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Old 12-27-2020, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
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We just spent some time in Bandon which is one of our favorite little coastal towns in Oregon. It's relatively close to Coos Bay ~ 30 minutes. We met several friendly retirees who moved there after living all over the PNW as well as the rest of the nation. They prefer small coastal town living to big cities where they moved from.

So, I was wondering what folks do who retire here and need access to medical care? Given that Coos Bay is the largest coastal town in Oregon especially when you add in North Bend, would there be adequate medical services generally speaking? I know that answer can vary depending on the level services/care and specialties needed. If not, somewhere like Florence may be better with closer access to larger cities like Eugene.

Just curious about other QOL factors beyond homelessness, tsunamis(8 pages rabbit trail) or jobs.





Thanks,

Derek
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Old 12-27-2020, 08:34 PM
 
Location: WA
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I imagine if you live in Bandon you go to Coos Bay for medical care and after that, you make the 140 mile drive to Eugene.
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Old 12-27-2020, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,626,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
I imagine if you live in Bandon you go to Coos Bay for medical care and after that, you make the 140 mile drive to Eugene.
Yeah, that's generally what I was thinking. I guess it depends how good Coos Bay medical services are on a relative scale. I know those can be limited simply by the medical staffing and facilities a town of this size can support and attract. There always seems to be a shortage of highly qualified medical professionals especially in the smaller to mid-sized towns which lack research institutions, for example.

Even while living in Monterey, with several large, well regarded hospitals, folks would sometimes still make the 1.5+ hour drive over to Stanford for higher quality care, more challenging procedures or treatments such as various forms of cancer, etc...

The 140 mile (2.5 hour+) drive into Eugene seems excessive for any type of reoccurring patient care or treatment. I guess that's the risk one simply accepts when living in these locations. The retirees we spoke with seemed happy as a clam. Maybe they were moderately healthy. Hmm....

Derek
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:09 PM
 
Location: WA
4,079 posts, read 5,174,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Yeah, that's generally what I was thinking. I guess it depends how good Coos Bay medical services are on a relative scale. I know those can be limited simply by the medical staffing and facilities a town of this size can support and attract. There always seems to be a shortage of highly qualified medical professionals especially in the smaller to mid-sized towns which lack research institutions, for example.

Even while living in Monterey, with several large, well regarded hospitals, folks would sometimes still make the 1.5+ hour drive over to Stanford for higher quality care, more challenging procedures or treatments such as various forms of cancer, etc...

The 140 mile (2.5 hour+) drive into Eugene seems excessive for any type of reoccurring patient care or treatment. I guess that's the risk one simply accepts when living in these locations. The retirees we spoke with seemed happy as a clam. Maybe they were moderately healthy. Hmm....

Derek
We did that sort of thing when we lived in rural TX. You just bundle up all your errands and multi-task. Specialist doctor visit, Costco shopping trip, dining out at the Thai or Indian place you can't get at home, etc. and make a day of it.

Yeah, if you are going in for weekly dialysis or something it will get old quickly. But once in a while it's no big deal. You are ready to get out of town that often anyway. At least we were.
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
9,131 posts, read 3,838,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
We just spent some time in Bandon which is one of our favorite little coastal towns in Oregon. It's relatively close to Coos Bay ~ 30 minutes. We met several friendly retirees who moved there after living all over the PNW as well as the rest of the nation. They prefer small coastal town living to big cities where they moved from.

So, I was wondering what folks do who retire here and need access to medical care? Given that Coos Bay is the largest coastal town in Oregon especially when you add in North Bend, would there be adequate medical services generally speaking? I know that answer can vary depending on the level services/care and specialties needed. If not, somewhere like Florence may be better with closer access to larger cities like Eugene.

Just curious about other QOL factors beyond homelessness, tsunamis(8 pages rabbit trail) or jobs.





Thanks,

Derek
We have doctors, we have nurses, and we have some medical specialist. They all have the same medical degrees as anywhere. The care I get here is more personal then other places I have lived. I'm happy with it. The only thing I don't like about it, is the long waits for appointments. Right now I have several issues that I would like to see my doctor about. But I already have an appointment to see him in February. I probably wouldn't get in much sooner, even if I tried. So I'm just waiting.

I guess if your health is so bad, that you have to be within 20 minutes of a Level 1 or Level 2 Trauma Center, you probably shouldn't be living on the coast. Or if you have to see a lot of specialist, this might not be the place for you. For everyone else the care should be adequate. IMHO.
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,626,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudy Dayz View Post
We have doctors, we have nurses, and we have some medical specialist. They all have the same medical degrees as anywhere. The care I get here is more personal then other places I have lived. I'm happy with it. The only thing I don't like about it, is the long waits for appointments. Right now I have several issues that I would like to see my doctor about. But I already have an appointment to see him in February. I probably wouldn't get in much sooner, even if I tried. So I'm just waiting.

I guess if your health is so bad, that you have to be within 20 minutes of a Level 1 or Level 2 Trauma Center, you probably shouldn't be living on the coast. Or if you have to see a lot of specialist, this might not be the place for you. For everyone else the care should be adequate. IMHO.
Ok, thanks for that medical care info which is good to know.

You also got me thinking about level of trauma centers within the state including general access. After a quick lookup, it turns out there are only two Level 1 Trauma Centers both in Portland, OHSU and Legacy Emanuel and one Level 2 Trauma Center which happens to be near Eugene - PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

So, depending on the level of care needed such as serious heart attack, stroke, bad fall, head trauma, car accident, etc... one may be taking a life flight to one of these three facilities. Regarding other types of procedures, I guess that would depend on specialists available and approaches used which one may or my not prefer.

After living near the Bay Area and also LA, I guess I took some of that higher level trauma care availability for granted. Even stranger is that WA, the larger state, only has 'one' in the entire state (in Seattle) whereas other mid-sized states like AZ have far more available - List of trauma centers in the United States.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 12-28-2020 at 01:52 AM..
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Old 12-28-2020, 04:24 AM
 
Location: WA
4,079 posts, read 5,174,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Ok, thanks for that medical care info which is good to know.

You also got me thinking about level of trauma centers within the state including general access. After a quick lookup, it turns out there are only two Level 1 Trauma Centers both in Portland, OHSU and Legacy Emanuel and one Level 2 Trauma Center which happens to be near Eugene - PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

So, depending on the level of care needed such as serious heart attack, stroke, bad fall, head trauma, car accident, etc... one may be taking a life flight to one of these three facilities. Regarding other types of procedures, I guess that would depend on specialists available and approaches used which one may or my not prefer.

After living near the Bay Area and also LA, I guess I took some of that higher level trauma care availability for granted. Even stranger is that WA, the larger state, only has 'one' in the entire state (in Seattle) whereas other mid-sized states like AZ have far more available - List of trauma centers in the United States.

Derek
That list is not complete for OR or WA. Harborview is the only Level I trauma center in WA (fictional setting for Grays Anatomy) but there are lots of level II and III trauma centers around the state: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Doc...ubs/530101.pdf

By the way, the only difference between Level I and Level II trauma centers is that Level I are teaching hospitals with residency programs in emergency medicine. So you might theoretically get better care at a Level II trauma center because there are no residents in training, only staff ER docs and surgeons.

Since the only two major med schools in the Northwest are in Seattle and Portland it would make sense for the teaching hospitals to be there too. There is a new med school in Spokane so perhaps as it grows, the teaching hospital there will upgrade from Level II to Level I if they decide to add an ER residency.
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
6,258 posts, read 13,626,084 times
Reputation: 7177
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
That list is not complete for OR or WA. Harborview is the only Level I trauma center in WA (fictional setting for Grays Anatomy) but there are lots of level II and III trauma centers around the state: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Doc...ubs/530101.pdf

By the way, the only difference between Level I and Level II trauma centers is that Level I are teaching hospitals with residency programs in emergency medicine. So you might theoretically get better care at a Level II trauma center because there are no residents in training, only staff ER docs and surgeons.

Since the only two major med schools in the Northwest are in Seattle and Portland it would make sense for the teaching hospitals to be there too. There is a new med school in Spokane so perhaps as it grows, the teaching hospital there will upgrade from Level II to Level I if they decide to add an ER residency.
Ok, glad to hear that list is incomplete. It was a bit concerning to only see one level I or II trauma center in the entire state of WA. Simply being a trauma center doesn't take into account other important measures of quality of care depending on one's condition. That includes well renowned specialists in their fields of study performing cutting edge research (though more likely at a teaching hospital), using more state of the art approaches or innovative treatments to life threatening illnesses. I actually attended such a school in CA for my undergrad and it had one the top pediatric hospitals (level I) in the state. Kids would get flown there a lot for some of the most challenging conditions. Parents would even move to the community just to receive continuity of care for their child while receiving treatment.

I was reading somewhere that one's chance of surviving a life threating illness/injury was significantly higher (25%+) when treated at a level I vs. somewhere else. According to the CDC, treatment of severe injury at a Level I trauma center lowers a patients risk of death by 25%. Here's more info on it.

Trauma-center care significantly lowers risk of death

Regarding general access to TCs: Access Delayed Is Access Denied: Relationship Between Access to Trauma Center Care and Pre-Hospital Death

I'm sure there are lot more studies on outcomes and mortality rates in relation to level of care received. I also wouldn't be so quick to consider Level II care as the same as Level I beyond teaching. My thoughts are that it really varies depending on the types of life threating conditions treated. There will also always be outliers where a specialist of a certain kind moves to a small town and provides better care than one might generally find elsewhere. Maybe general practitioners move at a bit slower pace and provide a more personable overall experience? Things like that can occur in a variety of places. I guess criticality is a big consideration vs. general care. Also, how long does it take to get to a trauma center if/when something more life threatening occurs? Some may honestly be less concerned with this than others. When it's time for me to go, it's time for me to go philosophy - no need to use heroic measures, etc... But it's at least good to be aware of your options.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 12-28-2020 at 12:45 PM..
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