Grays Harbor Community Hospital has a new director of marketing and public relations.
Nancee Long, who made a 2,o58 mile trek to her new place of employment, started work Monday. She replaces David Quigg who left the position in May.
“I was looking for change so I put feelers out into the Pacific Northwest,” said Long, who moved here from Illinois. “I was looking for small town with a strong community, a place where I thought I could make a difference.”
The trip from the Midwest, Long said, provided plenty of summertime scenery. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was pretty and eastern Washington was a surprise because of its hotter, more arid climate.
“But once I saw Western Washington, it was so green and beautiful,” she said.
She stressed her cross-country move wasn’t primarily because of the weather here — it was because of the people who work and volunteer at GHCH.
“They have their hearts in the right place and are in tune with the community,” she explained.
Long grew up in Clearwater, Fla., and moved to the Chicago area to attend Loyola University. She stayed in the Midwest after completing her studies.
She was most recently a communications strategist with the Chartwell Agency, in Rockford, Ill., near Chicago. There she spent a great deal of time working with hospital clients, which she expects will help her as she starts work at GHCH.
And gathering more knowledge is something she thinks will be important in her new position.
“I’d like to talk to people from all perspectives who have something to say about their care here,” she said. “This is the community’s hospital.”
One role for Long at GHCH is to make the public aware of the Grays Harbor Community Hospital Foundation.
“What the foundation does for the hospital and, in turn, what the hospital does is to better the community,” she said.
That includes a current focus on getting an MRI machine in the hospital. Right now, GHCH in-patients have to be transported to a nearby facility, Grays Harbor Imaging on Basich Boulevard, for this service. It’s not only inconvenient but expensive because patients at the hospital are taken back and forth in an ambulance, which is why the foundation is focusing in on this need, said Long and Becky Samuelson, administrative assistant to the marketing and public relations department.
The foundation has already done such things as help with construction of the current 15,000-square-foot emergency room, purchase several portable EKG machines, and participate in funding updates to the lobby and second floor surgical waiting area. It has also assisted in bringing in new patient beds and bassinets for newborns.
Long will also function as the hospital’s community and media liaison. Her responsibilities include publicizing events the hospital is involved in like blood drives, childhood immunizations and the recent Cascadia Rising emergency drill.
She is the mother of two teenage girls, Sophia, 17 and Elizabeth, 19. Sophia will attend Montesano Junior-Senior High School for her senior year. Elizabeth attends the University of Missouri, but her mother expects she’ll come to visit her and Sophia in their new Montesano home.
The hospital is dealing with challenges, such as continuing labor negotiations with GHCH employees, but she came to the facility because of people involved with the hospital are most interested in providing health service to the community.
“Things will eventually work themselves out,” she said. “We’re here to provide care to the community.”