“We’re safe, we’re prepared, and we’re ready to take care of our patients,” says Sky Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Stewart.

This is national Hospital Week, an ideal time to acknowledge Oregon’s 62 community hospitals’ deep commitment to safety. All have taken significant precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Stewart and other hospital leaders say effective infectious disease control has always been a top priority.

“I want people in our community to know it’s safe to come back and address their health needs.”

Stewart says the hospital has begun scheduling elective procedures, including surgeries. “We don’t want people to stay away due to safety concerns.”

Stewart is also concerned about people putting off health needs, including cancer screening, because of the pandemic.

“We know that detection of cancer at an early stage has a much better outcome for our patients, but the governor’s order meant we couldn’t offer colonoscopy screenings or mammography screenings, so they weren’t being done. But that’s changed and those procedures are again available.

“It’s safe to return.”