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Longtime Albany Physician Shares Pride in Samaritan System

A series of "transitions and evolutions" is how Dr. Louis Weinstein describes both his career as a physician and the development of Samaritan Health Services as a regional health system.

In 1976, Dr. Weinstein and his two medical school classmates, Dr. Dan Mulkey and Dr. Tom Clark, relocated to Albany and launched Albany Internal Medicine Group. After three years, Dr. Weinstein left for Philadelphia where he completed a clinical fellowship in nephrology and subsequently rejoined his colleagues in Albany.

Since then, growth and change have been persistent.

The clinic first aligned itself with Albany General Hospital. Later, Dr. Weinstein and his colleagues played active roles in the process of integration with Samaritan Health Services.

"I am most proud of having been a key player in the coming together of three medical communities," said Dr. Weinstein. "When I arrived, there was intense competition among hospitals; now we've pooled our resources and established a system that has evolved into something special."

He also contends that without the collaboration of five independent hospitals, one or more may not have survived without affiliating with a large regional or national health system.

"We are fortunate to be under local control and financially sound and independent," said Dr. Weinstein, who has been a member of the Samaritan system board for the past 10 years. "I am not sure people understand how important that is."

Dr. Weinstein was instrumental in bringing the first dialysis center to the Valley in 1990, and now is seeing this specialty grow rapidly to care for an increasing number of patients.

"When I arrived, dialysis patients had to travel to Eugene or Salem for treatment," he explained. "Now there are dialysis units in Lebanon, Corvallis, Newport and Albany."

With two daughters and a commitment to numerous boards and community groups, Dr. Weinstein plans to continue his active involvement in Albany and be part of the continued evolution of the Samaritan community.

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Samaritan Health Services has five hospitals and more than 80 primary and specialty care clinics throughout the mid-Willamette Valley and central Oregon Coast, providing a wide variety of physician employment opportunities.

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