Samaritan Early Learning Center appoints Barbara Dougherty as director

Oct 30,2012


Samaritan Early Learning Center welcomes Barbara Dougherty as its new director. Dougherty has an extensive record of work experience and community involvement in family and child development, health promotion and community building.

“Samaritan Early Learning Center is fortunate to have Barb as its new director. Her tireless work for children and families in Lincoln County is a huge asset for the parents and children at the center,” said Marty Cahill, CEO of Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.

Dougherty chose to move to Samaritan Early Learning Center because of the opportunity to participate in a state-wide transformation of early childhood education.

“There is a state vision, guided by the Early Learning Council to insure that every child will be ready for school and reading by third grade. The opportunity to be hands on, to support the children and parents in our community as the state moves forward in this focused plan is very exciting. I think there are going to be opportunities that will be created at the state level, and I wanted to be an instrumental part of making sure that SELC was a part of this vision.” said Dougherty.

As director of the Commission on Children and Families, she was actively involved in the local Early Childhood Development Council working to strengthen the services and support for children in Lincoln County. The need for more parenting resources was identified by this group, and Dougherty was instrumental in writing the grant to bring the Coastal Families Parenting Hub to Lincoln County. Samaritan Early Learning Center is an integral part of this hub as it moves into its second year of growth. She also worked in health promotion and preventions programs during a seven year career at the Lincoln County Health and Human Service Department.

Dougherty’s record of community involvement is impressively long and includes membership, director and chairperson roles with organizations such as PAADA- Partnership Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Coastal Families Together, Project Homeless Connect, Runaway and Homeless Youth Coalition, Lincoln County Childhood Obesity Task Force, Centro de Ayuda and more.

In 2007, Dougherty was the recipient of Oregon Partnership’s State award for Outstanding Champion for Coalition Building- for Leadership with Law Enforcement and Community volunteers to reduce underage drinking.

Dougherty has a master’s degree in physical education and is a registered dietitian. She is looking forward to integrating more of her expertise into the curriculum.

Samaritan Early Learning Center is dedicated to creating learning experiences for children six weeks to eight years of age in a caring environment. A new SELC building was constructed in 2011, in partnership with the City of Lincoln City, the North Lincoln Health District, Samaritan Health Services and the North Lincoln Hospital Foundation. The new building can serve up to 91 children, providing enriching experiences to local families.