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Legacy Silverton Medical Center President Joe Yoder, left, and James Berokoff, Legacy Health Senior Construction Manager, give a tour of the newly expanded Emergency Department.

Hospital expansion – New spaces bring in light, nature, calm

By Brenna Wiegand A visit to the emergency room is never fun, but having swifter care, greater privacy and up-to-the-minute amenities doesn’t hurt. March 18, Legacy Silverton Medical Center opened its brand-new entrance doors upon an expansion/remodel project that includes a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department (ED). The 21,000-square-foot expansion brings visitors through a covered entrance into a spacious lobby and […]

Tony and Marianna Davis -- submitted photo

Be(ing) the match: Finding common ground, starting a campaign

By Melissa Wagoner When Marianna and Tony Davis moved to Silverton from Roseville, California they were excited to start their new life.  “We were retired, and we had family all throughout Oregon…” Marianna said of the impetus for the move. “Then our daughter graduated from high school and went to college up here.” Only 18 months into their new residency, […]

Cyberbullying – Children’s development affected by destructive agent

By Melissa Wagoner As internet and social media use has continued to increase over the past 26 years, so too have the reported instances of cyberbullying – a type of intimidation or harassment that takes place via an electronic platform. The question is, why? “Basically, for the same reasons social media is so prevalent,” psychiatrist Audry Van Houweling, owner of She Soars […]

Mother’s helper – Silverton nurse opens lactation consultation business

By Melissa Wagoner Teryl Graybeal knows first-hand that breastfeeding isn’t always easy. “I struggled really hard with my first child,” she recalled. “If I hadn’t gotten help I wouldn’t have succeeded.” That experience stuck with her, inspiring her work as both a registered nurse, specializing in postpartum care, and as an Internationally Board-certified Lactation Consultant – the highest certification in that field […]

Stop the Stigma – Local psychiatrist offers annual scholarship

By Melissa Wagoner Normalizing mental health challenges has long been a priority of Audry Van Houweling, a Nurse Practitioner and owner of She Soars Psychiatry in Silverton and Sisters, Oregon.  “[M]ental health is not something that happens in the silos of healthcare offices,” Van Houweling said. “Many of us feel pressured to compartmentalize and do our best to conceal our […]

Diminishing options – Strained medical practices present challenges

By Melissa Wagoner When Kristen Storer received notice that her family’s primary care physician, Dr. Tim Peters, would be retiring early due to staffing shortages at his clinic, Northwest Family Medicine in Silverton, she was dismayed.  “I kind of panicked because they didn’t give very much notice,” Storer said.  Reliant on monthly prescriptions for her husband’s ADHD, Storer knew the […]

Your Health: Doctors, state officials urge return to indoor mask use

Seasonal caseloads of flu and respiratory viruses coupled with the continuing presence of COVID-19 have led a group of Portland-area physicians and state officials to urge a return to indoor mask use. Masks and the prevalence of seasonal illnesses on hospitalization rates were discussed at the Oregon Health Authority’s monthly media briefing on Dec. 8, although no state order on […]

Children’s health, globally – Pediatric dentist creates nonprofit

By Melissa Wagoner When Dr. Tim Richardson was in dental school at the University of Washington, he had a dream of becoming a traveling dentist. During the summer of 2006, he flew to Kenya with a Washington-based nonprofit to find out just how to make his dreams come true.  “I stayed in a little volunteer hut with no running water […]

Silverton nurse gifts grant to Bridgeway

By Melissa Wagoner When Silverton-based nurse Holly Perez received a call from the Maps Community Foundation informing her she had just been chosen a Community Award recipient for 2022, she was caught off guard. “My daughter Sofia nominated me,” Perez said. “I was not aware of this; therefore, it was quite a surprise.” It was a good one. As a winner, […]

Detectable – Silverton wastewater data on COVID-19 presence open to public

By Brenna Wiegand In some ways more telling than tracked test results, the prevalence of COVID-19 in a community may be seen in its wastewater. Though Silverton has been taking samples and sending them to Oregon State University’s School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering twice a week for about a year, only lately have the ongoing results been made […]

Groundbreaking: Silverton medical center starts $35 million expansion

By Brenna Wiegand When Silverton Hospital affiliated with Legacy Health six years ago, the health care company committed to making significant improvements toward optimizing the medical center’s ability to provide top-notch health care for Silverton and surrounds. “Part of that commitment was a pledge on the part of Legacy to invest $58 million into Silverton Medical Center over the next […]

Reimagining care – Legacy appoints a Chief Medical Officer for Silverton

By Brenna Wiegand Christopher Thoming, MD, MBA, has been selected to serve as the vice president and chief medical officer for Legacy Silverton Medical Center. Dr. Thoming will work closely with Legacy Silverton Medical Center President Jonathan Avery and Chief Nursing Officer Karen Brady to promote safe, high-quality care and clinical operations and contribute to the medical center and service […]

Casting a long shadow – Community members share experiences after two years of COVID

By Melissa Wagoner It’s been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And while we still have not reached the “end” (wherever that may be) Our Town asked readers to describe what the pandemic era been. “My best friend’s marriage fell apart after 35 years…” Yvette Marty recalled. “Without all of her activities, not seeing her children and grandchildren… she […]

MASD going mask-optional March 14

By Stephen Floyd The Mt. Angel School District plans to go mask-optional March 14 after state regulators changed a deadline the district expected to fall at the end of the month. Oregon lifted its mandate on masks in public school buildings March 12, however MASD had made plans to carefully craft policy changes up to the state’s original deadline of […]

Transition planning – Silver Falls district going mask-optional March 31

By Stephen Floyd The Silver Falls School District has chosen to become mask-optional after statewide mask mandates are lifted March 31. The district board voted six-to-one Feb. 14 to direct Superintendent Scott Drue to draft policies transitioning away from mask mandates that have been in place since 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Opposing the decision was Board Member […]

Looking for answers – Mt. Angel takes measured approach to un-masking

By Stephen Floyd The Mt. Angel School District is taking a more cautious approach than its neighbors ahead of the March 31 deadline to lift indoor mask mandates in Oregon schools. While the Silver Falls and North Santiam school districts voted to go mask-optional by March 31 and joined the call for an acceleration of the deadline, MASD Superintendent Rachel […]

No masks – Maskless students asked to leave high school during Feb. 4 protest

By Stephen Floyd Around two dozen students were asked to leave Silverton High School Feb. 4 during a maskless walk-in protesting state COVID-19 mandates. Demonstrators gathered outside the school entrance that morning, prepared to disregard mandates requiring masks in all school buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They were met by administrators who explained, though the district supports students’ […]

Personal recovery – No-cost workshops encourage thriving, boosting, wellness

By Melissa Wagoner If you’ve ever been interested in planting your own vegetable garden, curating an art collection, improving your job interview skills, understanding your children, reducing stress, eating better or just becoming a happier person then now is your chance to take the leap – for free. “[The courses are] intended to focus on topics that will support all […]

Omicron peak: Legacy foresees a return to record-setting hospitalizations

By Brenna Wiegand Like health systems across the country, Legacy Health, which includes Silverton Legacy Medical Center, is seeing a significant increase in visits and hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant. As of Jan. 24, Legacy Health was caring for three times as many COVID-19 positive patients than just a month before.  “The recent wave of COVID-19 cases and […]

Robotics – Da Vinci Surgical System comes to Silverton Medical Center

By Brenna Wiegand Legacy Health recently launched a new surgical robotics program at Legacy Silverton Medical Center with the installation of an Intuitive da Vinci Xi Surgical System robot, a versatile robotic system used by surgeons around the world. This advanced instrumentation allows surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few tiny incisions with increased vision, precision, dexterity […]

Two positions, one action – COVID prompts student walkouts at Silverton High School

By Stephen Floyd Students at Silverton High School staged opposing protests last month to highlight what they believed were harmful COVID conditions in the classroom. A walkout held Jan. 19 protested state mandates requiring students to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while a walkout held Jan. 20 called for a two-week return to distance learning in […]

Pediatric vaccinations – Legacy delivers COVID-19 shots to kids

By Brenna Wiegand Recent approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children was welcome news to many families and communities across Oregon, especially those who have been hit hard by COVID-19. It also gave Legacy Health staff in the Silverton region the green light to create ways of getting them out to kids from five to 11 years old quickly and efficiently. […]

COVID decision fatigue – It’s exhausting when small decisions are critical

By Melissa Wagoner Decision fatigue is a relatively unknown mental health term that has, during the past 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, begun getting more attention. “Decision fatigue describes the challenges in making decisions large or small, typically occurring after a period of time of frequent or complex decision making,” Audry Van Houweling, the owner of She Soars Psychiatry […]