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News Lesley Ogden Names COOs for Coastal Hospitals

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Lesley Ogden, chief executive officer at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital and interim chief executive officer at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, announced today that chief operating officers have been identified at both hospitals. 

To support Ogden in her combined role, she identified Virginia Riffle, vice president of patient care services, to transition to chief operations officer at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, and Ryan Combs, vice president of primary and specialty services at Samaritan Health Services will transition to interim chief operations officer at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital.

Riffle, a Registered Nurse, joined Samaritan in 2001 and was named vice president of patient care services at North Lincoln in 2012. Riffle will continue to serve as vice president of patient care until a replacement is identified while continuing work as a key member of the planning group working on the new hospital.

“Virginia’s hard work and expansive knowledge of North Lincoln and the coastal community will serve her well in her new role,” Ogden said. 

“I am excited to continue the work of our leadership team as we progress on new hospital campus plans and identify how to best serve the Lincoln City community,” Riffle said.

Combs, who began his health care career as an Emergency Medical Technician, joined Samaritan in 2012 after serving in leadership roles with several large multi-specialty physician clinics. He brings strong expertise in physician relations, health care operations and management. As he assumes his new responsibilities in Newport, Ryan will identify leaders within Samaritan who will take on some of his current duties. 

“Ryan’s work with Samaritan has vastly improved access to care in our clinics, and his background and experience will greatly benefit the Newport community,” Ogden said of Combs.

This announcement follows a November announcement that Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Chief Executive Officer David Bigelow will retire in June.

“I am eager to continue the great work of Dr. Bigelow and begin working alongside the leadership team in Newport to plan for a medical campus that will better serve the needs of Newport residents,” Combs said. “It’s an exciting time for the Newport community.”

In a November release announcing Bigelow’s impending retirement, Samaritan Health Services President and CEO Larry Mullins, DHA, announced that Lesley Ogden, MD, will transition to interim CEO at both coastal hospitals and thanked Bigelow for his service.

“We are fortunate to have such capable leaders within Samaritan, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity for them to take on expanded responsibilities,” said Mullins. “We will all benefit from the strong professional and organizational knowledge they will bring to their respective roles.”

Ogden, Riffle and Combs plan to work together to continue the development of both medical campuses and increase access to care and services provided in Lincoln City, Newport and surrounding areas.

For more information, visit samhealth.org/NewHospitalLincolnCity or samhealth.org/NewHospitalNewport respectively.