Hospital hires new head of operations


Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital

Jane Russell has been hired as the first permanent chief operations officer for Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport. She started in her new position with the hospital on Aug. 1.

Russell comes to Newport with a wealth of hospital administration experience with the U.S. Public Health Service, serving the tribal health system in Alaska.

Throughout the last 15 years, Russell has led health services for an organization with 1,000 employees in 50 locations, including a 56-bed hospital, village clinics, community health clinics and much more. Most recently, she served as vice president of medical and multi-specialty operations for the Alaska Native Medical Center, a level 2 trauma center and statewide tertiary hospital, the largest tribal health organization in the United States.

“We are so fortunate to have someone with the caliber of skills and experience that Jane brings joining our local team,” said Lesley Ogden, SPCH CEO. “Jane has experience in all aspects of hospital operations and physician relations, and she also understands the special needs of rural communities and critical access hospitals like ours. She will be a great fit for our hospital and community.”

Russell will replace Ryan Combs, who served as interim COO since January 2017. Combs, who had also been serving as vice president of primary and specialty services with Samaritan Health Services in Corvallis at the same time, will go back to serving in only the VP role.

In her new position as chief operations officer for SPCH, Russell will serve as a regular presence in Newport, helping with day-to-day operations of the hospital and serving as a liaison with staff. She is eager to get started.

“When interviewing here, I got the very real sense of the caring and commitment of the staff for their community. Our staff are committed to providing the best care for their community, and I want to be part of that,” she said. “I am also excited about the new hospital we are building and how it will give us more opportunity to bring care closer to home for people at the central coast and give them better access to care.”

Russell, her husband, Ed Klem, and their two school-aged daughters live in Otter Rock.

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