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Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Celebrates 75 Years

Feature Article

Jim Hutchinson Marks 41 Years of Service at Good Samaritan

Little did Jim Hutchinson realize as a temporary employee in 1975 that he would be back for good in less than six years and is still working at Good Samaritan 41 years later. That temporary job was to  move the hospital from the N.W. Harrison and 27th Street location into the newly constructed hospital on a hill north of the city.

“It’s in my blood,” said Hutchinson, Good Sam’s lead storekeeper. 

He spent his school days in and around Good Samaritan where his father Bob was the chief financial officer.

“For entertainment after dinner, me, my brother, sister and the family would come over here and stand behind the fence and look at the hole that’s being built,” said Hutchinson of the construction of the new hospital in the early 1970s.

Leading up to the move, Hutchinson’s job involved going room to room in the 73,000 square-foot building, packing boxes, placing them on carts and moving them into trucks and then unloading them at the new facility.

After the move was completed, Hutchinson decided to attend college and try his hand in auto painting. In 1981, the Samaritan family drew him back into the fold.

“I actually got on the ground crew, but I was on that for just a couple of months,” said Hutchinson. “Then there was an opening in materials purchasing, the rest is history.”

Hutchinson became the lead storekeeper in 1992. His position involves overseeing the supplies throughout the Good Samaritan campus. With expansion of buildings and services, the job has grown as has the technology.

“I remember the first pallet of HP computers this hospital ever got,” said Hutchinson. “It went from literally walking around marking punch cards to entering the data on computers. That was in 1985.”

From those first computers, the method of record keeping changed in leaps and bounds.

“You don’t even have to fast forward that many years,” said Hutchinson. “From my first small computer to what I’ve got now – 24-inch monitors that make me feel like I’m an airport controller, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It’s definitely made the quality of our work so much better, so much easier to do.”

But Hutchinson does not live in a paperless world. Items still come in with paper invoices and packing slips.

 “I’ve got packing slips I have to compare, you can’t just throw those away because they’re official documents of what you received,” said Hutchinson.

“That was my dad’s,” said Hutchinson pointing to the well-worn black filing cabinet where he keeps those invoices and packing slips.  

Hutchinson’s father was on the team overseeing the construction of the new hospital. He was also the project manager for the construction of both the Cascade Medical Clinic and Neville building. Hutchinson’s father retired in 1996.

“He was retired, but still working a few hours a week as a consultant here,” Hutchinson said. “I’m pretty sure they were happy he was sticking around a little bit.”

Hutchinson’s father passed away at the age of 65, a year after he retired from Samaritan.

“Well, let’s just say my current wife is convinced that I’m going to retire next year at 66 and we’re going to get a trailer and go travel the country,” said Hutchinson. “She can’t really put it in perspective how much this is in my blood.”

“I used to have as a screen saver. It read, “I love my job.” And then at the end” REALLY,” and that holds true,” said Hutchison.  

 A young Jim Hutchinson working at Good Samaritan in the 1980s.

A young Jim Hutchinson working at Good Samaritan in the 1980s.

Watch for more articles about Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center as we celebrate 75 years of service to the mid-Willamette Valley and central Oregon coast.