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From Lewis Low, M.D.: We live in a shrinking world and it impacts all of us

August 2017

Lewis Low, M.D.


It recently hit home to me how much Legacy Health is affected by our shrinking world. While we are used to focusing primarily on our “small” Portland community, we are increasingly impacted by events occurring throughout the U.S. and around the world, too. It’s important to be engaged and aware of the news and issues beyond Portland, because their impact invariably comes back to us in some form or other.

Here are some recent examples:

  • Global ransomware attack. In late June, the transcription service Legacy physicians use for dictation went down due to a global ransomware attack. Since the system will be down indefinitely, we’ve had to scramble for an interim solution. For more information, see related cyber security safety tips article this issue or visit the MyLegacy intranet for transcription options.
  • Politics and more politics. Whether it’s national health care reform or the Oregon budget, decisions (or lack of decisions) in Washington, D.C., Salem and Olympia have a huge impact on our profession. Even with the current administration in D.C., the future direction of health care continues to move toward value-based care, but the indecision around policies is creating uncertainty that requires all of us to remain nimble.
  • Leadership changes. The recent announcements about some key leadership changes show that the work we do is creating a positive reputation around the country. A side effect is that other nationally-known health systems have recruited some of our top talent. Most recently, our CFO Linda Hoff left to become CFO of Stanford Health Care (I am resisting the temptation to make a Cal-Stanford stab) and Legacy Emanuel’s President Lori Morgan, M.D. leaves this month to be become President and CEO of Huntington Hospital and Foundation in Pasadena, California.
  • Solar eclipse. The August 21 total solar eclipse is forcing Legacy Health to jointly prepare with other health care systems and public agencies for the estimated one million visitors who are projected to visit Oregon in the week surrounding the eclipse (and cram themselves into the narrow path of totality). We are actively preparing to handle any surge in patients that may occur, particularly at Legacy Silverton Medical Center (Silverton is within the path of totality), and to be able to continue to care for our patients if roads become clogged or if a casualty event occurs.


These are just a few examples of the forces outside our community that affect the work we do. You’ll see this theme repeated in several other articles in this issue, reinforcing my belief that we all must broaden our view and work collaboratively with our partners here, nationally and abroad.

We will always focus our efforts on serving this community, but we can’t ignore, and need to factor in, what’s happening elsewhere to respond appropriately.


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