Sabrina Thompson, The Observer

Grande Ronde Hospital has a new member of its team. Laurie Marcum is now serving as the executive director of Patient Care Services, replacing Doug Romer, who retired in January. Romer worked in the position for 40 years before leaving, and the hospital has had interim directors during its search.

“I am very passionate about community health care,” Marcum said. “Being a native of Eastern Oregon, I only want the best for the

As the Executive Director Patient Care Services, Marcum is overseen directly by President and CEO Jeremy Davis. All clinical patient care departments and their supervisors within the hospital report to Marcum as she ensures safe and exceptional care for the community.

“I feel the community should be thankful for the wonderful organization they have here in GRH,” Marcum said. “The GRH team is an amazing group of people and I am proud to be part of the team again.”

Marcum worked as a house supervisor — whose primary responsibilities include dealing with patient care issues, staffing matters, supervision of the nurses and staff and handling administrative responsibilities — at GRH from 2001 to 2008 before becoming chief nursing officer for Wallowa Memorial Hospital, where she was employed until 2012. Since then, Marcum has worked for B.E. Smith, a health care company, serving at the executive level for many hospitals and health systems across the nation as an interim nursing executive. Prior to her time at the hospital, she owned and operated Elkhorn Furniture, a furniture store in northeast Oregon.

She heard about the opportunity at GRH from a colleague at the hospital who suggested she talk to the president and CEO of GRH, Jeremy Davis.

“After speaking with Jeremy, I felt he and I shared a common vision for health care excellence and the passion to make a difference in the community health care setting,” Marcum said.

Davis is as excited to have Marcum back as she is to be back.

“Laurie Marcum has an extensive background and executive-level experience in leading patient care services for small rural hospitals and large health systems all over the nation,” Davis said. “In addition to that exceptional skill set, Laurie has a great attitude and the passion we were looking for to thoughtfully lead our extensive patient care team. Laurie also happens to be an Eastern Oregon native with strong ties to our region. These qualities made her an ideal choice from among the many candidates we interviewed.”

Marcum received her nursing degree from Boise State University, followed by a master of science degree with a focus in nursing leadership and management from Western Governors University. She also has certification as a nurse from the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is board certified in patient safety.

“I have spent the last few years leading hospitals across the nation to move to a greater level of patient safety and effectiveness,” Marcum said.

Marcum is excited to return to her childhood hometown of La Grande, as it means she won’t need to travel as much and can spend more time with her family.

“I love to travel and see and experience new places,” Marcum said, “(but I also) love all things outdoors and enjoy gardening and spending time with family and friends.”

Marcum said she looks
forward to the opportunities her new job will give her to make a difference while helping people in the community during serious and uncertain times.

“At the end of the day, what you have done for others is what really matters,” Marcum said. “When it involves helping bring health care excellence to your community, it is a very rewarding feeling.”