Sky Lakes Medical Center

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Sky Lakes Medical Center
Sky Lakes Medical Center.JPG
Sky Lakes Medical Center
Location 2865 Daggett Avenue, Klamath Falls, Oregon, United States
Coordinates 42°15′14.52″N 121°47′04.01″W / 42.2540333°N 121.7844472°W / 42.2540333; -121.7844472
Care system Community-based non-profit
Hospital type General, Surgical, Teaching
Affiliated university Oregon Health & Science University
Emergency department Level III trauma center
Helipad (FAA LID: 9OR3)
Beds 176[1]
Founded 1968
Lists Hospitals in Oregon

Sky Lakes Medical Center (formerly Merle West Medical Center)[2] is a 176-bed hospital located in Klamath Falls, Oregon, United States. Sky Lakes is also a teaching hospital affiliated with Oregon Health & Science University Medical School through the Cascades East Rural Family Medicine Residency Program. It is a community-owned medical center that serves the healthcare needs of an area of approximately 10,000 square miles (26,000 km2) in Oregon and northern California.[1] The hospital was founded in 1965 and incorporated in 1968.

Sky Lakes Medical Center provides a birthing center, Blood Bank, Cardiac Catherization Lab, General - Acute Care, Intensive Care Unit, Computerized Tomography Scan, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Mammography & Radiology/Diagnostic-Imaging/MRI/X-Ray, Nuclear Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Orthopedics, Outpatient Services, Radiation Therapy, Wellness/Health&Fitness Center.[3] The hospital is equipped with a FAA LID: 9OR3 Heliport on its campus.

Besides patient care, Sky Lakes also carries out medical research and offers practicum positions for family medicine residents and nursing students through its affiliation with the Oregon Health & Science University.


Sky Lakes Medical Center is located adjacent to the Oregon Institute of Technology in the northeast part of Klamath Falls.[4] The hill lies on the southeast shore of the Upper Klamath Lake, accessed through U.S. Route 97. The hospital has a parking structure and three parking lots, the main lot being served by a shuttle service that ferry patients and visitors between their vehicles and the medical center. The Hospital is served by two Basin Transit Service bus routes. It also has an ambulance bay and a helicopter landing pad.


In the late 1950s a citizen task force in Klamath County outlined the future healthcare needs of the region and with a successful fund-drive constructed what is now Sky Lakes Medical Center, opening in October 1965. In 1968, the hospital became a member of the American Hospital Association. It wasn't until the 1970s that the name was changed to Merle West Medical Center. The hospital changed its name to Sky Lakes Medical Center in May 2007.[1]


Sky Lakes Medical Center campus

The Emergency Department has 23 beds. Patients are usually referred to the hospital by their doctors or clinics for specialized care, but may also be admitted through the emergency department. Sky Lakes Medical Center reported 6,112 acute admissions in 2010 for a total of 20,738 patient days and a 3.39 average length of stay.[5] That same year the hospital reported 6,741 surgical procedures and 23,248 emergency room visits.

Sky Lakes medical laboratory reported 395,941 laboratory tests and assays in 2010, while the medical imaging department reported 28,429 X-ray exams, 8,872 ultrasounds and 16,507 MRI and CT scans.[5] Physical therapy reported 11,382 procedures in 2010 and the home health nursing program reported 814 nursing episodes.[5]

Sky Lakes Medical Center sponsors several annual community health-related activities, including the "Living Well" community health fair with more than 50 exhibitors providing information and resources for the community, providing free eye, ear, blood glucose and cholesterol screenings, as well as blood pressure checks, body mass index readings and lung-function tests. The event usually provides car seat checks and medication evaluations also.[6]


Sky Lakes Medical Center is partially funded by the Sky Lakes Medical Center Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1985 that adheres to the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy standards of professional ethics. The Sky Lakes Medical Center Foundation is the primary fundraising organization for the hospital, which receives donations by benefactors including former patients, other foundations and local business leaders.


Sky Lakes Medical Center is affiliated with the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) education and research branches, providing internship and practicum positions for over 20 resident physicians in pursuit of their family medicine specialty. Sky Lakes produces a continuing investment in Cascades East Family Medicine residents' program. The hospital also works with OHSU, Oregon Institute of Technology and Klamath Community College faculties, supplementing their nursing programs with hands-on clinical exposure.


  1. ^ a b c Suttle, Marilyn; Vest, Lori Jo (2009). Who's Your Gladys?: How to Turn Even the Most Difficult Customer Into Your Biggest Fan. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn (Google eBook). p. 147. ISBN 0-8144-1439-7. Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  2. ^ AHA Guide to the Health Care Field: United States Hospitals, Health Care Systems, Networks, Alliances, Health Organizations, Agencies, Providers. American Hospital Association. 2008. pp. A–481. ISBN 0-87258-833-5. 
  3. ^ "Merle West Medical Center". Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Boyd, Tonya L (March 1999). "The Oregon Institute of Technology geothermal heating system" (PDF). GHC Bulletin. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "2010 Community Report". Sky Lakes Medical Center. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "2010 Living Well Community Health Fair". Sky Lakes Medical Center. Retrieved 24 June 2011. 

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