Christa Hosley joins Health and Wellness Center staff

05.15.2015 Dean Rhodes People, Health & Wellness, Tribal Employees

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Grand Ronde Health & Wellness Center Clinical Nurse Supervisor Christa Hosley does not remember an epiphany when she realized that a health care career would be her lifeway.

It was a series of things, she says.

Baby-sitting. A love of science. Satisfaction from helping people. A desire to cure diseases.

“I just knew early on that I had a real curiosity for the medical profession,” Hosley says.

After graduating from Willamina High School in 1989, she enrolled in the pre-nursing program at Chemeketa Community College and received her certified nursing assistant license. Her first job was as a health care provider at a skilled nursing facility when she was 19. She worked her way through college in that job and received her associate degree in nursing from Chemeketa in 1993. Twenty years later, she returned to college to finish her bachelor’s degree in science nursing.

A year after marrying Bob Hosley in 1995, she accepted a job at Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville as a staff registered nurse. She worked there for almost 20 years in a variety of clinical and supervisory settings before accepting her new job at the Health & Wellness Center. She started on Monday, April 27.

As the new clinical nurse supervisor, Hosley’s roles are varied. She will be providing medical care to Tribal and community members, supervising the overall nursing care at the clinic to ensure its quality and that it is meeting state and federal regulations, and collaborating with the clinic’s primary care providers on patient care.

She also is charged with ensuring that the clinic’s new urgent care system works.

“Basically, I want to be instrumental in making that a successful program,” she says. “I want to meet the needs of our patients who otherwise would have to wait weeks to get into a provider for an illness or condition. Our goal, and my personal goal, is save them from having to visit the hospital.”

Although she is not a Tribal member, Hosley says she has many close relationships with Tribal families and current Tribal employees since she has lived her entire life in the West Valley. She has attended Tribal powwows numerous times.

“Born and raised locally, Christa is very familiar with the Grand Ronde community, culture and traditions,” says Jeff Lorenz, Tribal Health Services executive director. “This firsthand knowledge and experience will be invaluable to Christa as she helps to rebuild and repair the relationship we have with our patients and improve the quality of care and service that is integral to our Health & Wellness Center mission.”

Hosley and her husband live in Sheridan and have two children. Daughter MacKenzie, 19, is taking pre-dental hygiene classes at Chemeketa and 15-year-old Mason is a sophomore at Sheridan High School, where he is active in sports.

“I really appreciate the warm, welcoming environment,” Hosley says. “I was anxious since I haven’t started a new job in almost 20 years, but I feel comfortable. It is an honor to be here.”

At 44, she also is looking forward to having more free time to spend with her family. At Willamette Valley Medical Center, she was on-call 15 to 20 days a month and every other weekend. She had to be within 30 minutes of the hospital, which prohibited trips to the Oregon Coast or to downtown Portland, or even making dinner reservations.

“Working in acute care for 18 years … the continuous, high adrenalin … I wanted a break from that,” she says. “To actually start a new chapter in my life in community health, continuing the outpatient care setting that I have worked in over the last 12 years. I really started enjoying the outpatient side of it. As a lifelong community member in the area, I just really wanted to get this opportunity.”

She is looking forward to traveling more – her favorite destination is the Hawaiian island of Kauai, especially in the winter months – as well as weekend hikes and gardening.

An added plus is that her new commute to Grand Ronde is two miles shorter than her drive to McMinnville.

“After 19 years, it was just time to switch gears,” she adds.