The Gifford Medical Center in Hermiston has joined the Good Shepherd Medical Group.
For over 27 years Joseph R. Gifford, M.D., has been practicing medicine in Hermiston – of which 15 years have been at the Gifford Medical Center (GMC). Initially attracted to Hermiston by a strong active medical community that welcomed a family practitioner who also provided obstetrical care, Dr. Gifford dedicated most of his career to the people in Umatilla and Morrow counties.
In 2002, driven by a desire and a vision to meet the communities need for urgent care services Dr. Gifford opened the Gifford Medical Center.
“With the population of Hermiston growing, I saw a need for a convenient access to unscheduled medical care,” said Gifford. “Urgent Care also has significant cost savings when compared to the emergency room (ER) and many common injuries and illnesses can be cared for effectively in that setting, freeing up the ER to care for major illnesses and injuries.”
Over the years Gifford has also seen many changes in health care, for example, the growth Good Shepherd Health Care System has experienced over the years.
“There has been a lot more regulations placed on healthcare by the government to try and improve the delivery and accessibility of services,” he said. “I’ve experienced the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, electronic health record technology, and most recently Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services meaningful use requirements. With these regulations come more costs, which have a trickle down effect to the patients. These costs are hard for private practitioners to absorb – even though they are implemented to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities.”
According to Vice President of Good Shepherd Medical Group, Troy LeGore, the community served by GMC and Good Shepherd Medical Group (GSMG), Umatilla and Morrow counties respectively, have been in need of more primary care options for a few years now. This is a reality expressed during a 2016 consumer research study. In response, Good Shepherd Health Care System launched the Good Shepherd Virtual Care Clinic earlier this year. It has been very successful and is a great start, but still, relies on partnerships with primary care physicians and practitioners that see patients in the doctor’s office.
“I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Gifford and his team of physicians, practitioners, and staff,” said LeGore. “From the beginning, Dr. Gifford and I have had the same goal: to provide more access to primary care services in our community. There just aren’t enough doctors to meet our community’s needs. Too many people have left the community for care because they haven’t been able to get in to see a doctor when they need to. With this partnership our goal is to build on Dr. Gifford’s legacy by expanding urgent care hours and increasing access to primary care providers in Hermiston.”
The Gifford Medical Center is located in the Columbia Professional Plaza at 1050 W. Elm Avenue, Suite 110 in Hermiston. The office can be reached at 541.567.2995.