Mission & Vision
The mission of the Foundation is to invest in Santiam Hospital & Clinics, supporting the infrastructure needed for the health and well-being of our growing communities. As we carry out our mission, the following basic tenets apply:
The Hospital is committed to providing quality care, without regard to patient age, culture, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, language, mental disability, physical disability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
- Each member of the healthcare team understands that patient welfare comes first. The Hospital atmosphere is one of sincerity, courtesy, respect, and friendliness to patients, workers, visitors, and the public.
- Patient privacy is honored, and we accept the responsibilities that accompany the trust and understanding that patients have placed with us as they are treated at the Hospital.
- We recognize the importance of the basic spiritual needs of each patient, and we encourage religious ministry to be available for every patient, in conformity with patient faith and expressed desire for counseling.
- The Hospital serves as the health center of the community and encourages community participation in Hospital activities. We willingly work with public and private agencies concerned with the health and welfare of patients and the community, including young people interested in health careers.
It is the vision of Santiam Hospital to serve as the healthcare center of the community. We value and encourage community awareness and participation. We thrive on our unique identity, one where we strive to proactively pursue growth, while maintaining an efficient, integrated system of prevention, care, and treatment.
The Foundation Board of Directors
Guesly Dessieux, DO
Guesly Dessieux, DO (Stayton, Oregon) is a family physician working with Santiam Hospital & Clinics since 2007. Dr. Dessieux was born in Haiti and grew up in Miami, Florida. Dr. Dessieux is the founder and executive director of Project Living Hope, a non-profit organization devoted to empowering Haitians through athletics, job skills training, disaster preparedness, and community development. He is a past board member of Fellowship of Associates of Medical Evangelism and Haitian Christian Mission. In the local community Dr. Dessieux is active as a volunteer soccer coach, a speaker in the schools and as a member of Foothills Church. As a Board member of the Santiam Hospital & Clinics Foundation, he looks forward to helping build the infrastructure needed to care for our community in the coming decades.
Deana Freres (Stayton, Oregon) has resided in the Santiam Canyon for 18 years and has served as a volunteer board member for numerous regional organizations, including Family Building Blocks and Stayton Public Library Foundation. She holds a degree in Management Science Engineering and was instrumental in the creation of the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund (SCWRF), which she co-founded days after wildfires swept through the area in September 2020. She is a member of the SCWRF Advisory Committee and is on the Board of Directors of the Santiam Canyon Long Term Recovery Group.
Gary Rychard (Sublimity, Oregon) has deep roots with Santiam Hospital & Clinics – it’s where he was born. He has spent more than 60 years as a resident of the Santiam Canyon. His career includes work in law enforcement and as a volunteer firefighter. He has also worked in and emergency medical services, including 25 years of working on ambulances with Santiam Hospital & Clinics. He is currently the Director of Safety-Security & Health Services at North Santiam School District. Gary is a former City Council Member for Sublimity, and has served on many local boards, including the Sublimity Fire Department and the Sublimity Harvest Festival. He currently serves on the board of the Lyons Fire District. Gary looks forward to helping Santiam Hospital & Clinics continue its growth and ability to provide high-quality healthcare to the region.
Maryann Meredith (Sublimity, Oregon) was born and raised in Stayton, Oregon and has been involved with Santiam Hospital & Clinics since its inception. Her parents, T.G. and Frances Freres, were instrumental in the establishment of the hospital in 1953 when Maryann was a teen and encouraged her to participate whenever possible. She is an alumni of Oregon State University and taught English for 12 years in Costa Rica. Later she became a small business owner in both Stayton and Gates. Always community-minded, Maryann has been active in fundraising with her church in Mill City, the local food bank, and served on the Save Our Bridge committee, which has garnered over $8 million as the project nears completion. Maryann has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Santiam Hospital & Clinics for many years and looks forward to serving as a liaison on the Foundation Board.
Lynda Harrington (Mill City, Oregon) holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan in French and Spanish. She is a retired high school French and Spanish teacher. In addition to teaching, Lynda’s extensive professional experience also includes over 30 years in the non-profit sector, involving numerous fundraising campaigns. She currently chairs the Legislative Action and Resource Development Committee for Catholic Community Services Foundation, serves as an advisor on public policy issues to the Archdiocese of Portland and is a director on the Regis/St. Mary Foundation.
Lynda and her husband, Lee, have lived on the banks of the North Santiam River in Mill City for 18 years. She supports her community by volunteering at St. Catherine of Siena Mission, the Save Our Bridge Committee and various community groups. Lynda values local hospitals and considers Santiam Hospital and Clinics a community builder for the Santiam Canyon, Stayton, and Sublimity areas. In her free time, Lynda enjoys hiking, whitewater rafting, and kayaking.
David Thorsett, MD
(Stayton, Oregon) is a Salem, Oregon native who trained in the Midwest and has been in private practice locally since 1986. He joined Santiam Orthopedic Group in 2020. Prior to that, Dr.Thorsett practiced at Legacy Silverton Medical Center for 13 years, where he established a total joint program specializing in hip and knee replacement.
Dr. Thorsett attended University of Wisconsin Medical School and completed his residency at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Dr.Thorsett and his wife have lived in Sisters, Oregon since 2011; in their spare time, they enjoy hiking, cycling and snowshoeing as a family with their four children. “Anything where I’m moving, I’m happy,” he says. Dr. Thorsett is also active in the community and has served on the Sisters School Board since 2019.
Alan Rasmussen represents the third generation of his family’s business, Modern Building Systems located in Aumsville. He works daily as the VP of Production, and holds part ownership of the company. Alan is a 1999 graduate of Stayton High School, and has a degree in Finance & Accounting from Corban University. He proudly calls the Santiam Canyon home and resides just outside Sublimity; he is married and has three children – nine-year-old twins and a six-year-old. Alan is honored to serve on many boards the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, where he is President Elect, and on the executive board of his industry’s international trade association, the Modular Building Institute. In his free time he enjoys coaching his children’s sports teams, playing ice hockey, and golf, as well as partaking in many different outdoor activities.
Eric Pritchard is Santiam Hospital & Clinics Foundation’s Executive Director. He grew up in Salem and attended college at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He served as an officer in the United States Army and was stationed in what was then West Germany near the Czechzlovakian border during the Cold War. He returned to the United States and began a 30 year career leading organizations for large Corporations (PepisCO, Vericast) and small companies in the restaurant, media services, gift and home décor, and marketing and fulfillment industries. Returning to Oregon after nearly 40 years away, Pritchard says he is looking forward to being closer to friends and family, taking advantage of the many new things the state has to offer, and he’s laser-focused on the future of the Santiam Hospital & Clinics Foundation.