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Gastroenterology Consultants keeps its doors open in crisis

When COVID-19 came on the scene, many medical clinics were forced to close and stop seeing patients due to a lack of personal protective equipment across the country. At Gastroenterology Consultants in Medford, they felt the impact.

Telemedicine ramped up, but the clinic was still forced into layoffs. They found help at Oregon Pacific Bank, which walked them through the federal Payroll Protection Program process, step by step, to secure funds that allowed them to bring their team back on board.

The clinic has been part of the community since 1976 and has a staff of 54 people, including about a dozen physicians and practitioners. Business came to a halt when COVID hit, recalled Debbie Nielsen, practice manager at Gastroenterology Consultants. “It was tough. They were anxious. They were nervous. It was disheartening,” she says.

Debbie reached out to her now-former bank but couldn’t find anyone willing to help. Then Dawn Hartley, Relationship Banking Officer at Oregon Pacific Bank in Medford, contacted Debbie and offered her assistance.

“Dawn was right there, with the applications in hand,” Debbie says. The federal funding was soon on its way, and the clinic was able to quickly have employees return. “To bring people back was a sense of relief,” she says.

Dawn was happy to help—serving local businesses and the community has always been the commitment of Oregon Pacific Bank. “Debbie was ecstatically happy because we were able to complete this process for her and assist her with all the information that was required and get it done in a timely manner,” Dawn says.

The clinic is once again seeing patients and has seen steady business since its reopening. Debbie ultimately made the switch to Oregon Pacific Bank—it’s a bank, she says, that looks out for their interests. “I’m so thankful to have them.”

That’s just the way OPB does business, Dawn said. “We’re not just a name, we’re not just a logo, we’re your business partner. We want to help you, through the good times and the bad times.”

In all, Oregon Pacific Bank has loaned more than $125.2 million to 752 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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