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CMH Recognizes National Rural Health Day

Hospital news | Wednesday, November 17, 2021

ASTORIA, Ore. — Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) is proud to celebrate National Rural Health Day 2021 on Nov. 18. The day highlights the importance of rural hospitals, clinics and medical providers.

An estimated 57 million people are served by rural hospitals — a statistic which CMH is proud to be part of.

“Our caregivers’ can-do attitude has made an incredible difference this year, as staff have worked incredibly hard to meet the community’s healthcare needs,” said Erik Thorsen, CEO. “I am thankful for our caregivers’ innovation, compassion and dedication to providing high-quality care.”

2021 has marked several changes at CMH. In July 2021, CMH and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) transitioned many CMH providers to the CMH-OHSU Health collaboration. Providers from numerous specialties participate in the collaboration, including emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, urology, radiology, pulmonology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, vascular surgery, podiatry, family medicine, endocrinology, pediatrics and cancer care.

The relationship between the two healthcare organizations bolsters the coastal communities around Astoria. More Oregonians can access services in their communities, contributing to improved health outcomes, and the next generation of rural health providers can have opportunities to train in a community hospital environment.

CMH has also welcomed several new providers and leaders. So far in 2021, CMH has welcomed the following new providers:

  • Whitney Latham, DO, CMH-OHSU Health Pediatric Clinic - Seaside
  • Michelle Powell, CRNP, CMH Urgent Care
  • Emma Williams, MPH, PA-C, CMH Emergency Room
  • Tom Haigler, PA-C, CMH-OHSU Health Primary Care Clinic - Astoria
  • Tonya Michlin, FNP-C, CMH Urgent Care
  • Robert Leatherman, DO, CMH Imaging Services
  • Kenneth Kolbeck, MD, CMH Imaging Services
  • Jordan Young, MD, CMH Emergency Room
  • Angella McCully, DNP, CMH-OHSU Health Primary Care Clinic - Warrenton
  • Benjamin Sherman, DO, CMH-OHSU Health Orthopedic Clinic
  • Tom Peckenham-Hernandez, PA-C, CMH-OHSU Cardiology Clinic
  • Jennifer Brown, MD, CMH-OHSU Health Primary Care Clinic - Warrenton
  • Katie George, PA-C, CMH-OHSU Health Primary Care Clinic – Astoria

The following employees have been promoted or hired to leadership positions at CMH during 2021.

  • Marla Matlock, Oncology/Infusion Manager
  • Kerrie McKey, Astoria Primary Care Manager
  • Christopher Strear, MD, Chief Medical Officer
  • Nichelle (Nicki) Wickstrom, Imaging Manager
  • Mary Kay Gorny, Seaside Clinic Manager
  • Beverly Selga, Director of Surgical Services
  • Misty Ingram, Director of Medical Group
  • Tamera Gann, Specialty Manager

“Thank you to all who continue to trust CMH with your healthcare,” Thorsen said. “We look forward to continuing to serve you in 2022.”

For additional information about National Rural Health Day, visit

If you’d like more information about this topic or schedule an interview, please call Nancee Long at 503-338-4650 or email