Please welcome new member, Willamette Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery (Willamette ENT) to the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce! Linda Nishioka, RDH, BSDH, Director of Facial Cosmetic Center and Patient Care Coordinator spoke about how Willamette ENT is involved in the community, the services provided at the center and goals for Chamber membership. She has worked there since 1998.
Read on to find out more!
- How did you first get involved with Willamette ENT?
My husband, Dr. Gary J. Nishioka, is one of the physician partners here. He is board certified in otolaryngology, which is ear, nose, throat, oral maxillofacial surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Willamette ENT group was looking for a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist back in 1997 and asked Dr. Nishioka to join their group. My husband is from Salem and it was a good fit. By coming to this ENT group, Dr. Nishioka needed a person who could support patient care for the other specialties of his practice while integrating with general ENT. I was asked to help him because we had been working together for several years prior to coming to Salem. I’ve been with Willamette ENT for 20 years and have had the privilege to be work with staff that have been here even longer.
- What is the mission and purpose of Willamette ENT?
Our mission is to provide compassionate, respectful healthcare experiences through our Centers of Excellence. We respect each patient and want to provide the best quality care for them at all times.
- What service do you provide?
We have an allergy center, an audiology and hearing center, a surgery center, a facial cosmetic center, as well as ear, nose and throat. We have general ENT, so that encompasses anything from ear and sinus diseases to home sleep studies for snoring and sleep apnea problems, as well as allergy testing and desensitizing treatments. We can perform head and neck surgeries including biopsy and tumor removals, as well as thyroid and parathyroid surgery and testing. We can also provide hearing aids or custom-mold ear plugs. We have our own surgery center and provide most of our surgeries here on-site. We also provide facial cosmetics, everything from rhinoplasty to otoplasty to face lifts, and excision of skin lesions (moles and cysts) with cosmetic closures.
- What ages do you serve?
We see patients of all ages and the full range of ENT services needed by all age groups.
- What are some difficulties you face in your industry?
The bureaucracy of Medical Insurance: Navigating the complexities of an insurance company’s requirements for care is probably the most challenging aspect. We must negotiate contracts with each insurance company and insurances have a lot of control. Employers must negotiate insurance benefits with the insurance companies for their employees, which creates unique policies for each employer group. We are aware of what is going on at the national and state levels at all times with the frequent changes that take place.
A close second industry challenge would be boiling down the complexities of each patient’s unique healthcare situation to an electronic medical record format with software design that creates a somewhat homogeneous record that can be understood by others.
- What kinds of community outreach is Willamette ENT involved with?
We support health-related events, for example, we sponsor Salem Free Clinics’ Run for Hope and Health event. We support Marion-Polk County Medical events and the Medical Foundation. We also support organizations such as the Oregon Symphony in Salem, Union Gospel Mission and Salvation Army. We have also been participants in the Green Awards, and we are an EarthWise certified business. Willamette ENT has supported Family Building Blocks Uncorked for many years as well.
- What are your goals for Chamber membership?
It is important for Willamette ENT to show that we are part of the community. In the past, it seemed like medical groups were traditionally not part of the Chamber. However, after looking through your membership list I saw other medical groups listed and felt it was time to for Willamette ENT to join.
- What is one thing you wish other people knew about Willamette ENT?
We have six fabulous doctors, five that have been here for 20+ years. One newer physician is from the area and is returning home to work at Willamette ENT. We have qualified people with many different medical experiences that they need. Along with our amazing physicians, we have certified medical assistants, LPNs, RNs, surgery techs and people trained in coding for billing. We are here and available to provide any ENT services for patients and their families in the greater Willamette Valley.