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News Releases
Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee meets September 25 - 09/22/17

September 22, 2017

What: The quarterly meeting of the state Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee. The meeting will cover Dental Pilot Project No. 100, "Oregon Tribes Dental Health Aide Therapist Pilot Project."

Agenda: Review prior recommendations from advisory committee; response from project; review site visit; discuss next site visit.

When: Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to noon. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1E, Portland. Conference line: 888-636-3807, participant code 793800.

Background: Dental pilot projects are intended to evaluate the quality of care, access, cost, workforce, and efficacy by teaching new skills to existing categories of dental personnel; developing new categories of dental personnel; accelerating the training of existing categories of dental personnel; or teaching new oral health care roles to previously untrained persons.

Program contact: Sarah Kowalski, 971-673-1563, sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Sarah Kowalski at 971-673-1563, 711 TTY or sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Hospital Performance Metrics Advisory Committee to meet September 22 - 09/22/17

September 22, 2017

Contact: Pamela Naylor, 503-559-2216, pamela.naylor@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Hospital Performance Metrics Advisory Committee.

When: Friday, September 22, 2-4 p.m. Public testimony will be heard at 2:10 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, OHA Transformation Center Training Room, Suite 775, 421 SW Oak Street, Portland. The public also can join through a listen-only conference line at 877-848-7030, participant code 695-684.

For more information, an agenda and hospital metrics meeting packet, visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Hospital-Performance-Metrics.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
Sign language and spoken language interpreters
Written materials in other languages
Braille
Large print
Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Pamela Naylor at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY or pamela.naylor@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

WIC staffers often first to ID developmental, behavioral issues in kids - 09/21/17

September 21, 2017

*New study finds WIC employees hear about problems during nutrition consultations with families, make referrals to services*

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program staff members who provide preventive health and nutrition services for families often are the first to identify developmental and behavioral issues among the young children they're serving, a new study shows.

The study, published recently in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, found that although it is outside the primary scope of their work, WIC staff members frequently raise and address developmental and behavioral concerns in children whose families they are working with.

"WIC staff members spend a great deal of time talking with families about child development concerns while delivering WIC services, even though WIC's primary mission is to provide public health nutrition services," said study co-author Julie Reeder, PhD, MPH, senior research analyst with Oregon's WIC Program, based at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division.

The findings by researchers at OHA and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) suggest that strengthening the system for referring families to community services that can address developmental and behavioral issues, and enhancing continuity of care between WIC and developmental providers, may improve child outcomes and reduce disparities.

"We know that developmental disabilities affect one in six kids in the United States, and low-income and minority children are at risk for under-identification and treatment of developmental disabilities," said the study's lead author, Katharine Zuckerman, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital and OHSU School of Medicine.

For the study, researchers analyzed results from an online survey of more than 150 individuals who work in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC. They found WIC staff members reported frequent interactions with families about topics related to child development. Nearly four in 10 WIC staff were asked about a child's development at least once per week, and nearly three in 10 noticed a developmental concern about a child at least once per week."

"Given that the majority of WIC staff in our study could distinguish many instances of typical versus delayed development in young children, it is likely that many of the developmental concerns raised by WIC staff were well founded," the study's authors wrote.

But even as the developmental concerns were prevalent, WIC staff members felt poorly connected to local developmental resources. The study found that almost 70 percent felt less than very connected with their county's early intervention/early childhood special education program (EI/ECSE) office, and 74 percent felt less than well connected with most pediatric health care providers. WIC staffers who fielded the most developmental concerns also felt poorly connected to primary care and community developmental resources.

The study recommended that WIC staff members be provided more support to effectively refer children with developmental conditions and to improve continuity of care once early intervention or early childhood special education services are initiated.

"...Although WIC's primary mission is to provide public health nutrition services and not to diagnose or address childhood developmental delays, WIC staff nonetheless spend significant time engaging with families on this topic in the course of delivery of standard WIC services," the study's authors concluded.

As a result, WIC staff members and families may benefit from additional support for developmental issues. Such support could come in the form of family handouts, trainings for existing staff, additional personnel to handle developmental concerns, or even in the form of improved partnerships with community developmental resources.

"While we are working on enhancing training opportunities for WIC staff, this article really is an awareness-raising tool," Reeder said. "It shows physicians and early intervention staff that WIC staff are a potential additional source of information about developmental delays."

# # #

The study can be found at http://journals.lww.com/jrnldbp/toc/2017/06000.

Health advisory issued for the Link, Klamath rivers to Keno Dam - 09/20/17

September 20, 2017

High blue-green algae, toxins found in Klamath County rivers, reservoir

The Oregon Health Authority is issuing a health advisory today for the Link and Klamath rivers to Keno Dam, located downstream of Upper Klamath Lake. These areas are south of the city of Klamath Falls, off U.S. Route 97 in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce in these areas south of Upper Klamath Lake. The toxin concentrations found can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should always avoid areas with visible scum that looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red. Swimming and high-speed water activities such as water skiing or power boating where ingestion and inhalation exposure can occur is discouraged. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets as a result of these water activities in areas where a bloom has been identified, or an advisory issued, can expose people to the toxins being produced. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities that come into contact with a bloom may experience a puffy, red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from areas of the Link and Klamath rivers to Keno Dam at this time is especially dangerous. OHA Public Health Division officials advise campers and other recreational visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.

People who draw in-home water directly from the affected areas are advised to use an alternative water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing algae toxins. However, public drinking water systems can reduce algae toxins through proper filtration and disinfection. If people connected to public water systems have questions about treatment and testing, they should contact their water supplier. If community members have questions about water available at nearby campgrounds, they should contact campground management.

Oregon health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water. Public health officials also advise people to not eat freshwater clams or mussels from the this stretch of water and that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations do not allow the harvest of these shellfish from freshwater sources. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.

Exposure to toxins can produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to the Link and Klamath rivers for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake, and from licking their fur in the event they swim in affected water.

The advisory will be lifted when the concern no longer exists.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested, people are encouraged to visit the Link and Klamath rivers and enjoy activities such as canoeing, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray. Although inhalation risk is much lower than ingestion, it can present a risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971-673-0400. For campground or lake information, call the local management agency.

OHA maintains an updated list of all health advisories on its website. To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://www.healthoregon.org/hab and select "algae bloom advisories," or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

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Conference of Local Health Officials meets September 21 in Hood River - 09/20/17

September 20, 2017

What: The monthly public conference meeting of the Conference of Local Health Officials

Agenda: Reproductive health program changes; public health modernization process measures; State Health Assessment community engagement; proposed TPEP budget changes; CLHO committee structure planning; fiscal 2017 expenditure reporting; and OHA and local public health updates

When: Thursday, Sept. 21, 10:30-11:30 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. No conference call option is available for the public.

Where: Best Western Plus Hood River Inn, 1108 E Marina Drive, Hood River

The Conference of Local Health Officials provides recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on the foundational capabilities and programs and any other public health program or activity under ORS 431.147. (ORS 431.340)

Program contact: Danna Drum, 971-673-1223, danna.k.drum@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
-- Sign language and spoken language interpreters
-- Written materials in other languages
-- Braille
-- Large print
-- Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Danna Drum at 971-673-1223, 711 TTY or danna.k.drum@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon State Cancer Registry Rules Advisory Committee to meet September 22 - 09/20/17

September 20, 2017

What: A public meeting of the Oregon State Cancer Registry Rules Advisory Committee

Agenda: Discussions on proposed rule language; statement of fiscal impact; next steps in rulemaking process; process review and final questions

When: Friday, Sept. 22, 10:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1E, Portland

Who: The Oregon State Cancer Registry Rules Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from health care and public health stakeholders dedicated to the comprehensive collection of incidence data for cancer surveillance, prevention and control efforts for the state of Oregon.

Details: The meeting is open to the public. Space is limited. People can attend the meeting remotely via telephone by calling 877-810-9415, participation code 975182.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
-- Sign language and spoken language interpreters
-- Written materials in other languages
-- Braille
-- Large print
-- Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Brad Beauchamp, 971-673-1020, 711 TTY, or bradley.m.beauchamp@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets September 26 by webinar - 09/20/17

September 20, 2017

What: A public meeting of the Accountability Metrics Subcommittee of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Approve August meeting minutes; make recommendation for dental visits metric; approve local public health process measures.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1-2:30 p.m. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: By webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5150607625475124481. Conference call line: 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon's governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. The Accountability Metrics Subcommittee develops recommendations about public health quality measures for consideration by the board.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
-- Sign language and spoken language interpreters
-- Written materials in other languages
-- Braille
-- Large print
-- Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact: Sara Beaudrault at 971-645-5766, 711 TTY, or sara.beaudrault@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHA concludes review of Youth Marijuana Use Prevention Pilot Campaign - 09/19/17

September 19, 2017

*More young people identify social norms around youth marijuana use, understand the legal consequences of use*

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An Oregon Health Authority (OHA) education campaign aimed at youth and young adults raised awareness among its target audience of the risks associated with marijuana use, an independent evaluation has found.

"Stay True to You," OHA's youth marijuana use prevention campaign, was launched in July 2016 in two pilot communities--the Portland metro area (Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas counties) and Southern Oregon (Josephine and Jackson counties). RMC Research Corp., contracted by OHA to evaluate the campaign, found that after one year a statistically significant higher proportion of youth and young adults in the pilot areas correctly identified that only one in five Oregon high school juniors use marijuana.

The evaluation also showed that a significantly higher proportion of youth and young adults in the pilot areas correctly identified that possession of marijuana by persons under age 21 can result in a steep fine, community service or court-ordered drug treatment.

"We know that social norms and perceived risk of use are known predictors of substance use behavior," said Kati Moseley, OHA policy specialist at the OHA Public Health Division. "In the face of increased marijuana industry advertising, this campaign communicated those two crucial messages effectively to our audience."

The final evaluation is available on the Oregon Public Health Division website at http://healthoregon.org/marijuana under "Publications."

OHA launched the pilot campaign in the summer of 2016 in the midst of increased marijuana advertising and access to retail marijuana--recent changes that may promote underage marijuana use. Although the magnitude of marijuana advertising in Oregon is unknown, marijuana retail locations are more common than Starbucks in Oregon.

Youth and young adult attitudes--including intent to delay marijuana use until age 21--have held steady in this environment. The effects of the campaign on youth marijuana use are limited in the absence of coordinated education, support and services implemented in collaboration with counties, tribes, coordinated care organizations and schools in Oregon. Evidence shows media campaigns are most effective when started in the context of these community-wide supports for youth, parents and families.

OHA recommends adopting policies to track marijuana advertising; limit marijuana marketing and promotion; prohibit the sale of flavored products; and maintain local control to protect Oregon's youth and young adults from the potential negative health effects of marijuana use.

*Background on Stay True to You campaign and evaluation*

After the legalization and ongoing rollout of recreational marijuana, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 4014 and SB 1597, which provided OHA with $3.97 million to develop, pilot and evaluate a youth marijuana use prevention campaign in a rural and urban area of the state. Legislative intent guided OHA in choosing the Portland metro area and southern Oregon as the locations for the pilot campaign.

OHA developed the campaign using extensive audience research and focus groups. OHA conducted 28 focus groups in Portland, Bend, Medford and Pendleton featuring 260 youth and young adults ages 14 through 20. Participants from the African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, white, American Indian/Alaska native and Latino communities were included. DHM Research conducted groups in English and Spanish between October 2015 and March 2016.

OHA announced in July 2017 that the campaign would expand to the rest of the state.

# # #

Direct report download: http://bit.ly/2xNfwsk

Public Health Modernization Administrative Rules Advisory Committee meets in Portland on September 14 - 09/13/17

September 13, 2017

What: The Oregon Health Authority is convening a Rules Advisory Committee (RAC) to inform the rules to implement HB 2310 (2017), HB 3100 (2015) and the Future of Public Health Task Force recommendations on a new framework for public health. The framework is centered on foundational capabilities and foundational programs that are essential in every community and for every person in order to protect and improve health in Oregon.

The RAC will review concepts and provide input on proposed rules related to: requirements for funding formulas; incentives and matching funds; accountability metrics; Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) and required public health services; delegation; subcontracting of public health services; and transfer of local public health authority.

When: Thursday, September 14, 1-3 p.m. A 15-minute public comment period is at 2:45 p.m.; comments are limited to three minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St, Room 1A; Portland, OR 97232.

Background: The Public Health Modernization Administrative Rules Advisory Committee is holding its second meeting to help inform the public health rules to modernize the public health system. An agenda and updated materials will be posted one week prior to the meeting on the Public Health Division Public Health Modernization Website: http://www.healthoregon.org/modernization/. See the following reference documents:
*             Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 431: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors431.html
*             HB 2310 Enrolled: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2310/Enrolled

Program contact: Kim La Croix, 971-212-1110; kimberly.w.lacroix@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
*             Sign language and spoken language interpreters
*             Written materials in other languages
*             Braille
*             Large print
*             Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Kim La Croix at 971-212-1110, 711 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

TPEP Rules Advisory Committee to meet September 15 - 09/12/17

September 12, 2017

What: The Tobacco Prevention and Education Program of the Public Health Division is convening a Rules Advisory Committee (RAC).

Agenda: The Rules Advisory Committee will gather public input and draft administrative rules relating to the administration and enforcement of Senate Bill 754.
When: Friday, Sept. 15, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1E, Portland

Background: The Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) is convening a RAC and submit rules following the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act, beginning January 2018. Membership of the RAC represents a diverse mix of stakeholders from businesses affected by changes in the law, health professionals, community-based organizations, and government agencies.
Contact: Trisha Hays, administrative specialist, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section, at trisha.l.hays@dhsoha.state.or.us or 971-673-0995 for more information or to be placed on a list of interested parties to receive notifications about meetings, public hearings and public comment periods.
# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
*             Sign language and spoken language interpreters
*             Written materials in other languages
*             Braille
*             Large print
*             Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Jonathan Modie at 971-246-9139, 711 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) to meet Sept. 22 - 09/12/17

September 12, 2017

What: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee is holding its regular public meeting. Agenda items include discussion of the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program budget.

When: Friday, Sept. 22, 10-11:30 a.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1C, in Portland.

Who: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee is a committee appointed by the Governor and comprised of both private organizations and state agencies dedicated to the reduction of the harmful impact of Oregonians' tobacco use.

Details: The meeting is open to the public. Space is limited.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
*             Sign language and spoken language interpreters
*             Written materials in other languages
*             Braille
*             Large print
*             Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Jonathan Modie at 971-246-9139, 711 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) to meet by webinar September 20 - 09/12/17

September 12, 2017

What: A special public meeting of the Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee

When: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Webinar only. Join the meeting from a computer, tablet or smartphone at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/562669237, or via conference call at 877-336-1831, participant code 309902. You must join the conference call in order to hear the webinar.

Who: The Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee is appointed by the Governor and comprising members of private organizations and state agencies dedicated to the reduction of the harmful impact of Oregonians' tobacco use.

Details: Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division staff members will present information shared at the July TRAC meeting to update TRAC members who were unable to attend that meeting. The next regular TRAC meeting is scheduled for Sept. 22.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
*             Sign language and spoken language interpreters
*             Written materials in other languages
*             Braille
*             Large print
*             Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Jonathan Modie at 971-246-9139, 711 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Health advisory lifted for Perry South Cove in Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook - 09/08/17

September 8, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae levels and toxins confirmed*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory updated July 17 for Perry South Cove, located on the southern end of the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook.

Lake Billy Chinook is located about 12 miles west of Madras in Jefferson County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce are below OHA guideline values for both people and dogs. However, officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms in all Oregon waters, because blooms can develop and disappear throughout the season.

Only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state, federal and local agencies. Therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you, your family and your pets safe.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish-red, if a thick mat of blue-green algae is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets, such as swimming or high-speed water activities.

For health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms, or to ask questions about a news release, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0400. For information about advisories issued or lifted for the season, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

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State Health Assessment Steering Committee meets September 11 in Portland - 09/07/17

September 6, 2017

What: The State Health Assessment Steering Committee will hold its first meeting.

Agenda: Adopt vision and value statements; subcommittee reports; Forces of Change Assessment.

When: Monday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period is at 1:45 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1D, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. You may join the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3059608091695899651 Conference line for audio: 1-877-873-8017; access code 767068#.

Oregon's revised State Health Assessment is one of three prerequisites for public health accreditation. The assessment describes the health of the population, identifies areas for improvement, contributing factors that impact health outcomes, and assets and resources that can be mobilized to improve population health.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, contact Angela Rowland at 971-673-2296 or angela.d.rowland@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

###

Oregon Health Policy Board to meet September 11 in Portland at OHSU - 09/06/17

September 6, 2017

Contact: Jeff Scroggin, 541-999-6983, jeffrey.scroggin@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: The monthly public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: Tuesday, September 12, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Where: OHSU Center for Health & Healing, 3303 SW Bond Ave., third floor, room 4. The meeting will also be available via live web-stream. A link to the live-stream and a recording of the meeting will be posted on the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OHPB/Pages/OHPB-Meetings.aspx. Members of the public can also call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: OHA Director's report; OHPB committee updates; OHPB committee planning: Pharmacy Collaborative; OHPB committee planning: Equity Policy Committee; public testimony; Health Information Technology report and recommendations; CCO 2.0 discussion

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OHPB/Pages/OHPB-Meetings.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

-- Sign language and spoken language interpreters
-- Written materials in other languages
-- Braille
-- Large print
-- Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jeff Scroggin at 541-999-6983, 711 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon residents urged to take steps to prevent exposure to smoke - 09/05/17

September 5, 2017

*OHA offers tips to reduce health risks as wildfires affect many parts of state*

As wildfires continue to affect many parts of the state--including most recently the Columbia River Gorge--the Oregon Health Authority is encouraging people to take steps to protect themselves from smoky air.

Poor air quality due to wildfires can cause health problems for people with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly, and children. Fine particles in smoke also can affect people suffering from asthma and other respiratory conditions.

"People should be aware of smoke levels in their area and avoid the places with highest concentrations," said Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at the OHA Public Health Division. High temperatures can also increase levels of ozone, a pollutant that can irritate the lungs.

OHA offers the following smoke-prevention tips:
-- Residents can check the current local air quality conditions on DEQ's website (oregonsmoke.blogspot.com). Avoid outdoor activities when air quality is unhealthy and hazardous.
-- Avoid smoke either by leaving the area or by staying indoors, closing as many windows and doors as possible without letting your home overheat, and using a filter in your heating/cooling system that removes very fine particulate matter.
-- Avoid strenuous outdoor activity in smoky conditions. Those with heart or lung problems, as well as young children, are especially vulnerable.
-- People suffering from asthma or other respiratory problems should follow their breathing management plans or contact their health care providers.

For quick tips on how to protect yourself from the health effects of wildfire smoke and ash, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI77-oA6jxc.

For guidance on how to protect student athletes and when to move outdoor activities indoors, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O07jAVAVijw.

For more information about wildfires and smoke, visit http://www.healthoregon.org/wildfires.

# # #

OHA sets hearing for proposed psychiatric hospital in Hermiston - 09/01/17

September 1, 2017

What: The Oregon Health Authority Certificate of Need Program will hold a public hearing to consider a certificate of need application by Lifeways, Inc. The company is proposing a 16-bed psychiatric hospital to be located in Hermiston and known as Aspen Springs Hospital.

When: Monday, Sept. 25, 1:30 p.m. Any person can speak at the public meeting; those speaking may be questioned by the presiding officer or other OHA Public Health Division staff members. Testimony is limited to the proposal under review.

Where: Hermiston Conference Center, Rotary Altrusa Room, 415 State Highway 395, Hermiston.

Background: Under state rules (OAR 333-570-0060) a public meeting must be held to consider certificate of need applications. The purpose of the state's certificate of need law is to ensure that health services are adequately distributed in the state without unnecessary duplication of services or excessive cost to patients.

Contact: For more information about this project, contact Jana Fussell, certificate of need coordinator, Public Health Division, 971-673-1108.

# # #

Updated health advisory issued for all of Upper Klamath Lake - 09/01/17

September 1, 2017

*Blue-green algae and toxins found in Klamath County lake*

The Oregon Health Authority is updating a health advisory to include all of Upper Klamath Lake, located off U.S. Route 97 and U.S. Route 140 (locally known as Lakeshore Drive) north of Klamath Falls in Klamath County.

The agency issued a health advisory for Howard Bay in Upper Klamath Lake (also known locally as Howards Bay or Howard's Bay) on July 28, and updated it to include Shoalwater Bay on August 8.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of blue-green algae and the toxins they produce in Upper Klamath Lake. These toxin concentrations can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should always avoid areas of water with visible scum that looks foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red. Swimming and high-speed water activities such as water skiing or power boating where ingestion and inhalation exposure can occur is discouraged. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets as a result of these water activities in areas where a bloom has been identified, or an advisory issued, can expose people to the toxins being produced. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities that come into contact with a bloom may experience a puffy, red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from Upper Klamath Lake at this time is especially dangerous. OHA Public Health Division officials advise campers and other recreational visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.

People who draw in-home water directly from the lake are advised to use an alternative water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing algae toxins. However, public drinking water systems can reduce algae toxins through proper filtration and disinfection. If people connected to public water systems have questions about treatment and testing, they should contact their water supplier. If community members have questions about water available at nearby campgrounds, they should contact campground management.

Oregon health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where algae blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as toxins are more likely to collect in these tissues. Fillets should also be rinsed with clean water. Public health officials also advise people to not eat freshwater clams or mussels from Upper Klamath Lake and that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations do not allow the harvest of these shellfish from freshwater sources. Crayfish muscle can be eaten, but internal organs and liquid fat should be discarded.

Exposure to toxins can produce a variety of symptoms including numbness, tingling and dizziness that can lead to difficulty breathing or heart problems, and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to Howard Bay for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake, and from licking their fur in the event they swim in affected water.

The advisory will be lifted when the concern no longer exists.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested, people are encouraged to visit Upper Klamath Lake and enjoy activities such as canoeing, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray. Although inhalation risk is much lower than ingestion, it can present a risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact OHA at 971-673-0400. For campground or lake information, call the local management agency.

OHA maintains an updated list of all health advisories on its website. To learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body, visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://www.healthoregon.org/hab and select "algae bloom advisories," or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

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Oregon Health Authority meets Governor Brown's call to complete Medicaid renewals - 08/31/17

August 31, 2017

SALEM -- The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has finalized the clean-up of Medicaid member eligibility.

*OHA met an August 31 deadline set for the agency by Governor Kate Brown.*

-- Governor Brown set the deadline to ensure all Oregonians on Medicaid who are due for an eligibility renewal were assessed as quickly as possible.

-- OHA kept the federal government informed throughout the Medicaid renewal process.

*The 115,233 Medicaid renewals completed under the Action Plan do not change the Medicaid forecast for the 2017-2019 biennium or the state budget.*

-- OHA found that the remaining 22,937 cases determined to no longer qualify for benefits account for little more than 2 percent of the more than one million Oregon Health Plan members.

*All current Oregon Medicaid cases are now on a regular Medicaid eligibility renewal cycle.*

-- A total of 951,186 Medicaid eligibility renewals have been completed by OHA since March 2016. For more than two years OHA, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and many private sector and non-profit partners engaged in an intensive effort to restore Medicaid renewals to standard operations.

-- Incoming OHA Acting Director Pat Allen has been charged with making organizational changes to improve the Medicaid renewal process to ensure accuracy, the wise use of taxpayer dollars, and make sure that everyone who is eligible for Medicaid has access to it.

*Action Plan Preliminary Report*: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ERD/Pages/OHAMeetsGovernorBrownsCall2CompleteMedicaidRenewals.aspx

http://bit.ly/2gtvuAw

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