Healthy Environment

Rogue Regional Medical CenterBob Pennell

It might have gone through a name change in the past year, but Rogue Regional Medical Center remains the same economic and health care force in Jackson County.

The locally based hospital is the Rogue Valley's largest non-seasonal job machine, with 2,337 employees who serve 373,000 patients per year.

Rogue Regional Medical Center by the numbers

Staffed beds: 276

Total Employees: 2,337

Nurses: 733

Live births (2012): 1,505

Total surgeries (2012): 9,103

Open heart procedures (2012): 543

Emergency room visits (2012): 38,656

Total inpatients served (2012): 14,452

Total outpatients served (2012): 359,779

"We are very proud of where the hospital has come from and where it's going," said hospital spokesman Grant Walker.

RRMC's origins date to 1954, when the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce commissioned a study on the area's medical needs.

The study found that the county "faced a dangerous shortage of modern hospital facilities," according to information provided by Walker.

The study provoked widespread concern in the county, prompting a call to action that led to seed money from large donors and $600,000 in federal aid to build a new hospital.

By 1956, the funding campaign had raised $876,000, which led to the official ground-breaking in August of that year.

Rogue Valley Memorial Hospital opened its doors on April 24, 1958. Approximately 6,000 people toured the facility that weekend.

The hospital has continued to grow along with the population of the Rogue Valley. In 1982, it changed its name to Rogue Valley Medical Center.

A neonatal intensive care unit, a cancer center and a heart and vascular center are among the speciality divisions added by the hospital over the decades.

Dr. Jamie Grebosky, the hospital's vice president of medical affairs, said the key to a successful hospital is to constantly push for innovation.

"One of the big advantages we have is the ability to communicate with our medical staff," he said.

Many hospitals across the country belong to massive chains, with facilities stretching across several states. Because of this, decisions often are made by officials in another time zone.

Grebosky joined the staff a year ago, having worked at large facilities on the East Coast. He prefers working in a hospital where the administration is just a walk down the hallway.

"Our physicians take the lead in seeking out the best practices in health care," Grebosky said. "It's very collaborative."

RRMC now has 276 staffed beds and performed 9,103 surgeries in 2012.

Of the 2,337 employees, 733 are nurses. In all, the hospital supports $159 million in total salary and benefits for its employees.

"We have physicians who come to work here for the quality of life and our staff," Grebosky said. "They will forgo higher salaries to work and live here."

The emergency room remains a busy place, with 38,656 visits last year.

Grebosky said the hospital's goal in the coming years is to cut down on re-admissions. Health care laws enacted at the state and federal level in recent years penalize hospitals for keeping a revolving door open.

"You want to get the patient the best care the first time, so they don't have to come back," Grebosky said. "It's good for the patient and good for the hospital."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.



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