Hospital COO brings enthusiasm to new role

Janiece Zauner, chief operating officer of Providence Seaside Hospital, moved to the coast in April.

SEASIDE — Janiece Zauner is the new chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Providence Seaside Hospital. She began on an interim basis in April and loved the weather during the coast’s “best summer ever.”

“We’re just settling in, and we’re still a little bit like tourists,” she told a gathering of the Seaside Downtown Development Association this month. “That makes it really fun. It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, there’s always something going on. It really is a treasured space.”

Zauner has served as a nurse manager, business and project manager at Providence Portland Medical Center, and as regional director for clinical operations, before taking her current role. She was awarded the position on a permanent basis in September

Zauner came to nursing after marriage and a family, graduating with an associate’s degree from Clackamas Community College in 1992. After graduation, she went to work as a nurse with Providence Portland, and said with a wink she was “lucky enough to garner the coveted night-shift position.”

Zauner liked working at night, and “learned a lot very quickly.” She spent 20 years at Providence Portland, and moved into a variety of roles, becoming a nurse manager for the Providence system of 75,000 employees.

“I loved that, but it was a lot of travel,” she said. She visited 30 of Providence’s 35 hospitals, including facilities in Montana and Alaska.

“I was poised to move into a system-level position when I was offered the job of chief nursing officer in Seaside,” Zauner said.

She jumped at the opportunity. “I really wanted to be in the hospital, dealing with patients,” she said.

After her first six months, “Seaside finally said, ‘We’ll keep her,’” Zauner said. “It was made permanent and I was made chief operating officer and chief nursing officer.’”

The chief operating officer is the one who “keeps things moving” when there are floods, and no power, she said.

After looking several places, she and her husband chose a condominium on Necanicum Drive “just a few blocks from the beach.”

“I have a3-year-old grandson, and he just loves coming to Grandma’s beach house,” Zauner said.

The hospital has 375 caregivers at clinics at Astoria, Seaside, Warrenton and Cannon Beach, she said. A new chief executive officer, Kendall Sawa, will start Jan. 7. “He’s a great fit, because he’s got a lot of experience at critical access hospitals, and he really knows our community on the North Coast.”

With a nationwide shortage, filling the need for primary care providers is an ongoing concern. “Enticing them here is a challenge, because there are so few of them,” she said.

Hospital recruiters will be stressing the region’s amenities — fishing, boating, hiking and more — in filling those roles, she said.

“I am loving the work here,” Zauner said. “I love working with nurses and the support department as well. I am loving Seaside. I always wanted to have a home at the beach. I never thought I’d be this close.”

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