In The News

  • Lori Cutrell- Mission Trip

Project Compassion- An Unforgettable Experience

WVMC’s Lori Cutrell, RN donates personal time to travel with “Project Compassion” providing medical care to countries in need.

I just returned from an amazing medical […Read More]

  • Melva Proctor

A Lifetime of Teamwork- Melva Proctor Retires

 Photo by Marcus Larson/News-Register
LAFAYETTE — What Melva Proctor will miss most, now that she’s retired from a half-century career in nursing, is […Read More]

  • WVMC_WCHM_vert

Willamette Valley Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center Honored with National Award for Excellence in Wound Healing

McMinnville, OR 4/6/16– Willamette Valley Medical Center physicians, leaders, and clinicians gathered today to celebrate the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center […Read More]

Our Bloggers


Zac Woodruff, WVMC Voices

Read My Blog >>

KendraKendra Lindell, Mommy & Me

Read My Blog >>

CarlyCarly Dunn,
Notes From Your Nutritionist

Read My Blog >>

My Weight-Loss Surgery

Read My Blog >>

Amazing Care Stories

  • Lori Cutrell- Mission Trip

Project Compassion- An Unforgettable Experience

WVMC’s Lori Cutrell, RN donates personal time to travel with “Project Compassion” providing medical care to countries in need.

I […Read More]

  • Key

Leading the Nation in Quality

Willamette Valley Medical Center Earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ Recognition from the Joint Commission for […Read More]

  • Mike Sandels- Amazing care story-Cardiac Rehab

A Lifesaving Decision

In November 2014 Mike Sandels had his second heart attack. He just happened to be walking by […Read More]


New Moms Group @ Birthing Center Classroom
May 3 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Moms with babies up to two years old are welcome to join us each week for this very informal session. You’ll meet with other new moms and a registered nurse to discuss infant development, health and social issues, breastfeeding and other important topics. Siblings and toddlers are welcome!

Weight-Loss Surgery Support Group @ WVMC Classrooms (1st floor, across from cafeteria)
May 3 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

We offer a support group for anyone that is looking at Weight-Loss Bariatric surgery, or has had Weight-Loss Bariatric surgery before. Everyone is welcome whether you had your surgery at WVMC or at another facility. We will have our program psychologist at each meeting and cover an array of topics. It is a safe, discrete place to gather information and talk to others. If you have any questions, please call Kristi Amerson, program coordinator at 503-435-6432.

Walk with Ease- Education for individuals with Arthritis @ McMinnville Community Center
May 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Living with Cancer Support Group @ H.R. Hoover Cancer Center (WVMC Campus)
May 4 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

A general cancer support group available for individuals in all stages of cancer including survivors. For additional information, or to register for the group, call (503) 435-6590 x8740.


Let’s Talk About Prescription Painkiller Abuse
By Zac Woodruff, RN BS

Perhaps you know someone who abuses prescription painkillers? Maybe it’s someone on your street? Maybe it was Prince? Maybe it’s you?

Let’s talk for a moment about prescription painkiller abuse.

Prescription painkillers are powerful drugs that interfere with the nervous system’s transmission of the nerve signals we perceive as pain, and most also stimulate portions of the brain associated with pleasure.

The most powerful prescription painkillers are called opioids. They are manufactured to react on the nervous system in the same way as drugs derived from the opium poppy, like heroin. The most commonly abused opioid painkillers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone.

Now people who take these prescription medications not only alleviate some of their physical pain, but they also may feel a sort of “high,” while the painkiller is in their system. Less pain, more feel good. It’s no wonder that people can easily become addicted.

Think about it, these prescription medications make you feel less pain, and you may feel pleasure when you take them. And the doctor (who you trust to take care of you) in their expert opinion wrote you the prescription for the medication.

I get it, I totally do. I understand how someone who has addictive tendencies, could easily succumb to the allure of prescription painkillers. They are readily available, make you feel good, and take the pain away.

I’m sure like many of you, my Facebook wall has been saturated with stories about the late Prince over the past two weeks. While his musical genius and artistic talents are something that most of us could never replicate, prescription painkiller abuse is something that can impact any and everyone, including Prince.

They are still gathering evidence, but many notable sources are pointing to painkiller abuse in his death. It’s also known that earlier in the week of his death, his airplane made an emergency landing so he could seek immediate hospital attention for possible painkiller overdose. He received Narcan, which is an opioid antidote and used when someone has overdosed.

Every day, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments around the United States for misusing prescription opioids. This isn’t just a small neighborhood windstorm, it’s a category 5 hurricane and it’s steamrolling through our entire country.

Prince was 57 when he passed, but painkiller abuse knows no age limit or restriction. It’s estimated that 8 and half million Americans abuse pain killers and they often start young. About 8% of high-school seniors, mind you that’s roughly 250,000 people, said they used the painkiller hydrocodone for nonmedical reasons during the past year.

I don’t know what the answers are to help stop the abuse of prescription painkillers, but I know that talking about it is the something we can do. We have to notice when someone near us needs help and we have to be strong enough to have these conversations with the people we love.

Here at WVMC, we’re not here to judge, we’re here to help. We are committed to getting our community members help if they are struggling with painkiller abuse. People can and do recover from prescription painkiller abuse, but they rarely do it on their own.

If you have any questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to ask someone from our nursing staff, and we will gladly provide assistance. Thanks for listening.

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