Emergency room

Columbia Memorial Hospital will expand to Seaside.

For years on this page we have been celebrating incremental and occasional huge gains in health care services on the North Coast.

For too long, residents had to travel to Portland or Longview for services, incurring additional costs of travel and lodging — not to mention wear on tear on themselves and their relatives.

In recent years, all that’s been changing.

Our two primary hospitals, Columbia Memorial in Astoria and Providence in Seaside, have been making major gains. We salute their leadership for seeing needs and investing the resources to try to fill them.

The latest venture is the announcement by CMH of a new urgent care and multi-specialty clinic to open later this year.

Construction will begin this summer on the so-far unnamed Seaside location, with an opening planned next winter.

In making the announcement, CEO Erik Thorsen said the clinic will include primary, specialty, urgent and virtual care, along with diagnostics such as imaging and lab work.

It’s part of a broader plan to better serve North Coast patients throughout the region, exemplified by the opening of its first primary care clinic in the Warrenton Highlands shopping center in 2013. An expanded version of that facility will take shape shortly when CMH relocates it to a 8-acre site recently bought from Clatsop County in the North Coast Business Park.

CMH’s board and executives are not resting on their laurels from the terrific success of the Knight Cancer Collaborative, a partnership with Oregon Health and Science University for chemotherapy and radiation therapy, that opened in 2017 next to the hospital’s main campus in Astoria. They also added another clinic in the adjacent Park Medical building in Astoria last year.

Providence Medical Group operates a primary care clinic on the main campus of Providence Seaside Hospital off Wahanna Road.

But with continued evidence of the high demand for all kinds of health care services through a recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment, there’s ample proof that CMH’s latest venture will succeed.

The Astoria-based hospital expanding operations to Seaside should not be seen as an issue; both CMH and Providence provide quality care. And more facilities mean a choice in provider and likely shorter wait times. Every patient would welcome those enhancements.

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