PeaceHealth Promotes Network CMO; Click It or Ticket; Will Orcas Make Oregon Endangered List

PeaceHealth Promotes Network CMO

PeaceHealth awarded its top spot in the Oregon Network to its interim director.  It was announced yesterday that Dr. Jim McGovern, who has been interim Chief Executive director for the last eight months will take over as the PeaceHealth Oregon network Chief Medical Officer.  The responsibilities cover PeaceHealth Riverbend, PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center and PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center here in Florence.  PeaceHealth Executive Vice President Richard DeCarlo praised Dr. McGovern for his leadership and his commitment to patients in a press release.  Dr. McGovern will continue to serve at interim CMO for PeaceHealth Riverbend with Dr. Kim Ruscher while the search for a permanent replacement goes on.

Click It or Ticket

The Results of a Click it or Ticket campaign in Florence is in.  From January 29th until February 11th, the Florence Police Department used over 19 hours of federally funded overtime to educate the public about safety and child seat laws.  During this period 49 traffic stops were made resulting in 17 citations being issued and 51 traffic violation warnings being given.  Information provided by assistant City Manager Megan Messmer reports that 32% of fatalities in crashes in 2021 showed a lack of seat belt use or child restraint use. The report also shows that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death nationwide for children ages one through twelve.

Will Orcas Make Oregon Endangered List

Oregon officials are considering providing additional protections to orcas in the region. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will decide on Friday if Southern Resident orcas should be listed as endangered in the state. Kathleen Callaghy is the Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. She says there is a perception that this population was mainly off the coast of Washington and in the Salish Sea.

“But a couple of years ago the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officially expanded their critical habitat because they found there were some whales who were traveling as far south as Monterrey Bay in California.”

Southern Resident orcas are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and listed as endangered under the U-S Endangered Species Act and in Washington. However, their numbers have continued to dwindle in recent years, down to about 70. Callaghy says added protections from Oregon could help the orcas battle their main threats.

“We think that doing this listing will help to trigger interstate and intrastate agency collaboration on addressing their needs as far as salmon abundance, reducing pollutants, and reducing vessel traffic and noise.”

Along with an endangered species listing, Callaghy hopes the state will also adopt strong guidelines for how to protect these whales. She says it’s especially important to increasing salmon numbers.

“The survival of these species is interlinked. When we see Chinook populations go down, it’s tightly correlated with losses among the Southern Resident population.”