Small-business Happenings for January 2, 2013

By Observer staff January 02, 2013 09:04 am

Baker City medical clinic joins St. Alphonsus Medical Group

Valley Medical Clinic in Baker City has joined the St. Alphonsus Medical Group.

Dr. Charles Hofmann, of Valley Medical Clinic, and Ray Gibbons, CEO of St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City, announced the decision, effective today, in a press release.

“This partnership is a big benefit to our patients and our community,” Gibbons said.

Hofmann, who has served on the Board of Trustees for St. Alphonsus in Baker City in the past, will be president of the hospital’s medical staff for the next year.

“Health care reform focuses on integration of services,” Hofmann said. “I am excited to be able to work more closely with our local hospital to provide the best care possible to our patients.

“I have assured the hospital that I will continue my practice without change for the foreseeable future,” Hofmann said.

Valley Medical Clinic is at 3820 17th St., about one block west of St. Alphonsus.

Hofmann will continue to work at the Clinic with certified physician’s assistants Bryan Braun and Kate Grace and the rest of the staff.

United Way teams with Frontier for fundraiser

United Way of Eastern Oregon is teaming with Frontier Communications in a program called the Great Frontier Donate that will yield money to support local human services agencies.

The local United Way will receive up to an $85 donation from Frontier when customers buy a qualifying business or residential product. United Way said all funds raised stay in Eastern Oregon to support the agencies.

For more information about the Great Frontier Donate, visit the Website

State has money for NE Oregon woody biomass projects

The Oregon Department of Forestry recently last week it has $60,000 in federal grants funds for Northeast Oregon residents with ideas for woody biomass projects.

Marcus Kaufman, ODF’s biomass resource specialist, said the funds will be used to explore the economic and technical feasibility of new biomass utilization projects.

“We seek to encourage the construction of new biomass heating, co-generation and biomass facilities in the region,” Kaufman said. “There is a clear relationship between fuel buildup in our forests and severe wildfires. Fuels reduction activities and woody biomass utilization can help break that link,” Kaufman said.

The U.S. Forest Service grant funds can be used by private and public entities to pay for feasibility studies and the design and engineering of forest biomass projects. Individual awards of as much as $20,000 and up to 75 percent of project costs may be made.

The forestry department said the grant program is one of the nation’s first to demonstrate action towards a cohesive wildfire strategy.

“By fostering stronger markets for woody biomass, ODF is hoping to stretch scarce fuels reduction dollars and provide additional jobs for rural communities in northeast Oregon,” Kaufman said.

According to grant guidelines, projects must be located in Union, Baker, Wallowa, Umatilla or Grant Counties. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2013. Submission must be made through the Oregon Procurement Network, More information about the grant can also be found at that website.