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Samaritan to Break Ground on Pastega House Expansion

By Ian Rollins

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Samaritan Health Services will hold a public groundbreaking on Thursday, Aug. 1, for a major expansion of the Mario Pastega House. The event will take place at 4 p.m. outside the house, on the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center campus. 

This event is open to the public, with RSVPs requested to the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation at wolsen@samhealth.org or 844-768-2456

Construction will begin later this summer. When complete in 2020, the expanded Pastega House will feature 24 rooms, double the size of the house as it was built in 2004. The new rooms will have two queen beds each, which will offer better accommodations for larger families.

“We typically run at 100% occupancy during the week,” said Lisa McAlister, house manager. “The expansion will allow us to serve more patients and families in need from out of the area.”

The house serves patients and families who travel more than 25 miles to the GSRMC campus for specialty medical care, ranging from surgeries to cancer treatments. About one-third of the guests come to Corvallis for cancer treatments at the Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center. Other patients visit the hospital for more extensive surgeries, such as cardiac or neurological, or simpler day procedures where time at the house is kept at a minimum. 

The late Mario and Alma Pastega made the house possible with a $350,000 gift toward its construction. Mario Pastega had the vision for the house after staying in a similar hospitality house in California while his sister underwent surgery.

Multiple businesses and community leaders contributed toward the construction with the Pastega family, including CH2M Hill, Rodda Paint and others. The Corvallis High School annual Mr. and Mrs. Spartan events continue to raise support for the house, and the Siletz Tribe has generously awarded grants toward the facility. Many other private donors ensure the house is able to continue offering services to those in need.

The house has brought comfort to thousands of patients and families since its opening. Tami Nightingale of Sweet Home and her family stayed at the house for more than a week in 2016 while her late husband, Neil, was in the Intensive Care Unit at GSRMC following a log truck crash (he tragically passed away from his injuries at the hospital).

“I am ever so grateful to have had a place to rest my head, to get away alone, to shower and change clothes,” Nightingale said. “We had a warm meal to eat, a place to store fresh food that was sent to us from family and friends. The chapel to go pray in was my getaway and gave me strength. I maybe could sleep 16 hours out of that eight days, my mind would not stop. I would have been a hazard on the roads, but there is no way that I could have left my husband.”

Nightingale said she fully supports the expansion.

“Medical bills are expensive enough, but to be able to stay at a place where you’re not paying $100-plus for a hotel is completely wonderful,” she said. “It’s such a stress relief.”

The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation has raised $2.5 million to fund the expansion, which will start this summer and conclude by spring 2020. For more information, or to contribute, call the foundation at 844-768-4256.