, our dermatologist, had 602 patient visits in the clinic and performed 51 Mohs procedures. Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer.

For many years, orthopedic surgeons from The Center in Bend have visited our clinic and treated patients from our community.  With the recruitment of Brad Mangum, orthopedic nurse practitioner, we officially launched our own HDH Orthopedic Program. With Brad, we have a full-time orthopedic practitioner who can see and treat a wide variety of orthopedic needs. We have a formal contract with The Center to provide surgical consultations and orthopedic surgery as needed for our patients.  During 2019, we had 813 orthopedic patient visits and completed 51 orthopedic surgeries at our hospital.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Our EMS department had another busy year. The department had 1,112 calls for the year, a 4 percent increase over 2018. Of those 1,112 requests, 127 were transfers to other hospitals.  EMS provided 38 standbys for the Harney County Fair, Burns High School football, Crane Union High School football, and local running events — all free of charge.

To meet with the continued high demand for ambulance services within our community, we are replacing our oldest ambulance (a 1992 unit) with a new, yet refurbished 2018 ambulance, while maintaining a fleet of four units. The refurbished model, while essentially new, saved the Health District approximately $38,000 versus a new model. Additionally, the city of Burns Police Department generously donated a surplus response vehicle to the Health District for emergency response. The intent of this vehicle is to provide supervisory response capability to major incidents as well as perform scene evaluation of our staff. With the addition of a new paramedic and an opening for another, it is necessary to provide medical oversight without impacting the services provided to our communities.

Space planning and construction

This past year, we completed the design and received board approval to remodel the HDH Family Care clinic and the HDH Pharmacy. Design is also complete on a third project to remodel the Racine building and develop a Specialty Clinic. Construction on the pharmacy and Family Care clinic will start in early January. We expect all three projects to be completed in 2020.


Under the leadership of Elisha Miller, the Harney Hospital Foundation continues to grow. The purpose of this nonprofit organization is to support the long-term viability of high-quality medical care for residents of, and visitors to, the Harney County Health District service area. Three key events this past year included the Men’s Guild, Women’s Circle 100, and the employee foundation baskets. These efforts generated a total of $13,618 for the hospital foundation. The Foundation also sponsored a learning series on aging and received a donation from the Toelle-Jackson family for the purchase of two “wee sight vein finders” for our nursing department.

Under the leadership of Savanna Cate, fundraising efforts for CAN Cancer and Reach Out & Read were also very successful. Our outreach department raised $12,717 for these programs.

Financial health

The past year was financially strong for the Health District. During 2019, our days cash on hand increased from 98.4 days to 132.9 days. (This is a measurement of how long we could continue to operate without additional funds.) Our overall debt decreased from $14.5 million to $13.8 million. We invested $467,000 in capital equipment, including the purchase of an ambulance, fetal heart monitors, and a CT Injector.

Looking forward

As we reflect on the past year, it’s clear that there’s a lot for the Harney County Health District to be proud of. However, we will continue to seek excellence and strive to be your healthcare partner of choice. Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare, and have a happy and healthy new year!

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