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Feature Article

Celebrating Doctors' Day with These Champions of Care


In honor of Doctors’ Day, Samaritan Health Services is pleased to highlight the following clinicians, who were nominated through the Champions of Care program by a grateful patient or family member.

Each year, Samaritan Foundations recognizes Champions of Care - a group of individuals and departments that have been nominated for their efforts to go above and beyond. These honorees were selected for the compassionate care and service they provided to patients and their loved ones.

Patients and employees are invited to nominate any Samaritan, as well as make a contribution to their local hospital foundation in honor of an employee who has made a difference in their life.

The 2019 Champions of Care clinicians, along with the comments from their nominators are below:

  • Farnoush Abar, MD, Samaritan Hematology & Oncology Consultants
    “Thank you for your kindness and thoughtful care in the management of my multiple myeloma.”
  • Farnoush Abar, MD, Samaritan Hematology & Oncology Consultants; 
    David Faddis, MD,
    FACS, Samaritan Surgical Specialists and
    Patrice McGowan, MD, Samaritan Regional Cancer Center
    “With heartful thanks to all of you for your listening, professionalism and expertise in helping me in my greatest hours of need.  I love you all!”
  • Steven Ballinger, MD, Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics
    “Thank you for all you did for me. I appreciate and thank God for you. You are the Best Dr. You took 2 years of pain away. I’m back taking care of my youngest grandson.”
    “I’ve seen and met many doctors in my 61 years of life, military, civilian and in between. You are by far the best! From friendly, down-to-earth personality, to professional, knowledgeable, courteous service to your patients. Your experience, skill and expertise is above reproach. I am so grateful for your talent and helping me walk again and be able to use my left shoulder. I hope you are staying around, I’ll need another hip & who knows what else. I will always recommend your services to others! Thanks for the flowers, last time I got flowers, I had to have a baby! LOL! Thank you so much, I can move on with life now!”
  • Han Chang, MD, Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital Emergency Department
    “On February 1, 2018, you make quick and competent decisions that saved my life. I slept through it all but my family and I thank you! I believe God and His angels were with me throughout my ordeal. You were one of his angels.  FYI- I did end up on life support for 3 days and am recovering!”
  • Maria Clark-Harmon, ANP, Samaritan Internal Medicine
    “Great four years of dedicated service. You’ve never failed. Always took the time and patience for this old lady. All with such a compassionate heart. Now, that’s dedication!” 
  • Jinny Farrar, PA-C, Park Street Clinic
    “I’m sure glad that I switched to the Samaritan doctors, nurses, clinics, and the hospital personal. I’m very happy with it and Jinny Farrar, PA-C is a very good clinician and I like her a lot.”
  • Keith Harris, MD, Mid-Valley Gastroenterology
    “Thanks a bunch for your services. You explained the situation very well and told me I needed another colonoscopy very soon. I appreciated that very much! Thanks again, you’re awesome!”
  • Rachel Hogan, MD, hospitalist at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center
    “Always goes above and beyond her duties! Takes good care of her patients and makes sure her family members are very well taken care of by the best doctors. She constantly strives to be better! Thank you!”
  • David Hufnagel, DO, Samaritan Hematology & Oncology Consultants
    “You have always been on top of the problem with the right answers.  I am fortunate to have you looking out for me and my health in general.”
  • Kristy Jessop-Shankowski, MD, Samaritan Internal Medicine - Corvallis
    “Thank you for your care over these many years. You have provided professional care with personal concern. You have fought hard for me to not get lost in a system. You have been an advocate and have intervened to connect me with those to help. Thank you for that. Thank you for your kindness and your empathy as I struggled a difficult journey. Thank you for helping me not feel alone.”
  • Alexa LaFaunce, MD, Samaritan Lincoln City Medical Center
    “I would like to thank you for really going the distance for me. On several occasions, other doctors wouldn’t have. All doctors should follow your lead.”
  • David Long, MD, Samaritan Health Center - Newport
    “Thank you for taking me on as a new patient.  I find you to be a caring physician who will spend the time explaining things even when you are busy.”
  • Billie-Jean Martin, MD, Samaritan Cardiovascular Surgery
    “Sometimes health problems jump up and threaten the length and quality of your life. Then we are grateful there are doctors like you. Thank you for your skill, patience, and high standards. You have touched my heart!”
  • Rachael Mayfield, PA-C, Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Geary Street
    “Appreciate your service to me and Al in his last days. And the excellent care you give me year-round. Can’t give much money but send many thanks.” 
  • Dennis (Timothy) McCarley, MD, Samaritan Mental Health
    “Thank you so much for your very analytical and understanding practice. You have determined things that other doctors have not mentioned to us.”
  • Patrice McGowan, MD, Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center and
    Kathleen Yang, MD, Northwest Gynecologic Oncology
    “I just want to thank you both for everything you have done for me while I was going through my cancer treatments. I have never had two doctors more willing to be so friendly. Right there for me as a patient, I was at ease, and comfortable, for what I was going through. Thank you both again. Can’t say enough! Thank you!”
  • Ike Onwere, MD, Samaritan Hematology & Oncology Consultants and
    Laura Ouellette, MD,
    Samaritan Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic – Geary Street
    “Thank you for all your help in 2014 with the cancer tumor on my kidney and how sick I was after surgery.”
  • Karl Ordelheide, MD, hospitalist at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital
    “Every time I see you, I feel comfortable you have saved my life two times now, and many of my friends and relatives agree. I can always count on you to explain everything to me, you have the patience of Job.”
  • Rebekah Owen-Thayer, MD, Samaritan Internal Medicine - Albany
    “I would like to thank you for all the care you have given me in the past 12 years. You have listened to my needs, and I believe you have always tried to give good advice.”
  • Jeffrey Palmgren, MD, Samaritan Urology - Albany
    “I’d like to thank you and your team for every consideration and that extra mile to get me to surgery at that last minute. All’s well! Thank you.”
  • Jaimy Patton, MD, Albany Anesthesia (in memory)
    “Dr. Patton was not only my coworker in the Post-Anesthetic Care Unit, for 3 years he was my doctor, providing me pain relief with cervical spinal blocks every 3 months. I cannot convey enough in words what his care meant. He is and will continue to be missed.”
  • Arun Raman, MD, Samaritan Surgical Clinic – Lincoln City
    “As a retired nurse I am forever grateful for Dr. Raman saving my life. My routine colonoscopy was not to Dr. Raman’s satisfaction and his encouragement sent me to Corvallis where the second colonoscopy revealed colon cancer. Dr Raman operated and removed the mass from my sigmoid colon before it metastasized. Going forward I know I am in the best of hands and look forward to a long healthy life.”
  • David Rosencrantz, MD, Oregon Urology Clinic, PC
    “You are a highly skilled physician in the discipline of urology.  Quite likely you are also a superb advocate for your patients and a dedicated humanitarian!”
    “When we first met in January 2017 in a sort of emergency situation in Portland, I was in a stressful and painful state, and, in your words “A MESS!” Over the next eight to nine months, you provided relief, healing comfort (usually), and finally the solution to my problem. I sincerely thank you (and your sidekick, Beverly) for your expert and methodical care and good jokes. Also, our thanks and appreciation to the nurses and staff at the Samaritan North Lincoln surgical unit.”
  • Michelle Ryan, MD, Samaritan Rheumatology
    “I so appreciate the way you listen to my concerns and how you are able to find a solution or a treatment plan to deal with those concerns. I am so grateful for you, Dr. Ryan, as you continue to help me have quality of life and enjoy being active living with RA.”
  • Scott Schindell, MD, Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic – Geary Street
    “Thank you for being so kind and caring.”
  • Eric Sharp, DO, Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Southwest
    “You listen! You take as much time as I (the patient) needs - I feel I am the most important person there.”
  • Rick Stanley, MD, Samaritan Mid-Valley Orthopedics and
    Robert Moore, MD (retired), Samaritan Urology - Albany
    “Thank you so much for “staying with me” as the years speed by. I have been a clinic patient since 1951.”
  • Luis Vela, DO, FAOAO, Samaritan Orthopedics – Luis Vela, DO
    “Thank you for helping me when I had a bad accident and fell and broke my wrist. Thank you for your clear advice and coaching before and after surgery. We are very lucky to have you as our surgeon.”
  • Sridhar Vijayasekaran, MD, and Matthew Barton, PA-C, Samaritan Cardiology
    “Thank you for your kind care and responding quickly to my cardiac problem on Oct 30th, 31st with surgery. You’re the best!”
  • John Ward, MD, Samaritan Family Medicine Resident Clinic - Geary Street
    “I appreciate your good listening skills, your willingness to deal with my medical issues in a way that supports my lifestyle, and your knowledge. I brag about you often.”

    Nominate a Samaritan caregiver as a Champion of Care today!