CORONAVIRUS, Government, Oregon

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen hospitalized after fall

The director of the agency tasked with leading the state’s coronavirus response was hospitalized Sunday morning after a fall the Oregon Health Authority described as “serious.” 

OHA Director Patrick Allen is currently undergoing evaluation for subsequent heart issues, the OHA said in a press release Tuesday, and is expected to be discharged to his home soon. 

The OHA stressed that the hospitalization was unrelated to the coronavirus, noting that Allen does not have COVID-19.

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“Director Allen has helped Oregon get through the COVID-19 pandemic with among the lowest rates of hospitalizations and deaths in the nation,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown said. “I’m grateful for the difficult, life-saving contributions he’s made to Oregon’s pandemic response. He is in my thoughts and I wish him a very speedy recovery.”

In his absence, the department will be led by OHA Deputy Director Kris Kautz for at least this week, OHA said. 

The state agency said that no other details were available. 

Allen has served in the role of director since the fall of 2017, first being appointed on an interim basis following the resignation of previous director Lynne Saxton, who resigned—at the behest of Governor Kate Brown—after admitting to building a plan for her agency to damage the reputation of a Portland health care provider.

Allen’s position was made permanent in late September of 2017, following approval of the Oregon Senate. 

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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