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Dr. Lee Daniel keeps practice open in pandemic with PPP loan

As owner of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Eugene, Dr. Lee B. Daniel knows not all cases are alike. He strives to meet the unique needs of each patient and enjoys making a difference in people’s lives. Often, he says, patients become “emotional when they first get to see the new them.”

“Everybody’s different, so every little surgery is different,” he says. “To be able to impact someone in such a positive way, that’s really not uncommon in the practice.”

Running the business is a dream come true for Dr. Daniel, who knew he wanted to be a plastic surgeon for as long as he can remember. His father was a general surgeon in a small town, and he remembers feeling inspired while looking through his father’s medical library. “I would thumb through these books when I was in high school and thought, ‘This stuff is amazing,'” he recalls.

But after more than 20 years of operating a successful practice, Dr. Daniel and his wife, Kathryn, faced a real challenge in early 2020 when the coronavirus outbreak began.

“When the pandemic hit, we didn’t know where we were going,” Dr. Daniel said. “We didn’t know if this was the true zombie apocalypse, or if it was going to fizzle out after a few months. I decided it was better to shut down my practice all together.”

Dr. Daniel and Kathryn sought assistance through Oregon Pacific Bank and were able to quickly secure a loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Dr. Daniel called it a “life saver.”

“We received the money so quickly and early on that we were able to bring back all of our staff,’ Kathryn says.

Jeanette Bear, a relationship banking officer in Eugene, says she’s always quick to respond when customers like Dr. Daniel or Kathryn reach out. “Being a community bank, Oregon Pacific Bank is allowed to think outside the box to help medical professionals,” she says.

If she can’t answer a question right away, she can put them in touch with someone at the bank who can. She says OPB made a special effort to ensure customers were able to get PPP loans when they needed them.

“Some people were working until 2 o’clock in the morning, and it’s because they care,” she says. “The small businesses in this community mean a lot, so Oregon Pacific Bank wants to be there to help those clients with whatever they need.”

As a longtime customer, Kathryn says she’s come to value her relationship with Oregon Pacific Bank and its individualized service. Staff members are always quick to respond, she says, and even come by and visit their practice.

“They create a relationship much like Lee does with his patients,” she says. “That attention to detail was and is what separates them from other banks … They really did burn the midnight oil to take care of us.”

In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to businesses and nonprofits in Lane, Coos, Douglas and Jackson counties, as part of the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program, retaining more than 15,000 local jobs. Part of the CARES Act, these forgivable loans provide a direct incentive for businesses and nonprofits to keep workers employed during the crisis.

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