The year 2020 is right around the corner. It may sound like science fiction. Still, it’s as real as the new CMH Medical Group clinic about to open in the Seaside Outlet Mall in January. The community is excited to welcome the much-needed services and outstanding providers of the new clinic. Columbia Memorial Hospital is a name we’re all familiar with, but the expansion brings a much needed shot in the arm to essential medical services in Clatsop County.

An artist rendering of what the pharmacy might look like at the new health center.
Photo credit: CMH Health Compass

The new health center will feature a variety of medical services, including urgent care, primary care, pediatrics, women’s health, a lab, and imaging services. There will undoubtedly be new names and faces of providers mixed with the familiar. One of those returning familiar faces is CMH Pharmacist Jeff Chow. Chow is returning to Seaside to manage the CMH Community Pharmacy, and many locals are excited about the news, including David McCarthy. McCarthy credits Chow with saving his life after he ran out of nitroglycerin and had an angina attack years ago. Chow’s parents were pharmacists, and he worked at the Seaside Rite Aid Pharmacy as a teenager, so you could say it’s in his genes.

An artist rendering of the primary care reception desk for the new CMH clinic shows the attention to detail.
Photo credit: CMH Health Compass

Columbia Memorial Hospital chose Seaside for its new health center because there is a genuine need for services in that community. They already serve thousands of patients every year from Cannon Beach, Gearhart, and other coastal towns. Customers often have to leave work early to travel to CMH for care, so it will be much more convenient to have a new health center in Seaside. The clinic will be open seven days a week and will offer early morning and evening hours.

One of the more notable things about the new CMH medical Group health center in Seaside is the way they are using local artists for what they call “healing arts.” Health involves much more than just the physical. To keep our minds and spirits healthy, we need to engage in activities that help us relax and connect with the metaphysical. That’s why the new medical center has commissioned several local artists for works of art that will reflect the spirit of the coastal community and the person-centered values of the organization.

Dorota Haber-Lehigh, a native of Poland, uses colored pencils and watercolor to create artworks that focus on the unique culture of the coast, where she has lived for the past two decades. Haber-Leigh majored in art and international studies at Pacific University.  Using her talent and education, she’s creating a series of 25 botanical pictures on wooden blocks arranged in a mosaic that will be featured in the health center. According to Health Compass Magazine, a periodical released quarterly by CMH, she says, “the illustrations will be vibrant in color, and the subject matter will range from trees to flowers to berries.”

Pharmacist Jeff Chow (on the left) with one of his long term customers, Damon Skogseth.
Photo credit: CMH Health Compass

Other locally renowned artists that will be showcased include Kyla Sjogren and Stirling Gorsuch. Sjogren is known for her fiber arts. She creates artwork from natural fibers, most often personally spun on her loom. She uses natural pigments from plants and insects to die the threads she makes from wool, cotton, and hemp. For the clinic in Seaside, she’s created a seascape she’s named “Either Way.” She says, “The ocean with its vastness, equalizes the playing fields in life and puts everything into perspective.”

Stirling Gorsuch, another artist that will be featured at the health center, was raised by two artist parents. He studied applied visual arts at OSU and primarily uses printmaking as his medium. Gorsuch grew up in Cannon Beach and is excited about having his art featured right in his backyard. He has created a series of four monoprints illustrating the coastal sky at different times of the day.

Kyla Sjogren will be one of several local artists featured at the clinic.
Photo credit: Kyla Sjogren and CMH

The new CMH clinic in Seaside will be an excellent addition to our Clatsop County Community. We look forward to welcoming the new providers, staff, volunteers, and customers that will engage in its services. The focus on health and wellness will fill a much needed medical services gap that has been somewhat systemic in the area. We encourage you to show your continued support and make it feel welcome. 

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