Salmon Creek hospital leader to take helm at Portland facility

Current VP of opertaions promoted to top spot

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian Port & Economy Reporter



Jonathan Avery

Bryce Helgerson

Jonathan Avery, chief administrative officer at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, will leave that position to take the helm of Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland on Jan. 6, the Salmon Creek hospital said Tuesday in a news release.

Avery “has done a phenomenal job” leading the Salmon Creek facility since before the hospital opened in 2005, Legacy Health Chief Operating Officer Mike Newcomb said in the news release. Avery has improved the Salmon Creek hospital’s performance “at all levels,” including by implementing comprehensive “lean” management principles, according to Newcomb.

That experience with improving work processes, boosting efficiencies and achieving better outcomes “will serve Good Samaritan well and take it to the next level of performance,” Newcomb said.

In becoming Samaritan’s new chief administrative officer, Avery will fill the position vacated by CAO Tony Melaragno, who became system vice president in charge of Legacy’s cancer and behavioral health service lines.

Meanwhile, Bryce Helgerson, currently Legacy’s vice president of operations and a former CAO at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, will take over as chief administrative officer of Salmon Creek Medical Center.

The Salmon Creek hospital has more than 1,050 employees. That’s up from more than 875 because of Kaiser Permanente’s decision to contract with the Salmon Creek facility for emergency and obstetrics care services. Systemwide, Legacy has more than 9,500 workers.

In the news release, Avery said: “I have loved my time at Salmon Creek and I am so proud of what our team has accomplished over the past eight years. It has been an amazing experience to work with so many talented staff, physicians and community partners to develop Salmon Creek into a successful, well-respected hospital.”

He added: “While it is difficult to say goodbye, I leave knowing that Salmon Creek is in good hands, with a strong leadership team and a staff that is committed to the highest levels of care and service.”

As to his new role heading up the Salmon Creek hospital, Helgerson said: “I look forward to joining the team at Salmon Creek to continue to build on a strong tradition of service, high quality patient care and a spirit of innovation that will lead us into the new era of health care.”

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