Oregon Health Authority
Emergency Messages as of 3:43 am, Tue. Jun. 27
No information currently posted. Operating as usual.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Health Authority. Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer.
Primary email address for a new account:

Emergency Alerts News Releases  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Oregon Health Authority by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.

Click here to add Oregon Health Authority to your Twitter account or create one.

Hide this Message


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee meets June 28 in Portland - 06/22/17

June 22, 2017

What: The quarterly public meeting of the Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee (HAIAC)

Agenda: Outbreaks update 2017; infection control assessment and response (ICAR) update; annual Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report; annual Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program report; neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) collaborative update; multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) toolkit; discussion of themes and topics for future 2017 meetings.

When: Wednesday, June 28, 1-3 p.m. A 15-minute public comment period is scheduled at 2:45 p.m.; comments are limited to five minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1B, Portland. A conference call line is available at 877-873-8018, access code 7872333.

OHA provides oversight and support for the mandatory reporting of healthcare-associated infections in Oregon via the HAI Program. The program convenes its advisory board on a quarterly basis. The purpose of the board is to make recommendations to OHA regarding infection measures reportable by health care facilities.

Program contact: Roza Tammer, 971-673-1074, roza.p.tammer@state.or.us

# # #

Medicaid Advisory Committee to meet June 28 in Salem - 06/22/17

June 22, 2017

Contact: Amanda Peden, 503-208-1010, amanda.m.peden@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: The regular monthly public meeting of the Medicaid Advisory Committee

When: Wednesday, June 28, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Oregon State Library, 250 Winter Street NE, Room 102, Salem. The meeting will also be available via webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1742663635510619908 or by conference call at 213-929-4212, access code 437-672-657. A recording of the meeting will be posted at the Medicaid Advisory Committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/HP-MAC/Pages/index.aspx.

Agenda: The committee will hear an Oregon Health Plan member's story about their Medicaid experience. OHA staff will update the committee on various federal health policy proposals including per-capita caps. Lori Coyner, Oregon Health Authority Medicaid director, will give an overview of health-related services and applications in coordinated care organizations (CCOs), to inform future social determinants of health policy work.

After its regular business the committee will host a special public forum on the Medicaid 1115 Waiver Award, including an opportunity for public questions and comment.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

# # #

http://bit.ly/2sYPoZ8

Metrics Technical Advisory Group to meet June 22 in Portland - 06/20/17

June 20, 2017

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

What: The regular meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics Technical Advisory Group

When: Thursday, June 22, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, 8th floor Mary Conference Room, 421 SW Oak St., Portland

Attendees can also join remotely through a webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/3481507190725738756 or by conference line at 888-848-7030, participant code 695-684.

Agenda: Updates on Metrics and Scoring Committee decisions about the 2018 measure set, and discussion of Technical Advisory Group recommendations for 2018 benchmarks

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/analytics/Pages/Metrics-Technical-Advisory-Group.aspx.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

# # #

http://bit.ly/2sNq7QM

Health advisory lifted June 20 for Upper Klamath Lake park - 06/20/17

June 20, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae and toxin levels confirmed; continued caution with pets advised*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued June 7 for water around Eagle Point County Park on Upper Klamath Lake. The park is located off Oregon Route 140, 15 miles west of Klamath Falls in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae toxins are below guideline values for human exposure. However, the Oregon Health Authority recommends that people continue to be cautious with their pets in the lake because toxins in some areas such as Keno State Park are still above the very low exposure levels established for dogs.

Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms in all Oregon waters, because only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state and federal agencies. People and their pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, 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."

# # #

Medicaid Advisory Committee seeks oral health care provider member - 06/19/17

June 19, 2017

Oregon's Medicaid Advisory Committee (MAC) is looking for oral health care providers interested in helping improve the quality of care for Oregonians. The committee is seeking applicants for a two-year term beginning this fall.

Federal rules require the state to have a Medicaid Advisory Committee. The MAC advises the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) on the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's Medicaid program, from the perspective of members and communities. The committee also develops policy recommendations at the request of the Governor and OHA.

Members are appointed by the Governor and can serve two consecutive two-year terms.

The MAC is committed to ensuring that its members represent a diverse group of individuals and that its recommendations represent the populations they are intended to serve. People of color and individuals from all areas of the state are encouraged to apply.

The committee especially seeks individuals with the following qualifications or background:
-- Oral health care providers with current or recent clinical experience, including administrators (e.g., dental directors) with recent or current clinical experience;
-- Individuals who understand Oregon's Medicaid dental delivery system, including coordinated care organizations, dental managed care organizations, and the fee-for-service or open card system.

Members should be able to regularly attend committee meetings, contribute to policy-level discussions about the future of health care in Oregon, and spend one to two hours monthly preparing for meetings, which are held the fourth Wednesday of each month in Salem. Direct travel expenses are reimbursed. Members on occasion can attend via conference line and webinar.

Interested persons can request an application by contacting Amanda Peden at 503-208-1010 or amanda.m.peden@state.or.us. For more information, see the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/hp-mac/pages/index.aspx.

# # #

Health advisory lifted June 16 for Detroit Lake - 06/16/17

June 16, 2017

*Reduced blue-green algae and toxin levels confirmed; continued caution with pets advised*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued June 2 for Detroit Lake, located 46 miles southeast of Salem in Marion County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae toxins are below guideline values for human exposure. However, the Oregon Health Authority recommends that people continue to be cautious with their pets in the lake because toxins are still above the very low exposure levels established for dogs.

Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms in all Oregon waters, because only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state and federal agencies. People and their pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, 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 1-877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

Health advisory lifted June 16 for South Tenmile Lake - 06/16/17

June 16, 2017

*Blue-green algae toxins not found in water sample*

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the health advisory issued June 12 for South Tenmile Lake, located 10 miles north of North Bend in Coos County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of blue-green algae toxins are below guideline values for human exposure, and that the water does not present a problem for pets.

Oregon health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of algae blooms in all Oregon waters, because only a fraction of the many lakes and waterways in Oregon are monitored for blue-green algae by state and federal agencies. People and their pets should avoid areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, 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 1-877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet June 16 in Wilsonville - 06/14/17

June 14, 2017

Contact: Heather Johnson, 503-508-8276, heather.n.johnson@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodations)

What: The regular public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics and Scoring Committee

When: Friday, June 16, 9 a.m. to noon. Public testimony will be heard at 9:10 a.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 210, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E, Wilsonville

Attendees also can follow the presentation by webinar and listen to discussion by phone. Register for the webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/312837825839229954. Or call the listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, participant code 1277-166. The telephone will be unmuted during public testimony.

Agenda: The agenda includes discussion of the 2016 childhood immunization status measure, including 2018 recommendations for the Technical Advisory Group and for OHA staff; and a discussion of and possible vote on 2018 measure selection. The measures under consideration include feasibility and technical discussion on equity, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), obesity, oral health, developmental screening, kindergarten readiness, and Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). The vote on the measure selection may be continued to the July meeting.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/Pages/metrix.aspx.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

# # #

Health advisory issued June 12 for South Tenmile Lake - 06/12/17

June 12, 2017

*Harmful algae bloom found in Coos County lake*

A health advisory was issued today for South Tenmile Lake, located 10 miles north of North Bend in Coos County.

Visual inspection indicates a blue-green algae bloom is present in the Coleman Arm of South Tenmile Lake, and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is collecting and analyzing samples to confirm whether or not associated toxins are also present. If present, these toxins can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should avoid swallowing water while swimming or inhaling water droplets as a result of high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas where blooms are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from South Tenmile Lake at this time is especially dangerous. Oregon public health 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 area 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 South Tenmile 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 South Tenmile Lake for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake.

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

With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit South Tenmile Lake and enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0400.

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.

# # #

Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee seeks applicants - 06/09/17

June 9, 2017

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee.

The committee advises OHA on projects that have been approved by the Dental Pilot Project Program. The program encourages the development of innovative practices in oral health care delivery systems in Oregon, with a focus on providing care to populations that have the highest disease rates and the least access to dental care.

The program's two current projects are:

Expanding general dental services to the underserved populations among Oregon's federally recognized tribes by training dental health aide therapists (DHATs).
Training dental hygienists who serve tribal members to place what are called "interim therapeutic restorations," which slow the progress of dental decay. 

The committee is an interdisciplinary team composed of representatives of dental boards, professional organizations, other state regulatory bodies and interested parties, including community health workers, representatives of Oregon Health Plan member advocate organizations, and representatives of underserved and vulnerable populations or their advocacy groups.
 
Applications are due to OHA by June 30, 2017. Applications and the committee's charter can be downloaded from the program's website at http://healthoregon.org/dpp.

For more information, contact Sarah Kowalski, Dental Pilot Project coordinator, at 971-673-1563 or at sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us.

# # #
 

Public Health Advisory Board meets June 15 in Portland - 06/08/17

June 8, 2017

What: The monthly public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Select public health accountability measures and discuss public health modernization implementation

When: Thursday, June 15, 2:30-5:15 p.m. A 15-minute public comment period starts at 5 p.m.; comments are limited to three minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1A, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. A conference call line is available at 877-873-8017, access code 767068. The meeting is also available by live-stream at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUkhlF3jxrM.

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.

Program contact: Cara Biddlecom, 971-673-2284 cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us

# # #

Health advisory issued for area of Upper Klamath Lake - 06/07/17

June 7, 2017

*High algae toxin levels found at Klamath County park*

A health advisory was issued today for the water around Eagle Ridge County Park on Upper Klamath Lake. The park is located off Oregon Route 140, 15 miles west of Klamath Falls in Klamath County.

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

People should avoid swallowing water while swimming or inhaling water droplets as a result of high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas where blooms are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from this area of the lake at this time is especially dangerous. Oregon public health 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 area 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 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 Eagle Ridge County Park for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake.

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

With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Eagle Ridge County Park and enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0400 or Klamath County Health Department (Ramona Quinn) at 541-883-1122.

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.

# # #

The Oregon State Cancer Registry Advisory Committee to meet June 7 - 06/06/17

June 6, 2016

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

Agenda: Cancer incidence study of Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune; impacts of the ACA: accessing community cancer care after insurance expansion; melanoma-associated formation of lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis) and responses to targeted therapy

When: Wednesday June 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 710, Portland

Who: The Oregon State Cancer Registry Advisory Committee comprises private organizations and state agencies dedicated to the comprehensive collection of incidence data for cancer surveillance, prevention and control efforts for Oregon.

Details: The meeting is open to the public. Please note that space is limited.

To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

For more information, see the committee's website at https://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/ChronicDisease/Cancer/oscar/Pages/index.aspx.


# # #

Conference of Local Health Officials meets June 15 in Salem - 06/06/17

June 6, 2017

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

Agenda: Implementation and funding scenarios for public health modernization; epinephrine and school districts; prevention integration update; public health modernization rulemaking update; OSU letter of support; OHA updates

When: Thursday, June 15, 9:30-11:40 a.m.

Where: Local Government Center, 1201 Court Street NE, Salem. No conference call option is available for the public.

The Conference of Local Health Officials provides recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on the state public health system's foundational capabilities and programs and other public health programs and activities, as authorized under ORS 431.147 and ORS 431.340.

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

# # #

Health advisory issued June 2 for Detroit Lake - 06/02/17

June 2, 2017

*High toxin levels found in Marion County reservoir*

A health advisory was issued today for Detroit Lake, located 46 miles southeast of Salem in Marion County.

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

People should avoid swallowing water while swimming or inhaling water droplets as a result of high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in areas where blooms are identified. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash at the affected area.

Drinking water directly from Detroit Lake at this time is especially dangerous. Oregon public health 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 area 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 Detroit 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 Detroit Lake for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake.

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

With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Detroit Lake and enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. Boating is safe as long as speeds do not create excessive water spray, which could lead to inhalation risk.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0400 or Marion County Health Department (Richard Sherman) at 503-588-5387.

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.

# # #

Ease arthritis pain with physical activity rather than opioids, experts say - 06/01/17

June 1, 2017

*Klamath County events showcase benefits of exercise over prescription pain killers for managing disease*

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.--Staying active and mobile are proven to combat the pain, aches and stiffness of arthritis, and don't carry the risks of prescription opioid use for these symptoms, Klamath County health experts say.

"Arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that plagues a large percentage of our population. Battling the discomfort can be a difficult journey," says Valerie Franklin, program coordinator at Sky Lakes Medical Center. "Physical activity is crucial to staying agile, keeping the joints lubricated, and improving one's mental health. Incorporating even simple movements such as walking, dancing, gardening, or stretching can improve your physical health and change your outlook."

About 32 percent of residents in Klamath County live with arthritis, a painful condition that affects joints and tissues, and statewide, 849,000 people are affected by the disease each year. Many people attempt to manage the symptoms of arthritis with prescription opioids, but there are many risks.

Between 1999 and 2014 more than 2,400 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in Oregon. These deaths were largely preventable, since the risks of long-term opioid use for non-cancer pain far outweigh the benefits. For people living with arthritis, managing pain through non-opioid options can drastically reduce these risks and improve quality of life.

Moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can help decrease pain and improve function, mood and quality of life. People should start at a level of exertion they feel comfortable with, doing an activity they enjoy. Most people who engage in regular moderate physical activity begin to feel better after four to six weeks.

In Klamath County a number of classes are offered where residents can learn how physical activity, including walking, stretching, and strength training, can combat arthritis symptoms.

Classes in Klamath County

-- Pool Walking: During lap swim times, Klamath Falls YMCA; contact Wendy at 541-884-4140

-- Aqua Jogger: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:45-5:45 p.m.; Saturdays 9-10 a.m., Klamath Falls YMCA; contact Wendy at 541-884-4140

-- Aqua Zumba: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-10 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Klamath Falls YMCA; contact Wendy at 541-884-4140

-- Water Aerobics: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9-10 a.m. and 1-2 p.m., Klamath Falls YMCA; contact Wendy at 541-884-4140

-- Walking Group: Mondays 5:30 p.m., Klamath Union High School Track; Jacob Scott, 314-808-4446

-- Get Fit at Lunch Walking Group: Tuesdays and Thursdays noon-1 p.m., OC&E Trail, 3136 S 6th St., Klamath Falls; Jacob Scott, 314-808-4446

-- Blue Zones Walk and Talk: Wednesdays 5:30-6:30 p.m., Moore Park; 541-539-8053

-- Tai Chi: Mondays and Fridays 10-11 a.m., Klamath Falls YMCA

-- Tai Chi for Rehab and Arthritis: Wednesdays through June 7, 10-11 a.m., Klamath Falls YMCA

-- Walk with a Doc: Saturdays 9-10 a.m., Steen Sports Park

-- Walk With Ease: Online and in-person classes offered regularly; Patty Case, 541-883-7131

-- Moai Walking Groups: various times and places; contact Cort Cox, 541-539-8053

# # #

Experts cheer physical activity, not opioids, for easing arthritis pain - 06/01/17

June 1, 2017

*Jackson County events, such as Medford's Walk to Cure Arthritis on June 3, demonstrate benefits of exercise to manage disease*

MEDFORD, Ore.--Health experts in Jackson County are hailing the benefits of physical activity for managing disability and pain of arthritis over prescription opioids, which can be ineffective and are associated with a number of health risks.

"Staying active is the key to managing pain and improving flexibility and movement," says James Shames, MD, health officer at Jackson County Health and Human Services. "You want to avoid taking chronic opioids, since chronic opioid use increases the probability of physical dependence and increases overdose risk.

"There are ways that people can manage their arthritis pain, such as participating in movement therapy or exercise," Shames says. "Ultimately, you want to keep the parts of the body that hurt moving and maintain a healthy weight."

In Oregon 849,000 people are affected by arthritis every year. In Jackson County alone, nearly 31 percent of residents live with the painful condition that affects joints and tissues. Arthritis is a major cause of disability and pain, for which patients are frequently prescribed opioids, even though they are ineffective for treating the long-term chronic pain caused by arthritis.

There are many risks of opioid use, too. Between 1999 and 2014, more than 2,400 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in Oregon. These deaths were largely preventable, since the risks of long-term opioid use for non-cancer pain far outweigh the benefits. For people living with arthritis, managing pain through non-opioid options can drastically reduce these risks and improve quality of life.

Even though it may not be obvious, staying active and mobile is a proven way to combat arthritis and manage symptoms, which include pain, aches and stiffness. In Jackson County, residents can learn through many classes how physical activity such as walking, stretching, and strength training can combat arthritis symptoms.

Moderate physical activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can help decrease pain and improve function, mood and quality of life. People should start at a level of exertion they feel comfortable with, doing an activity they enjoy. Most people who engage in regular moderate physical activity begin to feel better after four to six weeks.

Walk to Cure Arthritis June 3 in Medford
The 2017 Walk to Cure Arthritis takes place Saturday, June 3, from 9 a.m. to noon at Bear Creek Park (1520 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford). The free event has one-mile and three-mile courses and family-friendly activities, and pet owners are encouraged to bring their dogs. For more information, visit the Walk to Cure Arthritis website at http://bit.ly/2q4f5G7, or contact Jeannine Walker at jwalker@arthritis.org or 503-245-5695.

Classes in Jackson County

-- Aqua Zumba: Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:35-12:30 p.m.; Fridays 5:05-6 p.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Water Step Aerobics: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9:05-10 a.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Zumba Gold: Tuesdays and Thursdays 10-10:55 a.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Beginning Tai Chi: Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:45-9:30 a.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Easy Does It Aerobics: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 8-8:55 a.m. and 10-11 a.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Therapeutic Mobility: Mondays and Wednesdays 10:15-11 a.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Sassy Seniors: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11:05 a.m.-noon, Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Shallow Water Fitness: Mondays and Wednesdays 5:05-6 p.m., Rogue Valley YMCA

-- Living Well with Chronic Pain: starting June 21, Wednesdays at 3 p.m., Teresa McCormick Center, Medford; register at http://sohealthyoregon.org/

-- Low Impact Zumba: Tuesdays 6:15-7:15 p.m.; Wednesdays 5:15-6:15 p.m., La Clinica Wellness Center, 541-494-3820; http://laclinicahealth.org/calendar/

-- Easy Movement for Easing Pain: Tuesdays 3-4 p.m., La Clinica Wellness Center, 541-494-3820; http://laclinicahealth.org/calendar/

-- Living Well with Chronic Disease (in Spanish): Thursdays 4-6:30 p.m., La Clinica Wellness Center, 541-494-3820; http://laclinicahealth.org/calendar/

-- Aspire Mindfulness: Thursdays 4-5:15 p.m., La Clinica Wellness Center, contact Chavala Bates, 541-494-3820; http://laclinicahealth.org/calendar/

-- Weight Loss Group: four-week class: Wednesdays 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., La Clinica Wellness Center, contact Chavala Bates, 541-494-3820; http://laclinicahealth.org/calendar/

-- Joyful Movement: Thursdays 12:30-1:30 p.m., La Clinica Wellness Center, contact Chavala Bates, 541-494-3820; http://laclinicahealth.org/calendar/


All La Clinica classes are $2 drop-in or $10 for 10 classes.

# # #

Bend leaders lending voice to state tobacco prevention strategies - 05/31/17

May 31, 2017

*OHA celebrates 20 years of tobacco prevention at Central Oregon event;
symposium with local health care experts addresses chronic diseases*

Bend-area health leaders and the Oregon Health Authority today marked 20 years of tobacco prevention successes in Central Oregon and the state by announcing their strategies for the future, including raising the price of tobacco, defending the Indoor Clean Air Act and protecting kids from tobacco.

The event, held at the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) in Bend, celebrated Oregonians' decision in 1996 to pass a ballot measure that increased the price of tobacco and dedicated a portion of tobacco tax revenue to prevention efforts.

These public health initiatives, backed by Oregon voters, aim to keep kids and young people from starting to use tobacco, and helping tobacco users quit. Since 1997 per capita cigarette pack sales have declined by more than 55 percent.

"The collaboration that is underway in Central Oregon is a model for other parts of the state, and what has been achieved in the region sets the bar for future collaboration and health improvement," said Lillian Shirley, Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division director. "We've come a long way in 20 years, but there's still work to be done. Tobacco is still the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in Oregon, responsible for more than 7,000 deaths each year."

Event speakers, including Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie, MD, thanked legislative champions and partners for their hard work over the years to keep Oregonians, particularly youth and young adults, safe from the harms of tobacco. Local high school students who are members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) spoke about the dangers of tobacco to their fellow classmates and Oregon youth in general.

Oregon has been a longtime leader in tobacco prevention. In 1998 Oregon launched the Tobacco Quit Line, the first state to offer over-the-phone help to tobacco users who want to quit, and in 2007 the state passed the Indoor Clean Air Act, a smokefree workplace law that included bars, taverns, restaurants, bingo halls and bowling centers. Other more recent statewide successes include passage of a state law making it illegal to smoke in a car with a minor present, and Oregon state parks going smokefree in 2014.

Immediately following the event, OHA is holding a Health System Transformation and Public Health Modernization Symposium with local health care leaders about tobacco and chronic disease prevention, and the work left to be done in Central Oregon and the rest of the state.

# # #

Oregon Health Policy Board to meet June 6 in Portland at OHSU - 05/31/17

May 31, 2017

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

What: The monthly meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: Tuesday, June 6, 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/2017-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; federal health policy update; 2017 legislative session update; OHPB committee work-planning; public testimony; Action Plan for Health

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/2017-OHPB-Meetings.aspx.

The meeting site is accessible to people with disabilities. To request alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility, or other reasonable accommodations, call the Oregon Health Authority at 1-800-282-8096 at least 48 hours before the meeting.

# # #

REMINDER: OHA announces state tobacco prevention priorities, celebrates 20 years of successes in Central Oregon today - 05/31/17

EDITORS: Media are invited to a celebration of Central Oregon's tobacco prevention achievements today--Wednesday, May 31--at 1:30 p.m.; a public health/health care symposium with state and Bend-area leaders will follow.

May 31, 2017

What: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will announce the state's tobacco prevention priorities moving beyond 2017. The event will also celebrate the successes of Bend and Central Oregon's tobacco prevention efforts over the past two decades.

Following the media event, OHA will hold a Health System Transformation and Public Health Modernization Symposium with local health care leaders about tobacco and chronic disease prevention, the progress and accomplishments of the Central Oregon region, and the work left to be done in Central Oregon and the rest of the state.

When: Today - Wednesday, May 31. Media event, 1:30-2 p.m.; symposium, 2:20-3:10 p.m.

Where: Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, 334 NE Hawthorne Ave., Bend

Why: Tobacco remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in Oregon and is responsible for more than 7,000 deaths each year. There's still work to be done. OHA will unveil the state's tobacco prevention priorities moving beyond 2017.

Speakers:
-- Muriel DeLaVergne-Brown, Crook County Health Department administrator
-- Lillian Shirley, Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division director
-- Nathan Boddie, MD, Bend city councilor
-- Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), student group committed to prevention of youth tobacco use and other behaviors that can harm youth
-- Leslie Neugebauer, director, PacificSource Community Solutions CCO.

# # #

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets May 31 by webinar - 05/30/17

May 31, 2017

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

Agenda: Approve April meeting minutes; review findings from accountability metrics stakeholder survey; select metrics to recommend to Public Health Advisory Board for adoption; prepare for accountability metrics presentation at June board meeting

When: Wednesday, May 31, 9:30-11:30 a.m. A 10-minute public comment period is scheduled at 10:50 a.m.; comments may be limited to three minutes.

Where: By webinar at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5150607625475124481. The public also may attend by conference call at 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.

Program contact: Sara Beaudrault, 971-673-0432, sara.beaudrault@state.or.us

# # #

Public Health Advisory Board website: http://public.health.oregon.gov/About/Pages/ophab.aspx