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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.

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.

Banker Spotlight
Dawn Hartley

Dawn Hartley

VP, Relationship Banking Officer
Medford Branch
541-858-0192

“The reason I chose to join Oregon Pacific Bank was because of the outstanding reputation they have and because they are an Oregon-based community bank.”

Dawn Hartley grew up in the Rogue Valley, born and raised in Jackson County. “I’ve been going to the river since I was a small child,” she says.

While raising three sons, she and her family spent a lot of time at little league games. Her numbers skills proved invaluable in terms of scorekeeping, which could sometimes be extra challenging with more than one game going on at a time, she says.

A couple years ago, she decided to leave a bank where she had worked for about 20 years to launch a new Medford branch for Oregon Pacific Bank, where she’s now a Vice President and Relationship Banking Officer.

“The reason I chose to join Oregon Pacific Bank was because of the outstanding reputation they have and because they are an Oregon-based community bank,” she says.

The new Medford branch has faced some challenges because it opened to the public just before the pandemic. The bank’s teammates, however, soon found themselves playing a vital community role as they reached out to local businesses to help them arrange loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program. Their good work attracted a lot of new customers to OPB, and many local jobs have remained intact due to their tireless efforts.

“We were there to reach out to them and let them know we’re still here to help with any financial needs,” she says.

Dawn also helps the community by serving on the board of Community Works, which provides resources for anyone affected by domestic and sexual violence. The organization funds the Dunn House, which serves as a crisis shelter and helps secure housing for homeless children and others in need.

“It’s phenomenal what this organization does for the people that need these services in the valley,” she says. “It’s been so rewarding to hear some of the stories about how we’ve helped them.”

She recalls hearing from one woman who found refuge as a child with her mother at the Dunn House, and then found herself in need again as an adult. The service helped the woman find a secure and successful path, and she now volunteers for Community Works to give back.

Dawn also serves on the advisory board for the The Salvation Army, which in addition to accepting donations and running a thrift store, also provides transitional housing for families and offers summer day camps and after-school programs that feature music and creative arts programs.

Dawn is grateful for OPB’s encouragement of employees to contribute to nonprofit and community aid organizations. “The bank is so amazing – the support they give to their employees and to the community,” she says.

In her free time, Dawn enjoys hiking and taking in Jackson County’s four-season weather. She and her extended family often have get-togethers, and her children and grandchildren keep her busy. There’s nowhere she’d rather be, she says.

“The Rogue Valley is a beautiful place to live.”

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