In health care, if you're sitting still, you are falling behindHealth care is a major component of our communities. That's one reason why the article in Friday's edition of an $804,745 federal grant to Coastal Family Health Center to be located at Columbia Memorial Hospital merits major attention.

The availability and quality of health care has always been a major component of a city's quality of life. As the health care equation has grown more complex, medical service is a more urgent concern in rural areas.

The Medicare reimbursement formula is biased against rural areas. At the same time, however, there are incentives to help regions such as ours. The Oregon Health Sciences University is empowered to aid communication with physicians in rural areas and nurture physician development in those areas. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington has proposed giving a tax exemption for National Health Service Corps grants.

Columbia Memorial Hospital is a highly significant component of our regional health care system. Its trauma care is widely recognized. We are fortunate to have the hospital, and we are especially grateful that its leaders in concert with U.S. Rep. David Wu are planning for the future.

In health care, more than in most other endeavors, if you are sitting still, you are falling behind. That's why this grant is especially heartening.

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