Pat Songer's first big project at Cascade Medical is to get to know everyone, all 200-plus staff members. The close-knit relationships he finds at critical access hospitals is a big reason he applied for the Chief Operating Officer post at Cascade Medical.
"I'm a collaborative and relationship-type leader," Pat said. "It's such a family-like atmosphere at critical access hospitals. You have the ability to be innovative because you don't have to jump through as many hoops to get things done."
As Chief Operating Officer at CM, he oversees diagnostic imaging, the lab, the clinic, rehab services, facilities, food and nutrition, emergency preparedness and community outreach. He replaces Amy Webb, who left for a job in Western Washington last fall.
Songer brings nearly 20 years of healthcare leadership experience to Cascade Medical. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President of Operations at Ready Responders in New Orleans, where he oversaw the development of two innovative programs in telemedicine and community paramedicine. As a venture-capital backed company, Ready Responders showed Songer the power of innovation within healthcare.
“Smaller rural hospitals need to be leaders in healthcare,” Songer said. “Innovation is going to be key, because we do have competition, and it’s going to come from tech companies like Amazon or Google, than brick-and-mortar providers.”
Songer also worked as Director of Emergency Medical Services at UCHealth in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he implemented new technology to significantly reduce EMS response times, while also increasing staff engagement and satisfaction scores.
He developed a love for critical access hospitals in Nevada, where he worked for 12 years at Humboldt General Hospital, a critical access hospital in Winnemucca, Nevada. He worked his way up from Director of Emergency Services to Administrative Director.
"If we’re really going to make a difference in patients' lives, our care has to be based on the cradle-to-grave aspect of someone’s life," Songer said. "As a critical care hospital, when we touch a patient for the first time, we have that long-term outlook of keeping them healthy and helping them sustain a health and wellness lifestyle."
He has also worked as a flight medic, a firefighter and reserve deputy sheriff. In his free time, he is an avid outdoorsman, a family man, a pilot and certified paramedic.