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News Releases
UPDATE: Conference of Local Health Officials meets remotely August 16 - 08/14/18

August 14, 2018

UPDATE: Conference of Local Health Officials meets remotely August 16

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

Agenda: Includes committee appointments; draft funding principles checklist; Public Health Modernization matching funds criteria.

Agenda is subject to change. The agenda and related materials will be posted on the CLHO website at http://www.oregonclho.org/about/clho-meetings/ before the meeting.

When: Thursday, August 16, 9:30-11 a.m.

Where: The August CLHO meeting is a remote meeting. There is no in-person option available to members of the public, who can attend by webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8494885502979062019. Use webinar ID 627-139-779.

Background: 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)

# # #

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 um@state.or.us">danna.k.drum@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Cannabis Commission's Patient Access Subcommittee meets August 20 in Portland - 08/14/18

August 14, 2018

Cannabis Commission's Patient Access Subcommittee meets August 20 in Portland

What: The monthly meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Access Subcommittee

Agenda:

  • Introductions.
  • Updates: survey questions and data requests; legislative landscape.
  • Finalizing subcommittee report.
  • Public comment.

When: Monday, Aug. 20, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1D, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. Conference call line: 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis.  For more information, please visit the commission's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the 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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Recreational use health advisory for Lower Willamette River updated to include only Ross Island Lagoon - 08/13/18

August 13, 2018

Recreational use health advisory for Lower Willamette River updated to include only Ross Island Lagoon

Advisory updated based on toxin testing results

The Oregon Health Authority updated a recreational use health advisory today for the Lower Willamette River to only include Ross Island Lagoon.

Ross Island Lagoon is located about a mile south of downtown Portland in Multnomah County. The area of concern includes the downtown reach of the Willamette River.

Toxin test results from samples collected by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Thursday, Aug. 9, show elevated toxins in Ross Island Lagoon but not in areas outside the lagoon where the bloom is more dispersed. No toxins were detected outside the lagoon.

OHA first issued a health advisory for the Ross Island Lagoon Aug. 3 and lifted it Aug. 7 after tests showed toxin levels were below recreational advisory levels. The advisory was re-issued and expanded downstream to Cathedral Park on August 11. Today’s update restricts the area under advisory to Ross Island Lagoon.

While the bloom is visible in other areas of the river, it does not appear to be producing toxins at levels that threaten human health outside Ross Island Lagoon.

People should avoid swimming and high-speed water activities, such as water skiing or power boating, in Ross Island Lagoon. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash at the affected area.

Because of dogs’ special sensitivity to cyanotoxins, OHA advises dog owners to keep their pets out of the water in any area with visible bloom regardless of whether an advisory is in effect.

Drinking water directly from Ross Island Lagoon at this time is especially dangerous. OHA public health officials advise recreational visitors that toxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters.

This portion of the Willamette River is not a source of drinking water for a public water system, but if people connected to public water systems have questions about treatment and testing, they should contact their water supplier.

OHA public health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as cyanotoxins 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 Ross Island Lagoon 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 Lower Willamette River for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the river.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested or inhaled, people are encouraged to visit Ross Island Lagoon and enjoy activities such as canoeing, fishing, 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 the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0440.

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.

# # #

 

Confirmed Case of Measles in Traveler to Portland Metro Area - 08/11/18

August 11, 2018

Contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@state.or.us

Confirmed case of measles in traveler to Portland metro area

Laboratory testing confirmed a case of measles in an individual who traveled for a week throughout the Portland metro area. Oregon Health Authority is working with local public health agencies to notify individuals of their potential exposure and to inform them of steps to take to should they become ill, so as to prevent more cases. At this point, no additional cases of measles have been identified.

Measles is a highly contagious virus and spreads easily to people who are not vaccinated. It is spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People with measles can spread the virus to others before they show symptoms. The virus can also linger in the air for minutes to hours after someone who is infectious has left.

“The bad news is that measles is a serious disease, the good news is that if you've been vaccinated you're well protected,’’ said Paul Cieslak, MD, Medical Director for Communicable Diseases for the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. “This is the second time this summer that someone arrived in the Portland area sick with measles.”

Officials confirmed the case late yesterday, Aug. 10, 2018, in a person who was infectious and spent time in the Portland metro area during July 30–August 6. Public health officials are working directly with area businesses where the sick individual spent time. Most people in our area have been vaccinated against measles, so their risk is low. Risk may be higher for unvaccinated persons who were in these locations:

  • July 30, PDX Airport, 2:15—3:45 p.m.
  • July 31, Leno Medoyeff Bridal, 710 NW 23rd Ave., Portland, 3:30—5:30 p.m.
  • Aug. 1, Tom’s Pancake House, 12925 SW Canyon Rd., Beaverton, 7—9:30 a.m.
  • Aug. 2, Max Red Line, Beaverton Transit Center to Pioneer Square, 12:30—1 p.m.
  • Aug. 2, Max Red Line, Pioneer Place to Beaverton Transit Center, 5:30—6 p.m.
  • Aug. 5, Verde Cocina, 5515 SW Canyon Ct., Portland, 2—4:30 p.m.

For this exposure, public health officials expect symptoms in anyone newly infected to appear any time over the next two weeks. There is no connection between this case and the measles cases that occurred in Multnomah County in June and July.

Measles poses the highest risk to people who have not been vaccinated, to pregnant women, infants under 12 months and people with weakened immune systems. A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

1.       You were born before 1957; or

2.       You are certain you have had the measles; or

3.       You have been fully vaccinated against measles (two doses).

About measles

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a red rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, or diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication. For every 1000 children with measles, 1 or 2 will die from the disease.

After someone is exposed, illness usually develops in about 2 weeks, sometimes longer. Oregon public health officials are advising anyone who believes they have symptoms of measles to first call their health care provider or urgent care by telephone to create an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department. For more information on measles for the public:

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/measles.aspx

Clackamas County Public Health 503-655-8411

Clark County Public Health 360-397-8182

Multnomah County Public Health 503-988-3406

Washington County Public Health 503-846-3594

Yamhill County Public Health 503-434-7525

###

Recreational use health advisory for water contact at Seal Rock State Park Beach lifted August 10 - 08/10/18

August 10, 2018

Recreational use health advisory for water contact at Seal Rock State Park Beach lifted August 10

Testing shows fecal bacteria levels have subsided

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a recreational use health advisory for contact with marine water at Seal Rock State Park Beach, located in Lincoln County. The health authority issued the advisory August 7 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or call the OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

# # #

http://bit.ly/2McCWis

Prescribing Practice Review Subcommittee of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Commission meets August 14 - 08/10/18

August 10, 2018

Prescribing Practice Review Subcommittee of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Advisory Commission meets August 14

What: A public meeting of the Prescribing Practice Review Subcommittee of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Advisory Commission

Agenda:

Welcome and introductions.

Review actions since last meeting.

Data presentation.

Review and discuss PDMP data, select criteria.

Discuss potential outreach and education options, vote.

Adjournment.

When: Tuesday, August 14, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 918, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland

Background: Oregon HB 3440, passed in 2017, requires that the Oregon Health Authority, in conjunction with the PDMP Advisory Commission, establish a clinical review subcommittee to identify practitioners who are prescribing high amounts of opioids based on agreed-upon practice standards, such as the Oregon Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for chronic pain. These providers are to receive education or training related to pain management and appropriate opioid prescribing.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the 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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Drew Simpson at 971-673-1033, 711 TTY or ew.r.simpson@state.or.us">drew.r.simpson@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Recreational use health advisory reissued for Ross Island Lagoon, extended to Cathedral Park - 08/10/18

August 10, 2018

Recreational use health advisory reissued for Ross Island Lagoon, extended to Cathedral Park

Advisory reissued based on visible scum found in Multnomah County water body

The Oregon Health Authority reissued a recreational use health advisory today for Ross Island Lagoon and urges caution in areas of the Willamette River downstream from the lagoon, including downtown north to Cathedral Park.

Ross Island Lagoon is located about a mile south of downtown Portland in Multnomah County. The area of concern includes the downtown reach of the Willamette River.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) staff collected samples for toxin analysis and results are expected next week. Because the bloom has changed and spread so much since last week, OHA is issuing this advisory as a precautionary measure until sample results are available next week.

OHA first issued a health advisory for the Ross Island Lagoon on Aug. 3 and lifted it Aug. 7 after tests showed toxin levels were below recreational advisory levels.

DEQ also carried out a visual assessment of the river and reported cyanobacteria starting at 100 meters south of Ross Island lagoon. Inside the lagoon, the bloom is thick with scums, blobs and streaking throughout. Dense cyanobacteria continued down the East channel into the mainstem of the Lower Willamette and was present at River Place marina, the swimming dock south of the Hawthorne Bridge and Tom McCall waterfront park. The bloom was visible throughout the Portland reach and on the surface at the Riverscape dock. The bloom intensified to the railroad bridge downstream of Portland Harbor. At Cathedral Park, the bloom was present but less intense.

If present, toxins are usually highest in areas where the bloom is visible, and people can avoid most of the health risks associated with blooms by avoiding those areas. However, it’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. Dying blooms can also release toxins that may reach into the clear water around them.

People should avoid swimming and 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 affected areas of the river is especially dangerous. OHA public health officials advise 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 alternate 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. This portion of the Willamette River is not a source of drinking water for a public water system, but if people connected to public water systems have questions about treatment and testing, they should contact their water supplier.

OHA public health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as cyanotoxins 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 Lower Willamette River 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 Lower Willamette River for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the river.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested or inhaled, people are encouraged to visit the Lower Willamette River and enjoy activities such as canoeing, fishing, 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 the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0440.

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.

# # #

Health advisory issued August 9 for water contact at Harris Beach State Park - 08/09/18

August 9, 2018

Health advisory issued August 9 for water contact at Harris Beach State Park

The Oregon Health Authority issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Harris Beach State Park, located in Curry County.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Harris Beach State Park, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, and Parks and Recreation Department.

# # #

http://bit.ly/2KETZnQ

Recreational use health advisory lifted August 8 for Odell Lake - 08/08/18

August 8, 2018

Recreational use health advisory lifted August 8 for Odell Lake

Testing confirms reduced cyanotoxins in the Klamath County lake

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued July 20 for Odell Lake, located 75 miles southeast of Eugene off Hwy 58 in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in the lake is below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, the level of cyanotoxin in Sunset Cove where the bloom was located and the sample taken remains above the OHA guideline value for dogs, so health officials recommend keeping pets out of this area.

Although the advisory has been lifted, conditions can change rapidly due to changes in weather and nutrients in the lake. People should always be aware that blooms can develop on any water body under the right environmental conditions, and can grow and disappear throughout the season.

People should always be aware of their surroundings before entering a water body, especially around shorelines, shallow water areas, coves and physical structures such as docks, as these are areas where blooms tend to develop, officials say. You are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating.

People, especially small children, and pets should avoid recreating in 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.

It's possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

For recreational health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440.

For information about recreational 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."

# # #

http://bit.ly/2vNM0iH

Recreational use health advisory lifted for Willamette River's Ross Island Lagoon - 08/07/18

August 7, 2018

Recreational use health advisory lifted for Willamette River's Ross Island Lagoon

Testing confirms no cyanotoxins in algal bloom

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued Aug. 3 for the Willamette River's Ross Island Lagoon, located about a mile south of downtown Portland in Multnomah County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the bloom in Ross Island Lagoon is not producing toxins at this time, prompting OHA to lift the recreational use advisory. Since the bloom is still present in the lagoon, future cyanotoxin testing will be scheduled to ensure levels remain below advisory values. The advisory will be re-issued if levels are elevated.

Although the advisory has been lifted, conditions can change due to the dynamics of the Willamette River, which can cause the water level within the lagoon to rise and recede. People should always be aware that blooms can develop on any water body under the right environmental conditions, and can grow and disappear throughout the season. The Willamette River is large, and blooms can develop in areas of low flow and slow water movement, officials say.

Recreational visitors to the Willamette are advised to always be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful algae) blooms as you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating.

People, and especially small children, and pets should avoid recreating in 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.

It's possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

For recreational health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440.

For information about recreational 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."

# # #

http://bit.ly/2ORaZuo

Health advisory issued August 7 for water contact at Seal Rock State Park Beach - 08/07/18

August 7, 2018

Health advisory issued August 7 for water contact at Seal Rock State Park Beach

The Oregon Health Authority issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Seal Rock State Park Beach, located in Lincoln County.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Seal Rock State Park Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, and Parks and Recreation Department.

# # #

http://bit.ly/2LYelOh

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee meets August 17 and by webinar - 08/06/18

August 6, 2018

Pete Edlund, 503-559-2216, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee meets August 17 and by webinar

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee

When: Friday, August 17, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 111/112, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E., Wilsonville. Attendees can also join remotely through a webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/7438627555801803523 and conference line at 888-204-5984, public listen-only code 1277166.

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda, and updates; public testimony from 9:30-9:40; review CCO Metrics 2017 Final Report; select 2019 challenge pool measures; begin selecting 2019 benchmarks and improvement target floors; break; continue selecting 2019 benchmarks and improvement target floors; adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.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 Pete Edlund at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2OPHzgj

Recreational use health advisory reissued for Upper Klamath Lake - 08/03/18

August 3, 2018

Recreational use health advisory reissued for Upper Klamath Lake

High levels of cyanobacteria toxins found in some areas of Klamath County water body

The Oregon Health Authority reissued a recreational use health advisory today for Upper Klamath Lake due to water monitoring that has confirmed the presence of a cyanobacteria (harmful algae) bloom and the cyanotoxins they produce. The cyanotoxin concentrations found can be harmful to humans and animals.

Upper Klamath Lake is located off Oregon Route 140, 15 miles west of Klamath Falls in Klamath County.

OHA lifted the recreational use advisory July 31 based on the most current data available, but days later received additional data from a second source showing high levels of cyanotoxins in some areas of the lake. Due to the dynamic nature of cyanobacteria blooms, the lake-wide advisory will stay in effect until all cyanotoxins are below primary recreational values that trigger an advisory, and declining bloom conditions continue for a minimum of two weeks.

Upper Klamath Lake is a very large lake with many areas not currently affected by high cyanotoxins, officials say. Therefore, people should be mindful of the following area of concern in the lake when recreating.

Upper Klamath Lake at Eagle Ridge Park to include all of Shoalwater Bay.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. Dying blooms can also release toxins that may reach into the clear water around them. Some species of cyanobacteria can anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

People should avoid swimming and 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. OHA 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. Upper Klamath Lake is not a source of drinking water for the City of Klamath Falls, but 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.

OHA public health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as cyanotoxins 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 Eagle Ridge County Park and Shoalwater Bay for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the lake.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested or inhaled, people are encouraged to visit Shoalwater Bay 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 the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440.

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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Recreational use health advisory issued for Willamette River's Ross Island Lagoon - 08/03/18

August 3, 2018

Recreational use health advisory issued for Willamette River's Ross Island Lagoon

Advisory issued based on visible scum found in Multnomah County water body

The Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use health advisory today for the Ross Island Lagoon, located about a mile south of downtown Portland in Multnomah County.

The advisory is being issued due to visual confirmation of a cyanobacteria bloom (harmful algae) in the lagoon. Water samples have been taken to confirm the type of cyanobacteria and level of potential toxins that may be produced, but results from analysis of the sample won’t be available until next week. At that time, depending on the level of toxins found in the sample, OHA Public Health Division officials will determine if the advisory can be lifted or kept in place until the bloom is gone.

Because sample analysis is needed to determine if a bloom is producing toxins, OHA is issuing an advisory based on visual observations to protect the public health until data is available. If toxins are being produced by the bloom, they can be harmful to humans and animals.

Drinking water directly from the river where a bloom is identified is especially dangerous since any toxins produced cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating the water with camping-style filters. People who may draw water directly out of this area for drinking or cooking are advised to use an alternate water source. No public drinking or potable water systems are affected.

Although the advisory is confined to the Ross Island Lagoon and its mouth, the lagoon is influenced by the dynamics of the river, which can cause bloom creep as the water in the lagoon rises and recedes. People should always be aware that blooms can develop on any water body under the right environmental conditions. The Willamette River is a big river and blooms can develop in areas along its course where low flow and slow-moving water can be found, officials say.

People should avoid swimming and 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.

OHA public health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria 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 lagoon 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 Ross Island Lagoon for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the water body.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface. To lift an advisory, OHA relies on laboratory tests of water samples to determine when levels of cyanotoxins are no longer a public health issue.

With proper precautions to avoid exposure to affected water in the lagoon, people are encouraged to enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching in other areas of the Willamette River.

For health information or to report an illness, contact the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) at 971-673-0440.

OHA maintains an updated list of all recreational use 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 Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

# # #

OMMP inspecting small-scale grow sites claiming exemption from tracking system - 08/01/18

August 1, 2018

OMMP inspecting small-scale grow sites claiming exemption from tracking system

Inspectors to shorten advance notice before inspection to one day

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon Medical Marijuana Program inspectors will fan out across the state during August to inspect grow sites that reduced the number of patients designated to be grown for at their locations to fewer than three.

Growers growing for fewer than three patients are not legally required to use the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS) administered by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

In 2017 the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 1057, which requires certain medical grow sites and all dispensaries and processing sites to use the CTS. At the time, OMMP predicted that about 3,800 grow sites would be required to use CTS. That estimate dropped to 2,400 after the 2018 legislative session, when SB 1544 passed and modified how qualifying grow sites are determined. Now any grow site with more than two patients being grown for must use CTS.

Between April and July 2018, around 1,000 OMMP registered grow sites reduced the number of patients they grow for to below the CTS threshold. Two hundred of those quit growing completely and the rest are now growing for one or two patients. Staff members from OMMP’s Compliance Unit will inspect a random sample of the remaining 800 medical marijuana grow sites that reported reducing the number of patients to below the CTS threshold.

To expedite the process, the Compliance Unit will drastically reduce the amount of time grow sites are notified in advance of an inspection. Normally, grow sites are given a 10-day notice of an impending inspection via letter, followed by phone call 24 to 30 hours before the site visit. But for these specific inspections, compliance staff members will attempt to make phone contact the day before an inspection to make sure someone will be at the grow site, and will not send a 10-day notice letter.

There are consequences for failure to cooperate with an inspection. In addition to civil penalties of up to $500 per day, failure to respond to OMMP inspectors may also result in formal action against the registration of a person responsible for a medical grow site, including revocation.

For more information about the medical marijuana program, visit the program's webpage at http://www.healthoregon.org/ommp.

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http://bit.ly/2LKyK9A

Conference of Local Health Officials meets August 16 in Portland - 08/01/18

August 1, 2018

Conference of Local Health Officials meets August 16 in Portland

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

Agenda includes committee appointments, draft funding principles checklist, Public Health Modernization matching funds criteria

The agenda is subject to change. The agenda and related materials will be posted on the CLHO website at http://www.oregonclho.org/about/clho-meetings/ before the meeting.

When: Thursday, August 16, 9:30-11 a.m. No conference call option is available for the public.

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

Background: 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)

# # #

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 um@state.or.us">danna.k.drum@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2M9zLnK

 

WIC reminds the public about state's breastfeeding law as World Breastfeeding Week begins - 08/01/18

August 1, 2018

WIC reminds the public about state’s breastfeeding law as World Breastfeeding Week begins

Moms are protected, but many still asked to stop, move or cover up, officials say

The Oregon Health Authority commemorates World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness of the state’s breastfeeding law. The celebration is held every year from August 1-7 in more than 120 countries.

OHA is a supporter and proponent of breastfeeding. The health benefits associated with breastfeeding are significant. Because of this, Oregon Revised Statute 109.001 protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public has been in place since 1999.

But WIC officials say they still receive numerous complaints each year from breastfeeding mothers who are asked to stop breastfeeding, cover up, or breastfeed behind closed doors in a bathroom or other private area.

"We want businesses around the state to remember that, as families visit their facilities, they can help breastfeeding mothers feel welcome and comfortable," says Sue Woodbury, MBA, RD, manager of WIC for the OHA Public Health Division. "They can help their employees and patrons understand that breastfeeding is not just a lifestyle choice, but an important – and legally protected – health practice."

WIC recommends businesses such as restaurants, pools and clinics provide training to their staff so they know not to interfere with breastfeeding mothers. Knowing about the law will help employees deal with any complaints from other patrons about a breastfeeding mother. They can simply inform them that Oregon law allows mothers to breastfeed in a public place.

WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, is designed to improve health outcomes and influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors. Nutrition education is the cornerstone of the WIC program, which serves all 36 Oregon counties through 30 county health departments, two tribal organizations, one migrant health center and one Head Start organization.

Medical experts agree that feeding an infant formula instead of breastfeeding increases a baby’s risk of infections, diarrhea, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), obesity, diabetes, asthma, and childhood leukemia. Mothers who formula feed have greater risk of breast and ovarian cancers. They also are 10 to 15 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease compared to mothers who breastfeed.

Nationally, more than $13 billion in health care costs could be saved each year by reducing barriers to breastfeeding, including harassment in public places.

WIC distributes wallet cards to new mothers to educate them about their right to breastfeed in public. The card has a 211 number for community support listings, and directs mothers to the Oregon WIC breastfeeding webpage at healthoregon.org/bf for information and the state Bureau of Labor and Industries at oregon.gov/Boli to report problems regarding breastfeeding employee law.

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http://bit.ly/2v6QS2Q

Oregon health gains affected by social, economic issues - 07/31/18

July 31, 2018

Oregon health gains affected by social, economic issues

Social, economic effects of housing affordability, food insecurity, educational outcomes temper overall national ranking in State Health Assessment

PORTLAND, Ore.—Oregon has made gains on important measures to improve health in the state, including reducing rates of opioid-related deaths and HIV infections, a new report finds. But social factors such as housing affordability, food insecurity and educational outcomes are undermining improvements in health outcomes.

The State Health Assessment (SHA), published every five years, says Oregon has made strides by pursuing state health improvement efforts aimed at priority health problems, as well as by expanding Medicaid and launching coordinated care organizations. Yet Oregon "lags far behind many other states in measures of the social determinants of health, which are social factors that influence health."

The State Health Assessment is the first step toward updating Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan, which guides state and local public health interventions.

Katrina Hedberg, MD, state health officer and epidemiologist at OHA’s Public Health Division, says Oregon has made strides in addressing its opioid crisis and tamping down HIV infections, teen pregnancies, and smoking rates among adults and teens. But those advances are being stymied by low standings in education, housing affordability and food insecurity that contributed to a decline in the state’s relative rank in national scorecards of health measures, she says.

"What we know is that a person’s health is inextricably tied to educational outcomes, employment and wages, and access to affordable housing," Hedberg says. "These are all areas where we found Oregon falls short."

Since Oregon published its last State Health Assessment in 2012, Oregon has made progress on key measures, including:

  • Reductions in opioid-related deaths—from about nine deaths per 100,000 population in 2011 to six deaths per 100,000 in 2016.
  • Reduction in rates of HIV infection—from about eight diagnoses per 100,000 in 2006 to five per 100,000 in 2016.
  • Lower rates of teen pregnancies—from 32 pregnancies per 1,000 females ages 15 to 17 in 2001 to 10 per 1,000 in 2016.
  • Lower smoking rates among adults and youths—from 20.7 percent in 2010 to 17.1 percent in 2016 among adults, and from 12.3 percent in 2011 to 3 percent in 2017 among eighth-graders.

In addition, Oregon reduced the uninsured rate and launched Medicaid reforms that enrolled nearly 900,000 Oregon Health Plan members in coordinated care organizations (CCOs), which are rewarded for providing better quality care and lowering Medicaid costs.

However, some measures of health in Oregon have worsened, including rates of obesity, diabetes and suicide. In addition, Oregon’s low standing in education, housing affordability and food insecurity have contributed to a decline in the state’s relative standing in national scorecards of health measures. According to the United Health Foundation’s Annual Health Rankings, Oregon was the 20th healthiest state in the country in 2017 (Massachusetts is first and Mississippi is 50th). This is down from 13th in 2012 and eighth in 2011.

The assessment provides a comprehensive, data-driven description of the health of people in Oregon. The assessment is a tool for anyone interested in improving population health in the state, including governmental and community public health agencies, CCOs, hospitals, health systems, private insurers, businesses, and social service agencies.

The SHA describes health within five categories: social determinants of health, environmental health, prevention and health promotion, access to clinical preventive services and communicable diseases. It also highlights health disparities—differences in health among people in Oregon—for people of color, people with disabilities, people with low income, people who identify as LGBT, and people living in rural and frontier areas of the state.

The State Health Assessment can be viewed on the OHA website at http://www.healthoregon.org/sha.

Paul Virtue serves on the community advisory council of the Intercommunity Health Network, a CCO serving Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties. Virtue co-chaired the State Health Assessment Steering Committee that helped develop the report, and said he appreciates that the 2018 report highlights the effects of social issues on health.

"The 2018 SHA is very focused on social determinants of health," he said. "I was so excited to see these areas moved from secondary focus to becoming the foundation of how we assess our state health. Instead of focusing just on crises like outbreaks or cost of health care delivery, we are moving the emphasis upstream to create healthier residents and environment in Oregon."

The SHA will inform the development of the 2020-2024 State Health Improvement Plan. To determine the priorities that will be addressed in the next plan, OHA will make mini-grants available to eligible agencies so they can solicit feedback from communities most affected by health disparities. More information about the State Health Improvement Plan is available at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/ABOUT/Pages/HealthImprovement.aspx; more on the mini-grant process is available at http://www.healthoregon.org/2020ship.

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Recreational use health advisory lifted July 31 for Upper Klamath Lake - 07/31/18

July 31, 2018

Recreational use health advisory lifted July 31 for Upper Klamath Lake

Reduced cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin levels confirmed

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued June 25 for Upper Klamath Lake, located off Oregon Route 140, 15 miles west of Klamath Falls in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in the reservoir are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, the level of microcystin in Howard Bay of Upper Klamath Lake remains well above the OHA guideline value for dogs, so health officials recommend keeping pets out of this area.

Oregon Health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful 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 cyanobacteria by state, federal and local agencies; therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid recreating in 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.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

For recreational health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440.

For information about recreational 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.”

# # #

Oregon Health Policy Board meets August 7 in Portland - 07/31/18

July 31, 2018

Oregon Health Policy Board meets August 7 in Portland

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

When: Tuesday, August 7, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: OHSU Center for Health & Healing, 3rd floor Rm. #4, 3303 SW Bond Ave., Portland

Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: welcome; minutes approval; OHA report; conflict of interest policy; public testimony; CCO 2.0: Preferred Drug List analysis; CCO 2.0: development update and draft straw model development; CCO 2.0 straw model review

For more information on the meeting, visit the board’s meeting page at https://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, jeffrey.scroggin@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Tobacco retail inspections show underage sales remain widespread - 07/31/18

July 31, 2018

Tobacco retail inspections show underage sales remain widespread

Violation rate increased with new tobacco sales age

PORTLAND, Ore.—An Oregon Health Authority (OHA) report released this week found that the rate of retail tobacco sales to underage people increased slightly over the past year, as a new law took effect that raised the minimum age to buy tobacco.

Enforcement of Oregon’s new tobacco sales law, which raised the age for a person to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21, began Jan. 1, 2018. The Public Health Division, in collaboration with the Oregon State Police, checks on tobacco retailers across Oregon to make sure retailers are following the law. Data from the first six months of 2018 show that since enforcement of the new sales age began, the retailer violation rate was 18 percent statewide. That’s slightly higher than the 16 percent retailer violation rate for the previous year, when the legal age being enforced was 18.

"Selling tobacco to people under 21 years old is illegal, but these data show that nearly one out of every five tobacco retailers in Oregon still sells to people under the legal age," said Tom Jeanne, MD, deputy state health officer at the OHA Public Health Division. "Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of death and disability and kills nearly 8,000 people in Oregon each year."

It also costs the state $2.5 billion per year in medical costs and lost productivity. A key part of ending tobacco addiction in Oregon is making sure youth don’t start. Oregon was the fifth state to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.

Retailer owners that sell tobacco to underage persons face up to a $500 fine for the first or second violation and up to $1,000 for three or more violations. For the first time, the OHA Public Health Division has taken the added step of publicizing the list of tobacco retailers that violated the tobacco sales law.

The list of Oregon retailers that sold tobacco to underage persons in the last year is available on the OHA Public Health Division website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/TOBACCOPREVENTION/Documents/InspectionCoReport.PDF.

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Nurse Staffing Advisory Board subcommittee meets August 3 - 07/30/18

July 30, 2018

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board subcommittee meets August 3

What: A public meeting of a subcommittee of the Nurse Staffing Advisory Board to review tools being used for nurse staffing surveys

Agenda: Review and discuss nurse staffing tools being used by OHA staff members

When: Aug. 3, 10 a.m. to noon. There will be no public comment period.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 615, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland

Background: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board (NSAB) is a 12-member board of hospital nurse managers, direct care nurses, and a direct care staff member. The four members of this subcommittee with be working with OHA staff to review the nurse staffing tools used by OHA employees on surveys of licensed facilities.

Program contact: Matt Gilman, 971-673-2317, matt.s.gilman@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the 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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Matt Gilman at 971-673-2317, 711 TTY or matt.s.gilman@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Updated recreational use health advisory will stay in place for part of Detroit Lake and include Big Cliff Lake - 07/27/18

July 27, 2018

Updated recreational use health advisory will stay in place for part of Detroit Lake and include Big Cliff Lake

Current toxin data allows for a targeted advisory on Linn-Marion county water bodies

The Oregon Health Authority has updated the recreational health advisory for Detroit Lake issued June 28. This update lifts the advisory for all areas of Detroit Lake except for the area in and around the log boom, and extends the advisory from the log boom through Big Cliff Lake.

Detroit Lake is located 46 miles southeast of Salem. Big Cliff Lake is located along Oregon Route 22 below Detroit Dam. The waterbodies are in both Linn and Marion counties.

Water monitoring has confirmed that levels of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) above OHA recreational use advisory levels for human exposure were found in the log boom area of Detroit Lake and in Big Cliff Lake. Because high toxins are limited to these areas, OHA is able to target these areas for the advisory.

However, Oregon Health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful 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 cyanobacteria by state, federal and local agencies, therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating.

People, especially small children, and pets should avoid recreating in 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. 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 such as water skiing or power boating.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

Exposure to cyanotoxins 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 weakness, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and fainting should also receive medical attention if they persist or worsen. Although toxins are not absorbed through the skin, people who have skin sensitivities may experience a puffy red rash at the affected area. Children and pets are at increased risk for exposure because of their size and level of activity. People who bring their pets to the log boom area of Detroit Lake or Big Cliff Lake for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in these areas.

People who draw in-home water directly from the affected area are advised to use an alternate water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing cyanotoxins. However, public drinking water systems can reduce these toxins through proper filtration, disinfection and other treatment. The Santiam River downstream of Detroit and Big Cliff lakes is the source of drinking water for several cities, including the City of Salem. The City of Salem continues to perform drinking water sampling in these areas and in the Santiam River to ensure drinking water safety. For more information on the city’s sampling, visit http://www.cityofsalem.net/.

Taking water directly from the log boom area of Detroit Lake or Big Cliff Lake for drinking at this time is especially dangerous. OHA Public Health Division officials advise campers and other recreational visitors that cyanotoxins cannot be removed by boiling, filtering or treating water with camping-style filters. 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 cyanobacterial blooms are present remove all fat, skin and organs before cooking, as cyanotoxins 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 log boom area of Detroit Lake or Big Cliff 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.

With proper precautions to avoid activities during which water can be ingested or inhaled, people are encouraged to visit Big Cliff 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 recreational health information or to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440. 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.

# # #

 

Network of Networks Definitions Group meets July 31 in Portland - 07/27/18

July 27, 2018

Network of Networks Definitions Group meets July 31 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Network of Networks Definitions Group

When: Tuesday, July 31, 3-5 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, Transformation Center Training Room, Suite 775, 421 SW Oak St., Portland. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 247-4583#.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions, orientation to definitions group and context, introduction to Definitions Group work, breakout groups, report out and discussion, public comment, next steps

Background: The Network of Networks Definitions Group will recommend key technical definitions needed to begin development of a statewide health information exchange initiative. The Health Information Technology Oversight Council (HITOC) chartered this short-term technical group, which will meet two or three times in 2018.

For more information on the Network of Networks initiative for statewide health information exchange, please see HITOC’s 2017-2020 HIT Strategic Plan at bit.ly/2mNQQsa, pages 29-33.

# # #

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 Francie Nevill at 503-881-0852, 711 TTY, or ancie.j.nevill@dhsoha.state.or.us">francie.j.nevill@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting. OHA will make every effort to provide services for requests made closer to the meeting.

 

Health Information Technology Oversight Council meets August 2 in Portland - 07/26/18

July 26, 2018

Health Information Technology Oversight Council meets August 2 in Portland

What: The regular bimonthly public meeting of the Health Information Technology Oversight Council (HITOC)

When: Thursday, August 2, 12:30-3:45 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, Transformation Center Training Room, Suite 775, 421 SW Oak St., Portland. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 453-773#.

Agenda: Welcome, minutes approval, common credentialing update, HIT commons report, Clinical Quality Metrics Registry update, CPC+ approach to data aggregation, CCO 2.0 HIT policy options report and public comment period, HIT program updates, general public comments

For more information on the meeting, visit HITOC’s meeting page at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/OHIT-HITOC/Pages/Public-Meeting-Notice.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 Jenna Robinson at 503-373-7859, 711 TTY, or ohit.info@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting. OHA will make every effort to provide services for requests made closer to the meeting.

 

Recreational use health advisory issued July 26 for Willow Creek Reservoir - 07/26/18

July 26, 2018

Recreational use health advisory issued July 26 for Willow Creek Reservoir

High levels of cyanobacteria toxins found in the Morrow County water body

The Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use health advisory today for Willow Creek Reservoir due to the presence of a cyanobacteria (harmful algae) bloom and the toxins they produce. The water body is located just east of the town of Heppner in Morrow County.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria and the toxins they produce in Willow Creek Reservoir. The cyanotoxin concentrations found can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should avoid swimming and 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 Willow Creek Reservoir at this time is especially dangerous. OHA 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 Willow Creek Reservoir are advised to use an alternate water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing algae toxins. If community members have questions about water available at nearby campgrounds, they should contact campground management.

OHA public health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria 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 Willow Creek Reservoir 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 Willow Creek Reservoir for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the water body.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface. OHA relies on laboratory tests of water samples to determine when cyanotoxins are no longer present to lift health advisories.

With proper precautions to avoid activities that cause affected water to be ingested or inhaled, people are encouraged to visit Willow Creek Reservoir 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 971-673-0440.

OHA maintains an updated list of all recreational use 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.

# # #

Health advisory for water contact at Nye Beach lifted July 25 - 07/25/18

July 25, 2018

Health advisory for water contact at Nye Beach lifted July 25

Testing shows fecal bacteria levels have subsided

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with marine water at Nye Beach, located in Lincoln County. The health authority issued the advisory July 18 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels at marine water sample locations. Contact with the marine water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

Some of these inland water areas are considered fresh water locations and are not subject to health advisories, meaning these results may be elevated but OHA does not have authority to issue an advisory. Contact the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program at each.health@state.or.us">beach.health@state.or.us to subscribe to the data distribution list and receive weekly updates of water quality results throughout the monitoring season.

State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call the OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

# # #

 

Health Aspects of Kindergarten Readiness Technical Workgroup to meet July 27 and by webinar - 07/25/18

July 25, 2018

Contact: Jon McElfresh, 503-385-3075, esh@dhsoha.state.or.us">jonathan.p.mcelfresh@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Health Aspects of Kindergarten Readiness Technical Workgroup to meet July 27 and by webinar

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s Health Aspects of Kindergarten Readiness Technical Workgroup

When: Friday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room #111, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E., Wilsonville

Attendees can also join remotely via webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2761628351754719491 and conference line at 877-810-9415, participant code 1773452.

Agenda: Welcome and Introductions, public comment at about 10:20 a.m., “near ready” metrics that address the workgroup's priority areas, “near ready” metrics review and assessment, brainstorm workgroup recommendations, summary and next steps

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/KR-Health.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 Jon McElfresh at 503-385-3075, 711 TTY, esh@dhsoha.state.or.us">jonathan.p.mcelfresh@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Metrics Technical Advisory Group meets July 26 - 07/25/18

July 25, 2018

Contact: Jonathan McElfresh, 503-385-3075, esh@state.or.us">jonathan.p.mcelfresh@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Metrics Technical Advisory Group meets July 26

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics Technical Advisory Group

When: Thursday, July 26, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, eighth floor (Mary Conference Room), 421 SW Oak St., Portland

Attendees can also join remotely via webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3012336791554163970 and conference line at 888-398-2342, participant code 5731389.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions; updates; review 2017 report; effective contraceptive use measure specifications; emergency department utilization – overnight visits; DHS custody measure; follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness specifications – HEDIS; food insecurity measure development; wrap-up and adjourn

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/analytics/Pages/Metrics-Technical-Advisory-Group.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 Jonathan McElfresh at 503-385-3075, 711 TTY or esh@state.or.us">jonathan.p.mcelfresh@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Out of Hospital Births Prior Authorization Review Workgroup to meet August 1 in Portland - 07/24/18

July 24, 2018

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

Out of Hospital Births Prior Authorization Review Workgroup to meet August 1 in Portland

What: The second public meeting of the Out of Hospital Births Prior Authorization Review Workgroup

When: Wednesday, August 1, 9-11 a.m. A public comment period will be held at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1D, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. The public also may attend by conference call at 888-278-0296, participant code 843163.

Agenda:

  • Welcome, introductions, agenda overview.
  • Announcements and updates.
  • Follow-up from June 20 meeting.
  • Identifying recommendations to address challenges with the Out of hospital births prior authorization process.
  • Public comment.
  • Summary and next steps.

Background: The Out of Hospital Births Workgroup met in 2016-2017 to discuss the Oregon Health Plan's coverage of childbirth in settings other than hospitals. The workgroup presented recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority [https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/CSI/PAWGDocuments/2017-OOHBW-Final-Report.pdf] in summer 2017. OHA is convening this small group to undertake the workgroup's third recommendation, "Prior Authorization Process Review," with the goal of optimizing safety while improving the efficiency of the process.

Questions and public comments may be submitted to the workgroup at .Workgroup@dhsoha.state.or.us">OOHB.Workgroup@dhsoha.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 Heather Johnson at 503-508-8276, 711 TTY or heather.n.johnson@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

 

Health advisory for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach lifted July 20 - 07/20/18

July 20, 2018

Health advisory for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach lifted July 20

Testing shows fecal bacteria levels have subsided

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with marine water at Sunset Bay State Park Beach located in Coos County. The health authority issued the advisory July 18 after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call the OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

# # #

 

Correction: Recreational use health advisory issued July 20 for Odell Lake - 07/20/18

Correcting location of Odell Lake

July 20, 2018

Recreational use health advisory issued July 20 for Odell Lake

High levels of cyanobacteria toxins found in the Klamath County water body

The Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use health advisory today for Odell Lake due to the presence of a cyanobacteria (harmful algae) bloom and the toxins they produce. Odell Lake is located 75 miles southeast of Eugene off Highway 58 in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria and the toxins they produce in Odell Lake. The cyanotoxin concentrations found can be harmful to humans and animals.

People should avoid swimming and 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 Odell Lake at this time is especially dangerous. OHA 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 Odell Lake are advised to use an alternate water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective for removing algae toxins. If community members have questions about water available at nearby campgrounds, they should contact campground management.

OHA public health officials recommend that those who choose to eat fish from waters where cyanobacteria 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 Odell 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 Odell Lake for recreation activities should take special precautions to keep them from drinking from or swimming in the water body.

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface. OHA relies on laboratory tests of water samples to determine when cyanotoxins are no longer present to lift health advisories.

With proper precautions to avoid water contact, people are encouraged to visit Odell 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 at 971-673-0440.

OHA maintains an updated list of all recreational use 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.

# # #

 

Oregon Health Policy Board, coordinated care organizations meet July 30 - 07/20/18

July 20, 2018

Oregon Health Policy Board, coordinated care organizations meet July 30

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board and CCOs

When: Monday, July 30, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St, Room 1B, Portland. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: Welcome; goals and ground rules; CCO 2.0 impact and feasibility discussion; public comment; adjourn.

For more information on the meeting, visit the CCO 2.0 webpage on the OHPB website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/CCO-2-0.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.

OHA accepting applications for Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee - 07/20/18

July 20, 2018

OHA accepting applications for Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee

The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division is seeking applicants for the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee.

OHA invites applications from people who meet the criteria outlined in HB 4133, Section (3) at https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2018R1/Measures/Overview/HB4133.

Board members are appointed by the Governor. Member terms are in general four years each. As this is a new committee, initial terms of office will be assigned by the Governor so that terms expire at staggered intervals.

To apply, submit the following documentation by September 1 to executive.appointments@oregon.gov.

  1. A completed executive appointment interest form, which is available at the Governor’s office website at http://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Pages/How_To_Apply.aspx.
  2. A resume or brief biographical sketch.
  3. A brief statement of interest.

Information about the legislation is available on the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYPEOPLEFAMILIES/DATAREPORTS/Pages/Maternal-Mortality-Morbidity-Review-Committee.aspx.

For more information, contact Cate Wilcox, OHA Public Health Division, at 971-673-0299 or cate.s.wilcox@state.or.us.

# # #

 

Recreational use health advisory lifted July 19 for Lake Billy Chinook  - 07/19/18

July 19, 2018

Reduced cyanobacteria and cyanotoxin levels confirmed

The Oregon Health Authority has lifted the recreational use health advisory issued June 22 and expanded on July 11 for Lake Billy Chinook, located about 12 miles west of Madras, in Jefferson County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in the reservoir are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, Oregon Health officials advise recreational visitors to always be alert to signs of cyanobacterial (harmful 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 cyanobacteria by state, federal and local agencies, therefore, you are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you and your family safe while recreating.

People and especially small children and pets should avoid recreating in 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. 

It’s possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface. OHA relies on laboratory tests of water samples to determine when cyanotoxins are no longer present to lift health advisories.

For recreational health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440. For information about recreational 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.” 

# # #

Recreational use health advisory issued July 18 for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach - 07/18/18

July 18, 2018

Recreational use health advisory issued July 18 for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach

The Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Sunset Bay State Park Beach, located in Coos County.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Sunset Bay State Park Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, and Parks and Recreation Department.

# # #

Recreational use health advisory issued July 18 for water contact at Nye Beach - 07/18/18

July 18, 2018

Recreational use health advisory issued July 18 for water contact at Nye Beach

The Oregon Health Authority issued a recreational use health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Nye Beach, located in Lincoln County.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Nye Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0482, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, and Parks and Recreation Department.

# # #

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board SurveyMonkey Committee meets July 30 in Portland - 07/17/18

July 17, 2018

Program contact: Anna Davis, 971-673-2950, anna.l.davis@state.or.us

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board SurveyMonkey Committee meets July 30 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Nurse Staffing Advisory Board SurveyMonkey Committee

Agenda: Committee members' discussion of SurveyMonkey questions and SurveyMonkey in the Nurse Staffing FAQ. The agenda is available on the OHA's nurse staffing website at http://www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing.

When: July 30, 3-5 p.m. No public comment period is offered.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 612, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland. Conference call line: 877-336-1829, access code 2075141.

Background: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board has established a committee to advise the Oregon Health Authority on the SurveyMonkey tool used in nurse staffing surveys. Board members on the committee will review the use of the SurveyMonkey tool, the questions asked in it, and whether to include information about it in the Nurse Staffing FAQ.

For more information, see the agency nurse staffing website at http://www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing.

# # #

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 Anna Davis at 971-673-2950, 711 TTY or anna.l.davis@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Oregon CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to hold meeting and webinar July 20 - 07/17/18

July 17, 2018

Contact: Pete Edlund, 503-559-2216, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Oregon CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to hold meeting and webinar July 20

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority's CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee

When: Friday, July 20, 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 111/112, 29353 SW Town Center Loop E., Wilsonville

Attendees can also join remotely through a webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/7438627555801803523 and listen-only conference line at 888-204-5984, participant code 1277166

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda, and updates; public testimony; extended CCO 2.0 update; 2018 incentive measure program changes; 2019 measure set: information for consideration; break; finalize 2019 measure set; adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.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 Pete Edlund at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.