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Why do they call it 'Asante?'

Could you please tell me what the word “Asante” means and where did it come from? All the medical offices are now under the Asante umbrella. When and why did this happen?

— Ruth D., Medford

A few Since You Asked linguists sniffed a little French in the word “Asante.” If you’re a Francophone, you know that “Santé” means health. The toast “À votre santé” is literally “to your health.”

That was our suspicion about the word Asante, at least. But, we’re cautious types here, so we didn’t want to bet on our linguistic suspicions.

We checked in with Lauren Van Sickle, spokeswoman for Asante, and she confirmed that the word does derive from the French expression “To your health.”

“The name reflects what Asante is all about, and that is helping individuals live a life with good health,” Van Sickle said.

The name Asante was first used in 1995.

In July 2012, Asante Health System shortened its name to Asante and renamed two local hospitals: Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford and Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass.

Ashland Community Hospital became the third Asante-owned hospital last year.

In 2012, Asante created a new physician organization, Asante Physician Partners, which addressed the growing demand for primary and specialty care doctors in the region.

By the way, Ruth, Asante is a local company and has had its roots in local hospitals for some time dating back to 1922, when Dr. Robert Stearns opened Medford Community Hospital on East Main Street. Asante is governed by a local board of directors composed of volunteers and physicians, and all organizational decisions are made by people who live and work in our community

As Asante grows, expect to see its name on more and more buildings in the area.

And, remember, Ruth, that every time you see the name Asante, it’s like making a toast.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.