January 11, 2012 -- Mark Nelson, president of Public Affairs Counsel, has been hired to represent Salem Health, a regional two-hospital network that includes Salem Hospital and West Valley Hospital.Nelson is expected to lobby on behalf of Salem Health during the upcoming February legislative session. The hospital system is in the process of forming a physician-hospital organization, better known as a PHO that could eventually morph into a coordinated care organizations and provide coverage for people on the Oregon Health Plan. If that were to happen, Salem Health would compete with the WVP Health Authority which represents more than 500 physicians in Marion and Polk counties.
In the past, Nelson’s firm has done extensive campaign management in Oregon on behalf of the Tobacco Institute and represented individual tobacco companies to defeat clean indoor air measures and increases in the statewide cigarette tax.
His other clients include Anheuser Busch, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, PERS retirees, Pfizer and Reynolds American.