Better Together: Ashland Community Hospital Joins Asante - Asante
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Published on August 05, 2013

Better Together: Ashland Community Hospital Joins Asante

Ashland Community Hospital officially became part of Asante on Aug. 1, 2013, and began operating as Asante Ashland Community Hospital.  The affiliation was approved following several months of partnership discussions involving the two organizations as well as the city of Ashland and the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation.

“This is a great day for the Ashland community and Asante,” said Asante President and CEO Roy Vinyard.  “We are thrilled to welcome the employees and physicians into our family and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional health care to area residents.”

The affiliation marks a significant date in Asante’s history, which began as Rogue Valley Hospital in 1958 and has grown into the premier healthcare provider in the region.  With the addition of Asante Ashland Community Hospital, it has three hospitals serving over 600,000 people in Southern Oregon and Northern California.  Asante currently employs more than 4,200 people, making it the region’s largest non-seasonal employer.

The 49-bed Ashland hospital actively pursued partnership opportunities that eventually led to discussions with Asante. It will continue to employ roughly 400 people and serve the Ashland community as a full-service hospital with 24-hour emergency care as well as surgical and birthing services.

Sheila Clough emerged from a nationwide search to be selected as the new chief executive officer of Asante Ashland Community Hospital.  Clough has been the President (chief operating officer) for Howard Young Health Care in Woodruff, Wisconsin, since January 2005 and has been with Howard Young since 1998. Her clinical background and education is in medical technology and she also has a master’s of business administration for health care executives. Clough will assume her new post at the hospital in September.

The terms of the final Definitive Agreement include that Asante will operate Asante Ashland Community Hospital as a general hospital while investing at least $10 million in capital improvements over the next three years. 

The Ashland Community Hospital Foundation will continue to support Asante Ashland Community Hospital.

Asante is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit health system created in 1995 when Rogue Valley Medical Center and the two Grants Pass hospitals, Josephine County Hospital and Southern Oregon Medical Center, joined forces under one organizational umbrella.

After much consideration, leaders from Medford and Grants Pass decided to call the new organization Asante from the French word sante (sawn-tay), which means soundness or health. In French, “a votre sante” means, “to your health.” So Asante is a unique word that essentially means, “to health.” The name was chosen both for its meaning and its sound, which is meant to convey the compassion of the people who care for patients at every Asante facility every day.

The community missions and histories of these two organizations are closely aligned. Following are timelines of Asante and Ashland Community Hospital:

  • 1958- Rogue Valley Hospital on Barnett Road opens in Medford
  • 1962- The East Wing becomes the first hospital addition increasing bed capacity to 160.
  • 1972- Pediatric Pavilion and NICU open for patients.
  • 1973- The Cardiovascular lab opens
  • 1975- West Wing Addition completed adding 44 more beds.
  • 1977- First heart surgery performed.
  • 1978- The New Emergency Room is completed.
  • 1982- Rogue Valley Hospital is renamed Rogue Valley Medical Center to reflect its growing, regional, service area.
  • 1988- Smullin Health Education Center opens for the community.
  • 1992- North Addition completed adding more room for birthing and critical care patients.
  • 1995- Asante is created, bringing the two Grants Pass hospitals, Josephine County Hospital and Southern Oregon Medical Center and Rogue Valley Medical Center, under one organizational umbrella.
  • 2001- Asante opens a new 125-bed hospital, Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass
  • 2005- Patient tower completed for Rogue Valley Medical Center, expanding capacity to 378 beds.
  • 2012- Asante strengthens its brand by renaming its hospitals to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford and Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass.
  • 2011- Asante breaks ground on Women's Center in Grants Pass
  • 2012- Asante breaks ground on 80,000-square-foot outpatient center in Grants Pass
  • 2012- Asante launches Asante Physician Partners to recruit and retain needed primary care and specialty physicians for the region.
  • 2013- Ashland Community Hospital a 49bed hospital joined Asante and becomes Asante Ashland Community Hospital, expanding Asante to three full-service hospitals with a combined bed capacity of 552 beds serving over 600,000 people in a 36,000-square-mile nine-county service area in Southern Oregon and Northern California.


Asante Ashland Community Hospital
  • 1903- Dr. Joseph Herndon, a graduate of Willamette University, opened a sanitarium near the present site of the Elizabethan Theater.
  • 1907- Southern Oregon Hospital is opened in the former Fordyce Roper residence on Main Street.
  • 1909- Southern Oregon Hospital burns down and moves to a temporary location at 586 East Main Street.
  • 1910- Granite City Hospital, located on the boulevard near the intersection of Palm Street, opens.
  • 1921- Granite City Hospital is remodeled and the owner, Jesse Winburn, gives it to the city.
  • 1930- The City of Ashland takes official ownership of the hospital.
  • 1960- Under the guidance of the Ashland City Council, construction begins on a new hospital—named Ashland Community Hospital—at Maple and Chestnut Streets, which is still open today.
  • 1977- The Ashland City Council approves formation of the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation.
  • 1996- The Ashland city council, the city, and the hospital board representatives sign a definitive agreement and lease agreement turning the hospital’s facilities and operations over to Ashland Community Healthcare Services. The hospital would no longer be a city department, but a not-for-profit corporation.
  • 2006- The hospital opens a state-of-the-art Diagnostic and Surgery Center, providing expanded and enhanced services for outpatients.
  • 2007- The hospital affiliates with Planetree, a network of progressive healthcare facilities committed to the creation of patient-centered healthcare environments that support and nurture healing.
  • 2013- Ashland Community Hospital joins Asante, becoming Asante Ashland Community Hospital.

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As the largest health care provider in nine counties, Asante provides comprehensive medical care to more than 600,000 people throughout southern Oregon and northern California. Our facilities include Asante Ashland Community Hospital in Ashland, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass, Asante Physician Partners and additional health care partnerships throughout the region.