Oregon Health Authority
Emergency Messages as of 3:37 am, Thu. Feb. 2
No information currently posted.
Subscribe to receive FlashAlert messages from Oregon Health Authority.
Primary email address for a new account:

  
And/or follow our FlashAlerts via Twitter

About FlashAlert on Twitter:

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

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

@OHAOregon

Hide this Message


Manage my existing Subscription

News Releases
Combined Measure 110 providers served more than 60,000 people during early implementation, preliminary reporting shows - 02/01/23

February 1, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Combined Measure 110 providers served more than 60,000 people during early implementation, preliminary reporting shows

SALEM, Ore. — Combined Measure 110 funding reached more than 60,000 Oregonians during the earliest phases of implementation, according to financial and operational reports filed with Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

The reporting shows that Measure 110 providers served more than 18,000 over the first three months of operation from June 1 through Sept. 30 — during a time when the service networks were still being established statewide.

That first round of reporting shows that the early Behavioral Health Resource Network (BHRN) providers spent over $10 million on network infrastructure in that early phase. The reporting largely encompasses smaller networks almost exclusively in rural areas of the state that were funded during the early implementation.

An earlier round of Measure 110-related funding called Access to Care grants — $34.5 million in bridge funding to approximately 70 statewide service providers before the formal Measure 110 rollout — ultimately reached more than 42,000 people who received substance use disorder treatment and additional support ranging from harm reduction to temporary housing.

The early financial reporting provides a preliminary account of services and spending. Measure 110 providers receive their funding on a quarterly basis. Because of this, many had not received their first quarterly payment during that first reporting period. OHA is continuing to work with providers to ensure that all data is collected.

As of July 1, the Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC), which is responsible for awarding Measure 110 grants, had approved 19 BHRNs and $72 million in funding.

The first BHRN was approved last May. The last, in Jackson County, was approved Aug. 31.

In all, the OAC obligated $265 million to 42 BHRNs and 11 tribal partners.

These service networks now exist in every Oregon county. Each offers a comprehensive array of community-based and culturally specific services for anyone seeking treatment, regardless of their ability to pay.

The initial data reflects the logistical and operational challenges that many providers confronted in building this first-in-the-nation system of care for substance use and addiction. Some of the reporting organizations were startup collaboratives; many others had to quickly accelerate and expand their existing operations to meet the required service demands of Measure 110 funding.

The data shows that BHRN providers spent approximately $3.1 million for hiring employees and other ramp-up expenses, and about $4.8 million for building construction and other necessary foundational investments to build and sustain a long-term drug treatment infrastructure in Oregon.

Over the next year, as the service networks are fully realized, these long-term investments will shift toward maintaining treatment services and supports, providing a more comprehensive assessment of Measure 110’s effectiveness.

“These preliminary reports show that local programs are putting Measure 110 funds to use and giving people who are using drugs access to life-saving treatment, harm reduction, housing and other supports,” said OHA Director James Schroeder. “While these are still early and partial reports, Measure 110 services are beginning to ramp up across the state. We’ll continue to share these progress reports each quarter.”

“The previous system that existed to address substance use was in place for 50 years, and our new system is moving as quickly as possible to become fully operational,” said OAC Tri-Chair Blue Valentine.

“Measure 110 funding has provided innovative ways for behavioral health providers in our communities to provide trauma-informed and culturally specificservices to thousands of people seeking these services, “said OAC Tri-Chair LaKeesha Dumas.

The reports yielded several examples of Measure 110 dollars making an immediate impact for communities and for people in need.

  • OnTrack, Inc., in Medford, an organization that provides support services for youth, adults and families, is renovating a home to provide transitional housing for people who are transitioning from residential treatment settings and are awaiting full-time housing placement. Once complete, the home will provide housing for five to seven adults for up to six months.
  • Faith, Hope, and Charity, which is based in Corvallis but serves Linn County, hired three peer support specialists who provide outreach and support for houseless people. As a result, they were able to assist 25 additional clients with services ranging from applying for health insurance, temporary housing, food, employment, and drivers’ licenses.
  • The Marie Equi Institute in Portland purchased and distributed harm reduction supplies for houseless people and others who work or live close to people at high risk for overdose. They have also used the additional funding for online and in-person classes on how to administer naloxone to people experiencing overdoses.

The deadline for the next round of reporting is in April for expenditures and clients served from October through December 2022.

More about the early data reports can be found on the Measure 110 web page.

Background: In November 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act of 2020, which became effective Dec. 4, 2020, to better serve people actively using substances or diagnosed with a substance use disorder. In July 2021, the legislature passed SB 755, which amended the act and made it more feasible to implement.

People who provide drug treatment and recovery services and advocates for criminal justice reform wrote Measure 110 in response to the high rate of drug addiction and overdoses in Oregon, and the disproportionate impact of those outcomes on Oregon’s communities of color.

Their goal was to establish a more equitable health-based and effective approach to substance use disorder.

###

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to hold a special meeting - 01/31/23

January 31, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to hold a special meeting

What: Public meetings of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council.

Agenda: Topics covered include an update on Access to Care data reporting and the Secretary of State’s recent audit of Measure 110. A final agenda will be posted on the Oversight and Accountability Council web page prior to the meeting.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 1:30 to 3:30

Where: Virtual. You Tube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJcTWLMzkNk

Purpose: The Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) oversees the establishment of Behavioral Health Resource Networks throughout Oregon.

Read more about the OAC. Read more about Measure 110.

Questions? Contact OHA.Measure110@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 Jessica Carroll at 503-580-9883, 711 TTY or jessica.a.carroll@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

###

Health Information Technology Oversight Council to meet February 2 - 01/27/23

January 27, 2023

Contact:

Amy Bacher, 503.405.5403, amy.bacher2@oregon.gov (media inquiries)

Kiari Chao, 503.931.3053, kiari.chao@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Health Information Technology Oversight Council to meet February 2

What: The regular public meeting of Health Information Technology Oversight Council.

When: February 2, 12:30pm to 3:30pm

Where: By webinar and conference line. The public may join remotely through a webinar or conference line:

Agenda: Welcome, Introductions and HITOC Business (12:30-12:45); 2022-2027 Medicaid 1115 Demonstration Waiver (12:45-1:40); HITOC Member Panel on Waiver Implications (1:40-2:10); 10-Minute Break (2:10-2:20); Strategic Plan Update (2:20-2:40); Health Information Exchange (HIE) Workgroup Updates (2:40-2:55); House Bill 4150 Final Report (2:55-3:05); Legislative Update (3:05-3:15); HIT Policy & Program Updates (3:15-3:20); Public Comment (3:20-3:25); Closing Remarks and Meeting Adjourn (3:25-3:30)

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/OHIT-HITOC/Pages/index.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:

  • CART (live captions)
  • 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 HITOC.INFO@odhsoha.oregon.gov or call 503.373.7859 at least 48 hours before the meeting. OHA will make every effort to provide services for requests made closer to the meeting.

System of Care Advisory Council to meet remotely February 7th - 01/27/23

Jan 27, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Program contact: Anna Williams, 971-720-9654, anna.k.williams@dhsoha.state.or.us

System of Care Advisory Council to meet remotely February 7th

What: A regular public meeting of the System of Care Advisory Council

When: Tuesday February 7, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Where: By webinar at ZoomGov

Meeting ID: 160 988 8607, Passcode: 797793

Dial by your location +1 669 254 5252, US (San Jose)

Agenda: The Council will receive diversity, equity and inclusion training from an external facilitator, get an update about the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) Program and discuss contract revisions to local system of care, among other topics. There will be time set aside for public comment.

The full agenda can be found at here.

Background: In 2019 the Legislature established a Governor-appointed System of Care Advisory Council to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of the state and local continuum of care that provides services to youth and young adults.

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:

  • 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 Christy Hudson at 971-678-4347, 711 TTY, or christy.j.hudson@state.or.us, at least two business days prior to the meeting.

##

Public Health Advisory Board meets on Feb. 9, 2023 - 01/27/23

January 27, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, (503) 871-8843, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Public Health Advisory Board meets on Feb. 9, 2023

What: The Public Health Advisory Board will hold a meeting.

Agenda: Approve January meeting minutes; discuss PHAB subcommittees and workgroups; hear legislative updates; plan for public health vision development; hear from local public health authorities about public health modernization implementation.

When: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 from 3:00-5:30p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1614044266?pwd=ekpYekxaMm92SHN0dngzTW9ZeldsUT09 or conference call: (669) 254-5252, participant code 1614044266#.

Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

# # #

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 Cara Biddlecom: at (971) 673-2284, 711 TTY, or publichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

High lead levels found in two tubes of Diep Bao cream used to treat eczema in babies - 01/26/23

EDITORS: State and local health officials will answer questions during a media availability today from 11 to noon through Zoom; members of the public can view a livestream on YouTube. Samples of contaminated products will be displayed and photos available for download.

January 26, 2023

Media contacts

Jonathan Modie, OHA, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Sarah Dean, Multnomah County, 971-349-0287, sarah.dean@multco.us

Wendy Gordon, Washington County, 503-849-9117, wendy_gordon@washingtoncountyor.gov

High lead levels found in two tubes of Diep Bao cream used to treat eczema in babies

Health officials warning parents about skin cream product

PORTLAND, Ore.—High levels of lead have been found in two tubes of a skin cream known as Diep Bao that’s advertised as treatment for eczema in young children. State and local health officials are warning parents to avoid using the product while its safety is investigated.

Two Portland-area children were recently found to have elevated blood lead levels. The children, one in Washington County and one in Multnomah County, are both younger than a year old. During investigations by state and local lead experts, parents of the children pointed to Diep Bao as the product they recently used on their babies’ faces to treat eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, a condition common in young children that causes dry, itchy and inflamed skin.

Ryan Barker, Oregon Health Authority’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinator, said laboratory tests on samples of the product provided by the families showed the product in the Washington County case contained 9,670 parts per million (ppm) lead, while the Multnomah County sample contained 7,370 ppm lead. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been alerted and is investigating. Only the two tubes of the cream have been tested so far, so whether lead is present in other tubes of Diep Bao is still being investigated.

Downloadable video clips of Barker discussing this investigation as well as photos of the product are available on OHA’s Media Resources page. 

Clips of an interview with Hai, the mother of the Multnomah County child, are available on the county’s YouTube page: with Vietnamese interpreter, https://youtu.be/Izy5JvtjEqw (viewers should adjust the volume to hear the interpreter’s voice, which is in the background); without interpreter, https://youtu.be/ExhPIoSAw-Q.

Diep Bao is promoted primarily by online retailers in Singapore and Vietnam, with one seller advertising it as “a cream that supports skin problems such as eczema, heat rash, rash, redness, dry chapped skin, skin care, skin cooling, skin healing.” Health investigators say the product is manufactured in Vietnam.

OHA, Washington County Public Health and the Multnomah County Health Department are jointly investigating the cases. They are asking families who have the product to avoid using it while its safety is investigated. Parents can help the investigation by providing tubes of Diep Bao in their possession to investigators so the product can be tested. They also are asking parents to learn about the risks of exposure to other lead-tainted products and make sure children’s blood levels are tested if they have been exposed to them.

“We are concerned this product caused or significantly contributed to the elevated blood lead levels in these children,” Barker said. “Any product containing high lead levels should be considered extremely dangerous and parents should immediately stop using it on their children or any other family member.”

There is no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory limit on lead in medications, but for cosmetics it’s 10 ppm. This means the two creams that were tested contained nearly 1,000 times the maximum allowable amount of lead in cosmetics. It’s unclear whether Diep Bao is considered a cosmetic under federal law.

The Washington County case was found to have a blood lead level of 11.8 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), while the Multnomah County case had a blood lead level of 7.3 µg/dL. Oregon's case definition for lead poisoning has been a blood lead level of 5 µg/dL or greater, which is when public health agencies investigate and provide case management to families. However, out of an abundance of caution – and to align with lead poisoning definitions of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA – public health agencies in Oregon have recently begun investigating cases with blood lead levels above 3.5 µg/dL.

People with high blood levels of lead may show no symptoms, but the condition may cause damage to the nervous system and internal organs. Acute lead poisoning may cause a wide range of symptoms, including abdominal pain, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and bloody or decreased urinary output.

Children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning. If a child is exposed to enough lead for a protracted period (e.g., weeks to months), permanent damage to the central nervous system can occur. This can result in learning disorders, developmental defects, and other long-term health problems.

“If your child has a skin condition like eczema, consult with your health care provider about prevention and treatment options,” said Christina Baumann, M.D., Washington County health officer. "If you have been using this Diep Bao cream, please talk to your provider about getting a blood lead test for your child.”

Perry Cabot, senior program specialist at Multnomah County Health Department and an investigator on the lead exposures, said the lead poisoning cases were discovered through a combination of regular pediatric check-ups, parent engagement, and public health follow-up to “connect the dots.”

“All these factors highlight the importance of staying engaged in your children's health, whether it's you, your medical provider, or your local or state health program,” Cabot said.

OHA and county health officials are working with the FDA to investigate the cases and test more products as they become available. Until the source and scope of the lead contamination are better understood, local health officials are also asking anyone selling these products to stop selling them and remove them from their websites to protect their customers.

Local health officials are working with culturally specific community groups and other partners to warn residents of potential risks associated with the eczema cream. People who have a tube of Diep Bao, or other concerns about lead, can contact the following:

Risk of lead

Oregon health care providers and laboratories are required by law to report certain diseases and conditions, including lead poisoning, to local health departments. On average, 270 Oregonians are diagnosed with lead poisoning each year; about a third are children younger than 6. The most common cases are due to ingesting paint and paint dust containing lead, but exposures from traditional cosmetics and informally imported spices have been identified.

For more information, visit the CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program page.

###

Open enrollment has ended for 2023 health coverage: Enrollment options still available for many people - 01/25/23

January 25, 2023

Media contact: Amy Coven, 503-943-0164, amy.coven2@dhsoha.state.or.us

Open enrollment has ended for 2023 health coverage: Enrollment options still available for many people

(Salem) – During the 2023 open enrollment period, 141,963 Oregonians enrolled in health insurance coverage, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace announced today.

The open enrollment period was from Nov. 1, 2022 to Jan. 15, 2023 for 2023 health coverage. People who missed the open enrollment deadline may still have an opportunity to get health coverage through the Marketplace if they experienced a qualifying life event such as moving, involuntarily losing health coverage, having or adopting a child, marriage, a change in citizenship, and being released from incarceration. Enrolled Tribal members, Alaska natives, and people who have lower income can enroll in health coverage at any time throughout the year.

Oregonians can preview plans and savings available to them by answering a few short questions at OregonHealthCare.gov. The website is also the best place to find a health insurance expert who can give one-on-one help with the application and enrollment process by phone, email, or in person. Visit OregonHealthCare.gov today to get started.

###

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.


 

Housing authority's radon procedures manual inspires state protocol - 01/25/23

January 25, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139,

PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Housing authority’s radon procedures manual inspires state protocol

OHA gives nod to Home Forward in testing plan for multifamily buildings

PORTLAND, Ore.— In 2017, Home Forward began testing its Portland public housing buildings for radon to prepare for a major rehabilitation project. The agency discovered some buildings had elevated levels of radon, but guidance on addressing it was limited.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had issued recommendations for radon testing in 2013, but there was no requirement specific to testing public housing properties.

So, Home Forward took a proactive approach to addressing elevated radon levels, creating a policy to test, mitigate where necessary, and re-test all the properties it owns – more than 100 buildings. That spawned the Home Forward Radon Procedures Manual.

“The only way of knowing if a property or a unit has high levels of radon is by testing,” said Carolina Gomez, Home Forward’s director of Integrated Facilities Services and Safety who helped draft both the policy and the procedures manual. “We don't know where we're going to find it until we test, so we are in the process of testing all our properties.”

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is recognizing National Radon Action Month during January to highlight the dangers of the colorless, odorless and invisible radioactive gas. Winter is the best time to test for radon because windows and doors are closed tight, and HVAC systems can create interior pressure differences that cause more radon to be sucked up through a home’s foundation.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.

The Home Forward Radon Procedures Manual lays out detailed procedures for initial testing, mitigation, post-mitigation testing and ongoing testing, as well as requirements for notifying residents about testing and mitigation, and procedures for procurement of radon contracting services, ensuring safety, and maintenance. The manual also describes each Home Forward department’s responsibility regarding radon testing and mitigation.

Home Forward is now on track to completing testing and abatement at all its properties – home to some 14,000 households – by the end of 2023.

OHA took notice of Home Forward’s success in developing its radon policy and procedures manual. In late 2022, OHA published its own Radon Testing for Multifamily Buildings guide – available on OHA’s Radon Resources page – to help multifamily building owners and managers in the state accurately test their buildings for elevated radon.

“What inspired us was the Oregonian’sCancer Cloud” article, and then learning about Home Forward’s commitment to test their buildings for radon,” said Jara Popinga, OHA’s Radon Awareness Program coordinator. “It was clear that local housing authorities could use more support and encouragement for radon testing.”

OHA had recently finished the protocols and procedures document for testing radon levels in schools – as part of ORS 332.341 and 332.345 – and a risk communication tool kit. It was an opportunity for the agency to reconstruct those resources to make something geared toward property owners and tenants. Because Home Forward has experience with radon testing in multifamily buildings and communicating with tenants, “we thought they would be a great partner to work with to build these resources. Lucky for us, they agreed to provide support and input on our materials,” Popinga said.

HUD points to a document created by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), Protocol for Conduction Measurements of Radon and Radon Decay Products in Multifamily Buildings, for recommendations on how to test larger properties. But it’s technical, and copies are expensive.

“We wanted to make a document that stuck to the AARST protocols but was less technical, easier to digest and free to use,” Popinga said. “Our goal is to create a packet of useful information that’s easy to read, contains AARST standards for testing multifamily buildings, has fillable documents that help to organize and plan for testing, and materials to help communicate with tenants. We want to remove barriers and make it easier for property owners to test for radon.”

The guide, developed with funding from the EPA, follows national guidelines for measuring radon in multifamily apartment buildings. It provides step-by-step instructions and other tools to help property owners and managers plan and carry out radon testing.

“It’s not a requirement for private housing rental companies to test for radon. In addition, it’s not a requirement for them to fix high levels of radon, if detected. However, we hope that the document will encourage such companies to seek radon testing and make it easier to take action when testing a property,” Popinga said.

Having a guide for multifamily building owners and managers is important because radon levels can vary widely from building to building, as many parts of Oregon remain at risk of high radon. For example, one multifamily apartment building can have low or no elevated radon levels, while the building next door can have dangerously high levels.

For Home Forward, regular communication with residents was paramount to developing and successfully implementing its Radon Procedures Manual.

“Now we have a policy in place where we have timelines in which we are going to notify residents as soon as we can” about testing and abating at their properties, Gomez said. “It’s active communication. There is less stress on residents in that they know we are taking care of the problem.”

For more information on areas of the state at moderate to high risk of elevated radon levels, radon testing and mitigation or to order a test kit online, contact the Radon Awareness Program at radon.program@state.or.us or visit its webpage.

Visit Home Forward’s radon page for information about the housing authority’s work, policy and manual, and links to resources.

###

Mobile unit compliance deadline prompts new interest in rules - 01/25/23

January 25, 2023

Media Contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Mobile unit compliance deadline prompts new interest in rules

Jan. 1 effective date follows three-year grace period for food cart operators

PORTLAND, Ore.— New statewide mobile food unit rules officially went into effect Jan. 1, following a three-year grace period to give operators time to come into compliance.

The new rules for mobile food units, or food carts, were established Feb. 1, 2020, so counties statewide could strengthen enforcement and protect the public.

OHA and local public health agencies continue to be supportive and are ready to work with operators on compliance schedules to give them more time. Mobile units will not be closed immediately if they are not in compliance with these new rules if they are actively working on a solution that has been approved by the Local Public Health Authority.   

Mobile food units make up a diverse and thriving industry that Oregon is nationally known for. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) supports their growth statewide. The agency is unique in that it does not automatically require a unit to have a commissary – a licensed kitchen where dishes can be washed, food is prepared in advance, and food and equipment are stored – if operators can show their units can be self-sufficient. Operators must, however, keep everything “integral” to the unit and operate within the capacity of the unit.

Integral

Integral means that all equipment associated with a mobile unit is rigidly and physically attached to the unit without restricting the mobility of the unit while in transit.

In the state, there have been challenges with non-integral items sitting on the ground around mobile units, which creates gathering places for insects and rodents. Because of this, OHA has strengthened enforcement for violations with the support of the Rule Advisory Committee.

The rules

All mobile food units must be designed with integrated, on-board potable and wastewater tanks. A mobile unit may also connect to water and sewer if available at the operating location, but the tanks must always remain on the unit. One exception applies to mobile food units licensed prior to Feb. 1, 2020, in which the water tanks and associated plumbing were removed prior to that date. Those units are not required to reinstall the tanks and associated plumbing if the unit is still connected to an approved water and sewer system in its original licensing location.

A mobile food unit may not connect to a freshwater system without also connecting to an approved sewer system.

Because all operations and equipment must be integral parts of the mobile food unit, those that use potable and wastewater storage tanks that are not integral to the unit must discontinue the use of these tanks.  Properly sized tanks may need to be installed on the unit to meet their current needs for fresh and wastewater.

A mobile food unit may use folding shelves or small tables that are integral to the unit for display of non-potentially hazardous condiments and customer single-use articles, such as disposable utensils and napkins. The shelves or small tables must be designed and installed so they do not impede the mobility of the unit when retracted.

What hasn’t changed

Off-unit items such as refrigerators, freezers and water/wastewater tanks have never been allowed, and there is no change to the requirements. These violations are now a higher priority in the Food Sanitation Rules, allowing county inspectors greater ability to enforce them.  Additionally, off unit water tanks become a public health problem when wastewater spills or there is improper disposal on site.  

Background

In 2018, the OHA Foodborne Illness Prevention Program formed a Rules Advisory Committee that included mobile food unit operators, interested parties, industry association representatives and regulators. The following year, OHA conducted informational meetings, inviting every mobile unit operator statewide to attend. The meetings – in Bend, Medford and Salem – included presentations and discussions about the proposed rules, the timeline of the rulemaking process and a question-and-answer session.

After hearing formal testimony on the proposed rules during a public meeting, OHA created a document outlining the major rule changes. These rule changes have been available online for the public since 2019 and the significant changes document was given to operators by local environmental health inspection staff during inspections. 

Operators and the public can learn more about the food and safety rules for mobile food units here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Documents/foodsanitationrulesweb.pdf

A link to the significant changes document can be found here: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Documents/musignifchangenglish.pdf

Here is a link to OHA’s food safety webpage: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/FOODSAFETY/Pages/index.aspx

###

Get immunizations updated before School Exclusion Day Feb. 15 - 01/25/23

January 25, 2023

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843 phd.communications@oha.oregon.gov

Get immunizations updated before School Exclusion Day Feb. 15

Parents must provide schools, child care facilities with kids’ vaccine records

Portland, Ore. – The third Wednesday of February (Feb. 15) is School Exclusion Day, and the Oregon Immunization Program reminds parents that children may not be able to attend school or child care that day if their records show missing immunizations.

Under state law, all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities must have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations or have an exemption.

“Immunization is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles,” said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Public Health Division.

“Just a few years ago, we saw several measles cases in the Northwest, and Central Ohio just experienced a severe measles outbreak with more than 30 unvaccinated children hospitalized,” Matthews said. “There also were recent polio cases in New York state. We don’t want another disease outbreak in Oregon of on top of COVID-19. Immunizations are the most effective way to stop the spread of measles and other diseases, to keep kids and school communities healthy and safe.”

If a child’s school and child care vaccination records are not up to date by Feb. 15, the child will be sent home if they don’t have an exemption. In 2022, local health departments sent 26,149 letters to parents and guardians informing them that their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care.

A total of 5,118 children were kept out of school or child care until the necessary immunization information was turned in to the schools or child care facilities. This year, reminder letters to parent will be mailed by Feb. 1.

COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students in Oregon schools or child care. OHA strongly recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 immunizations. Parents can check with their health care provider or pharmacist about current COVID-19 recommendations.

Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their child’s pediatrician or local health department, or contact 211Info by dialing 211 or visiting to 211info.org. No one can be turned away from a local health department because of the inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children 7 and older; parents can contact their neighborhood pharmacy for details.

Additional information on school immunizations can be found at the Immunization Program website.

Statewide school vaccination data is available on the OHA website, or at OHA’s new School Law Immunization Dashboard.

Personal stories on why people in Oregon are deciding to vaccinate can be viewed by visiting OHA’s Facebook and Twitter pages. OHA also invites people to join the conversation and share why they vaccinate by using the hashtag #ORVaccinates on social media.

As a parent, Dr. Choo talks about why she vaccinates her children: https://youtu.be/aDy7sseKs24

Reverend Dr. Currie discusses whether there are legitimate reasons for religious exemptions: https://youtu.be/D6XnPm1N4iQ

Hear how Sarah’s powerful conversations changed her mom’s long-held views on vaccinations: https://youtu.be/dPB2sfySwJQ

OHA offers licensing fees waivers for social workers - 01/25/23

January 25, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

OHA offers licensing fees waivers for social workers

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is partnering with the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers to pay the licensing application fees for aspiring social workers.

The license is required for anyone seeking to enter the behavioral health field as a social worker in Oregon.

The license ensures that clinical social workers have received the appropriate education and professional experience. Applicants also undergo a criminal background check.

Fees run between $200 and $460 depending on the license.

The program is intended to remove barriers for potential applicants.  Approximately $620,000 has been set aside to pay application fees starting Feb.1, 2023, through Feb. 19, 2024.

Applicants will see the benefits of this program when they submit their licensing application for payment and see zero balance due.

This program is offered in conjunction with a similar program announced earlier this month to pay the testing fees for social worker candidates over the same period.

The program is part of a larger effort to rebuild and retool a behavioral health workforce that was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding comes from $60 million allocated by the Oregon Legislature under House Bill 4071 (2022) to develop a diverse behavioral health workforce in licensed and non-licensed occupations through scholarships, loan repayment, professional development, other incentives, and peer workforce development. 

More about this program can be found on the Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative web page.  

General questions about the application fee waiver program can be directed to: bh.workforceinitiative@odhsoha.oregon.gov. Technical questions about how the benefit works can be directed to the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers: oregon.blsw@blsw.oregon.gov

The Oregon State Hospital is looking to hire psychiatric social workers at its Salem and Junction City campuses.

###

Public Health Advisory Board meets Feb. 9 - 01/24/23

January 24, 2023

Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Public Health Advisory Board meets Feb. 9

What: The Public Health Advisory Board is holding a meeting.

Agenda: Approve January meeting minutes; discuss PHAB subcommittees and workgroups; hear legislative updates; plan for public health vision development; hear from local public health authorities about public health modernization implementation.

When: Thursday, Feb. 9, 3-5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1614044266?pwd=ekpYekxaMm92SHN0dngzTW9ZeldsUT09 or conference call: (669) 254-5252, participant code 1614044266#.

The Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

# # #

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 Cara Biddlecom: at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, or publichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.


 

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to hold meetings in February - 01/24/23

January 24, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459, timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council to hold meetings in February

What: Public meetings of the Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council.

Agenda: Agendas will be posted on the Oversight and Accountability Council web page prior to each meeting.

When/Where:

Virtual meetings are Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Feb 8 –   https://youtu.be/uAMUJurYpyg

Feb 22–  https://youtu.be/fKMhD0XgOC8

Purpose: The Drug Treatment and Recovery Act (Measure 110) Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC) oversees the establishment of Behavioral Health Resource Networks throughout Oregon.

Read more about the OAC. Read more about Measure 110.

Questions? Contact OHA.Measure110@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 Jessica Carroll at 503-580-9883, 711 TTY or jessica.a.carroll@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

###

Oregon Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (OSPTR) Board meets Feb. 1 - 01/20/23

January 20, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Oregon Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (OSPTR) Board meets Feb. 1

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (OSPTR) Board

Agenda: Link to Meeting Agenda

When: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 10:00am – 1:00pm

Where: Via Zoom Meeting:

https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1615281501

Call in: 1-669-254-5252 (US)

Meeting ID: 161 528 1501

Passcode: 720243

Background: The Opioid Settlement Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Board (OSPTR Board) will determine how to allocate the State’s portion of Oregon’s opioid settlement funds. The OSPTR Board’s role and membership were established by the Oregon State Legislature in March 2022 through House Bill 4098.

Read more about Oregon’s opioid settlement funds at www.oregon.gov/opioidsettlement

Questions? Email questions to OHA.OpioidSettlement@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 the Oregon Opioid Settlement team at 971-678-1036, or OHA.OpioidSettlement@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

#MyORHealth horizontal rule

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board holds quarterly meeting - 01/20/23

January 20, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board holds quarterly meeting

What: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board is holding its quarterly meeting.

Agenda:

  • Call to order.
  • Minutes.
  • Membership and program updates: Open board positions, nurse staffing webinars.
  • 2023 legislative session.
  • Status updates: Nurse staffing waivers, nurse staffing surveys, nurse staffing complaint investigations, and nurse staffing revisits.
  • 2022 year-in-review presentation.
  • Committee updates: Rules Review Committee.
  • Updated on civil monetary penalties.
  • Nurse staffing complaints: Number of nurse staffing complaints received, complaint outcomes.
  • Nurse staffing surveyor discusses survey activities.
  • Emerging issues in nurse staffing.
  • Public comment.

The agenda and meeting materials will be available as a meeting packet at www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1–5 p.m.

Where: To receive meeting login information, register for the meeting here: https://www.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsdeqvqjItGraQaQWepL7XOSdWGJoMQGY

The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board advises Oregon Health Authority on the administration of Oregon’s nurse staffing laws; identifies trends, opportunities and concerns related to nurse staffing; makes recommendations to OHA based on those trends, opportunities and concerns; and reviews the enforcement powers and processes under Oregon’s nurse staffing laws.

Program contact: Kimberly Voelker, Mailbox.nursestaffing@odhsoha.oregon.gov

###

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 material in other languages
  • Closed captioning
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Kimberly Voelker, MPH at 971-803-0914, 711 TTY or kimberly.n.voelker@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


 

Oregon Health Authority Director James Schroeder's Statement in Response to Secretary of State Fagan's Audit of Measure 110 - 01/19/23

January 19, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

Oregon Health Authority Director James Schroeder’s Statement in Response to Secretary of State Fagan’s Audit of Measure 110

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority (OHA) responded to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s audit of the implementation of Measure 110 (“Too Early to Tell: The Challenging Implementation of Measure 110 Has Increased Risks, but the Effectiveness of the Program Has Yet to Be Determined”) with the following statement from director James Schroeder.

“The Secretary of State is right: It is too soon to measure the success of Measure 110. However, OHA recognizes that Measure 110 can only achieve the voters’ intent and reduce the harms from untreated substance use if OHA provides timely, robust support to its implementation and effective, reliable assistance to the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council. OHA will deliver on that commitment.

“Measure 110 represents a new approach to reducing the terrible toll illicit substance use takes on people and families in communities statewide. Measure 110’s first-in-the-nation approach provides more resources for harm reduction, treatment, peer counseling, housing and other services that will give people with substance use disorders the services and support they need to recover, prevent relapse and live heathier lives.

“Under Measure 110, these services are provided through locally coordinated Behavioral Health Resource Networks (BHRNs). Last fall, BHRNs in every Oregon county received funding from OHA to begin delivering more comprehensive and integrated services at the local level.

“The launch of these networks represents the real start of Measure 110 in Oregon.

“OHA agrees with all the Secretary of State’s recommendations directed toward our role in implementing Measure 110. We will pursue each recommendation with urgency and focus.

“Governor Kotek has made it a top priority to make the behavioral health system and Measure 110 work better for communities statewide. I recognize that Measure 110’s success depends on Oregon’s ability to solve many larger challenges in the behavioral health system, such as the need to expand treatment capacity and better support counselors and other workers. I’m committed to getting better outcomes for people with substance use disorders and other behavioral health needs. I look forward to reporting on our progress.”

In the agency’s Management Response to the Secretary of State’s Measure 110 audit, state health officials pledged to take action on four recommendations directed to OHA:

  • Publish the first iteration of a strategic plan that describes how Measure 110 services are being integrated into the overall behavioral health system in Oregon, by Sept. 30, 2023.
  • Identify and address data reporting gaps to better track and evaluate the impact of Measure 110. This work is already underway and will continue through 2023 and 2024, as the state launches new data reporting systems.
  • Improve the technical support OHA provides to the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council (OAC).
  • Help the OAC expand collaboration with the Oregon Department of Corrections, housing programs and other partners who can aid Measure 110’s successful implementation.

###

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet January 20 - 01/18/23

January 18, 2023

Contact:

Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, amy.bacher2@oha.oregon.gov (media inquiries)

Brian Toups, 503-385-6542, brian.m.toups@oha.oregon.gov (meeting information or accommodation)

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet January 20

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

When: January 20, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: By webinar and conference line. The public may join remotely through a webinar and conference line:

Agenda:

Welcome & consent agenda (9:00-9:10); Public testimony (9:10-9:20); Review future program structure changes (9:20-9:35); Health equity & performance measures overview (9:35-10:00); REALD Repository Part 1 (10:15-11:00); OHA Transformation Center & Community Health Improvement Plans – orientation (11:00-11:40); Discussion, wrap-up (11:40-12:00); 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:

  • CART (live captions)
  • 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 Brian Toups at 503-385-6542, or

brian.m.toups@oha.oregon.gov at least 48 hours before the meeting. OHA will make every effort to provide services for requests made closer to the meeting.


 

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board meets Jan. 19, 2023 - 01/13/23

January 13, 2023

Media contact: Amber Shoebridge, 503-931-9586 amber.shoebridge@dhsoha.state.or.us 

Program contact: Jacee Vangestel, 503-945-2852 jacee.m.vangestel@dhsoha.state.or.us

 

Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board meets Jan. 19, 2023

What: A regular public meeting of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board.

When: Jan. 19, 1-3:10 p.m.

Where: The meeting will be held via free conference line at 971-277-2343, access code 280 492 858#.

Agenda: After introductions, updates will be given on the CMS survey, the federal court order related to aid and assist restoration timelines and Emergency Board positions. See the full agenda here.

Details: The Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board advises the superintendent, Oregon Health Authority director and legislators on issues related to the safety, security and care of OSH patients. Members include consumers, providers, advocates, legislators, community members, consumer families and OSH union members.

For more information, see the OSHAB website.

 

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:

  • 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 Jacee Vangestel at 503-945-2852, 711 TTY or jacee.m.vangestel@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets via Zoom January 30 - 01/13/23

January 13, 2023

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets via Zoom January 30

What: A Zoom meeting for the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

Agenda: The full agenda will be available at www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission

When: Monday, Jan. 30 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where: Zoom Meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 1-669-254-5252; Meeting ID: 161 197 9642 Passcode: 022598

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 provides advice to Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission regarding Oregon Administrative Rules that govern medical cannabis as well as retail cannabis as it pertains to patients and caregivers. 

Additionally, the Commission is tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that cannabis will remain a therapeutic and affordable option for patients and monitoring federal laws, regulations and policies regarding cannabis.

Visit www.Healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission for more information.

# # #

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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Megan Lockwood at 971-673-0620, 711 TTY or megan.r.lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Research and Leadership subcommittee meets via Zoom January 23 - 01/13/23

January 13, 2023

Media contact: Erica Heartquist, 503-871-8843, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Research and Leadership subcommittee meets via Zoom January 23

What: A public Zoom meeting for the Research and Leadership subcommittee of the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

Agenda: TBD. The full agenda will be available at www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

When: Monday, Jan 23. 1 to 3 p.m.

Where: Zoom Meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 1-669-254-5252; Meeting ID: 160 699 9942 Passcode: 479901

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 provides advice to Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission regarding Oregon Administrative Rules that govern medical cannabis as well as retail cannabis as it pertains to patients and caregivers. 

Additionally, the Commission is tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that cannabis will remain a therapeutic and affordable option for patients and monitoring federal laws, regulations and policies regarding cannabis.

Visit www.Healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission for more information.

# # #

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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Megan Lockwood at 971-673-0620, 711 TTY or megan.r.lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Youth invited to enter poster contest as part of Radon Action Month - 01/12/23

January 12, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Youth invited to enter poster contest as part of Radon Action Month

PORTLAND, Ore. – Students across the Northwest are encouraged to get creative and help raise awareness about the dangers of radon gas by participating in the 2023 Northwest Radon Poster Contest as part of January’s Radon Action Month.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can build up in our homes. Both old and new housing can have radon problems. Testing is the only way to know if your home has radon because it is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Long-term radon exposure is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. 

Contest Instructions

Youth between ages 9 and 14 living in Oregon, Idaho and Washington are eligible to participate in the poster contest. Students must either be enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense or home school, or be a member of a sponsoring club, such as a scouting, art, computer, science or 4-H club. Only one entry per student is allowed. Contest deadline is March 10, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be announced by April 17, 2023. Find contest submission forms, lesson plans and rules at the Northwest Radon Poster Contest page.

First-, second- and third-place winners will be selected from each participating state. A regional grand prize will be selected from the winning submissions. First-place posters from each state will be submitted to the 2024 National Radon Poster Contest. All participating students will learn about radon and how to reduce their risk of exposure.

The Northwest Radon Poster Contest is sponsored by Oregon Health Authority’s Radon Awareness Program, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Nez Perce Tribe, Spokane Tribe of Indians and Washington Department of Health’s Radon Program, in collaboration with the Northwest Radon Coalition and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10.

For more information, contact the Radon Awareness Program at radon.program@state.or.us or visit www.healthoregon.org/radon.

###

OHA receives federal approval for CCO Medicaid behavioral health rate increases for most providers - 01/12/23

January 12, 2023 

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,  

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov 

OHA receives federal approval for CCO Medicaid behavioral health rate increases for most providers

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has received federal approval to significantly increase Medicaid behavioral health services reimbursement paid through coordinated care organizations (CCOs).

The federal approval requires CCOs to increase pay to providers for behavioral health services provided on or after Jan. 1, 2023.

This approval and the additional funding will enable OHA to invest Medicaid funds to improve access to services, support the behavioral health workforce, incentivize culturally and linguistically specific services, and increase support for integrated treatment of substance use and mental health (co-occurring) disorders.

“This historic federal approval is a game-changer that enables us to consistently increase reimbursement across both CCO provider networks and OHA’s fee-for-service program for behavioral health services. This also develops a sustainable funding stream to rebuild Oregon’s pandemic-depleted behavioral health system at a time of spiking demand and service challenges,” said OHA Chief Financial Officer Dave Baden. 

“Getting more people access to behavioral health services is a top priority for Governor Kotek and for OHA. This rate increase will help stabilize service providers and expand care for people in Oregon who need it,” said OHA Director James Schroeder.

The legislature allocated $42.5 million state funds through House Bill 5202 (2022). These state funds are projected to yield approximately $112 million in matching federal Medicaid funds for increases across by fee for service providers and for CCOs.

The combined $154.5 million in rate increases, plus additional funds available in the CCO budget, resulted in an increase of approximately $221 million funds over this calendar year.

CCOs are receiving this increase as of Jan. 1. OHA expects the increases to be retroactively effective to that date for providers.

The estimated impact on CCO capitation rates — the per-member-per month amounts the state pays to CCOs to coordinate care for Oregonians through the Oregon Health Plan — is projected to be about $221.3 million.

About $175 million will go toward providing behavioral health services across a broad spectrum of services:

  • Providers will receive a 30-percent increase to reimbursement when compared to January 2022 if they have more than 50 percent service revenue from Medicaid.
  • Providers will receive a 15-percent increase to reimbursement when compared to January 2022 if they have less than 50 percent service revenue from Medicaid.
  • Differentials are also available for providers who deliver culturally and linguistically specific services and serve members who have co-occurring disorders.

There are 12 rate categories for CCOs, which consider the average cost for members in these specific categories. Rates are also based on average provider rate costs in each region.

Part of the funding requires CCOs to create publicly available websites to help providers understand the rate increases. Providers will also be required to produce records showing the distribution of patient service behavioral health care between Medicaid payers and non-Medicaid payers.

More information can be found here.

Last November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved the fee-for-service portion of the increase, retroactively to July 1, 2022.

###

Prevention steps helped limit respiratory virus spread during holidays - 01/12/23

January 12, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Prevention steps helped limit respiratory virus spread during holidays

But state official says hospitals still strained from high COVID-19, flu activity

PORTLAND, Ore. — Respiratory virus prevention steps such as masking and avoiding gatherings helped limit RSV, COVID-19 and influenza transmission over the holidays, but the state health officer and epidemiologist says Oregon isn’t out of the woods yet.

“While overall respiratory virus activity in our communities remains high and our hospital systems are still under extraordinary pressure, with some operating near, at or even above 100% capacity, we are seeing some improvements in respiratory virus hospitalizations,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., of Oregon Health Authority (OHA). “Unfortunately, our hospitals are not yet able to resume normal workflows.”

Sidelinger, speaking during OHA’s monthly COVID-19 media briefing this morning, thanked people in Oregon for taking the advice of health experts who implored them to wear masks, keep their distance from others, avoid indoor gatherings, and get flu and COVID shots to reduce transmission during the holidays.

“I know many of you made the tough decision to postpone or limit that family get-together or forego that holiday concert or play,” he said. “Please know our public health and health care partners appreciate your sacrifice.”

A recording of the briefing is available via YouTube at this link, or by clicking on the image below. Sidelinger’s comments are available at this link.

thumnail

RSV                                                                            

The situation with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, has improved the most. Sidelinger said the state is well past the peak of RSV in children, which happened Nov. 19, and hospitalizations are decreasing rapidly.

“This is very important for pediatric hospital capacity because RSV causes severe disease mostly in young children, although it can also affect the elderly,” he said.

Influenza

Influenza activity remains high in both adults and children, Sidelinger said. The state passed the peak of flu season in adults Dec. 3, but hospitalizations in children have plateaued and are only starting to drop. But the situation will continue to improve, he predicted.

“We believe that adult influenza will continue to decline and that cases among children will begin to decrease more rapidly soon as well,” he said.

COVID-19

COVID-19-related hospitalizations remain high following a rapid increase in November, but they dropped in the last week. However, the most recent forecast from Oregon Health & Science University’s Office of Advanced Analytics predicts a small increase in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations into February due to the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant known as XBB.1.5.

“OHA and its health care and local public health partners are keeping an eye on the new XBB.1.5 Omicron subvariant that is spreading rapidly in the northeastern United States as it outcompetes other variants,” Sidelinger said, adding that it’s “not yet widespread in Oregon.”

The best ways for people to protect themselves from all three circulating viruses continue to be getting a flu shot and COVID-19 booster – the booster is protective against XBB.1.5 – as well as “tried-and-true measures” that include wearing masks, limiting indoor gatherings, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands and staying home when sick.

“Every one of us has a role to play in slowing the spread of these viruses as we go through winter, and that will help our health care system ensure that hospital beds are available for those who need them most,” he said.

Mpox (monkeypox)

Sidelinger also provided an update on Oregon’s response to the mpox outbreak that began last summer. He said OHA will shift the frequency that it reports data on its mpox website from weekly to monthly after the number of cases dropped to fewer than five per month. He attributed the low case counts to the effectiveness of the Jynneos mpox vaccine and an emphasis on encouraging health care providers to integrate the vaccine into routine health maintenance for high-risk individuals.

“We are not quite ready to declare victory against mpox, as we expect to keep seeing a handful of cases over the coming months,” Sidelinger said. “But we are in a much better place than we were in August and October, and we will continue to work with our partners to promote testing and vaccination among those at risk for infection.”

###

OHA offers testing waivers for social workers - 01/12/23

January 12, 2023

Media contact: Timothy Heider, 971-599-0459,

timothy.heider@oha.oregon.gov

OHA offers testing waivers for social workers

Oregon Health Authority is offering a new program to waive exam fees for individuals who take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) social work licensing exam.

The program is offered through an agreement with the Association of Social Work Boards, the primary examination agency. Only people approved by the Oregon State Board of Licensed Social Workers are eligible for the waiver.

The ASWB exam is required to gain licensure as a social worker in Oregon.

The purpose of the waiver is to remove barriers for qualified individuals as part of a larger effort to rebuild and retool a behavioral health workforce that was decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those registering to take the exam between Jan. 12, 2023, and Feb.  19, 2024, will have exam fees waived for all attempts.

The funding comes from $60 million allocated by the Oregon Legislature under House Bill 4071 (2022) to develop a diverse behavioral health workforce in licensed and non-licensed occupations through scholarships, loan repayment, professional development, other incentives, and peer workforce development.

The following social worker licensure tracks are covered by the program:

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker
  • Licensed Master of Social Work
  • Baccalaureate Social Worker

The total program grant is up to $130,000 that will reimburse the $230 fee for the bachelor’s and master’s exam and $260 for the advanced generalist or clinical exam for all tests taken during the prescribed timeframe.

The waivers will be made automatically. Questions about the waiver program can be directed to: bh.workforceinitiative@odhsoha.oregon.gov.

Information about requirements to become eligible to take the exam can be found at the Oregon Board of Licensed Social Workers website: https://www.oregon.gov/blsw/pages/index.aspx.

###


 

OHA's virtual monthly COVID-19 media briefing Thursday at 11 a.m. - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

OHA’s virtual monthly COVID-19 media briefing Thursday at 11 a.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Health Authority will host a Zoom media briefing at 11 a.m. tomorrow – Thursday, Jan. 12 – to provide its monthly update on COVID-19, as well as RSV and influenza.

Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA, will give an update on COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses circulating in Oregon, including RSV and influenza. He also will discuss mpox.

Interested reporters can join via Zoom at this link. A livestream for the public also is available via YouTube at this link.

Public Health Advisory Board's Strategic Data Plan Subcommittee meets Jan. 17 via Zoom - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@state.or.us

Public Health Advisory Board’s Strategic Data Plan Subcommittee meets Jan. 17 via Zoom

What: A public meeting of the Strategic Data Plan Subcommittee of the Public Health Advisory Board.

Agenda: Reflect on learnings so far to develop a new framework for the PHAB Strategic Data Plan.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 1-2 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom conference call:

(669) 254-5252, participant code: 1605421162#.

Background: Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan. The Strategic Data Plan subcommittee develops recommendations for a plan that is grounded in equity and centers community values and experiences. 

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

###

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: Victoria Demchak at 503-509-6915, 711 TTY, or victoria.m.demchak@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.


 

The Health Licensing Office (HLO) is currently authorizing provisional authorizations to practice respiratory therapy to individuals whose license is inactive or expired - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, (503) 871-8843, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

The Health Licensing Office (HLO) is currently authorizing provisional authorizations to practice respiratory therapy to individuals whose license is inactive or expired

What: Due to the surge in respiratory infections, including but not limited to RSV, influenza, and COVID-19 in Oregon. On Nov. 15 Executive Order 22-24 declaring a state of emergency was put in place to address the shortage in healthcare workers.

HLO is currently issuing provisional authorizations to practice respiratory therapy to individuals whose license is inactive or expired. 

To qualify and individual must have had an active license with HLO as a respiratory therapist within the past five years and were in good standing at the time the respiratory therapist’s license became inactive or expired.

Send an email to hlo.info@odhsoha.oregon.gov with the following information:

  1. In the subject line of all emails: RT Inactive or Expired– Name of Respiratory Therapist.
  2. A completed Authorization Holder Information Update Form.
  3. A copy (front and back) of current photographic federal or state identification. Do not cut out the photos, leave them on a full-size piece of paper.
  4. Documentation demonstrating a request to provide services by an Office-recognized public health organization, an Emergency Medical Service agency, a county, state or federal entity as the result of the declared state of emergency. This documentation may include, but is not limited to, a letter or email from a hospital or county health department.
  5. Provide payment information for a $50 authorization fee.

Once the Office receives and verifies all required documentation, an email response will be sent directly to the respiratory therapist from an Office representative approving them to practice until the termination date of the declared disaster or emergency.

If you have any questions related to licensing contact:

Dee Humphries, Licensing Qualification Specialist

(503) 934-5009

dee.l.humphries@dhsoha.state.or.us

Kyle Bivens, Licensing Qualification Specialist

(503) 373-1740

kyle.bivens@dhsoha.state.or.us

For questions regarding the press release, contact Samie Patnode at samie.patnode@dhsoha.state.or.us or at (503) 373-1917.

###

The Health Licensing Office and the Board of Electrologists and Body Art Practitioners are seeking comments regarding proposed rules for electrology through Jan. 28, 2023. - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, (503) 871-8843, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

The Health Licensing Office and the Board of Electrologists and Body Art Practitioners are seeking comments regarding proposed rules for electrology through Jan. 28, 2023.

What: The Health Licensing Office and the Board of Electrologists and Body Art Practitioners are seeking public comment on proposed rules for electrology. Public comment will be accepted through Jan. 28 at noon. A rule hearing will be held on Jan.18 from 9-11a.m.

To submit your comments by email, send them to Samie Patnode at: samie.patnode@dhsoha.state.or.us or by postal mail to:

Attn: Samie Patnode Health Licensing Office 1430 Tandem Ave. NE, Suite 180 Salem, OR 97301-2192

To participate in the rule hearing, follow the directions below:

  • In person at the Health Licensing Office Board Room, 1430 Tandem Ave. NE, Suite 180, Salem, OR 97301; or
  • By telephone conference call by calling 503-934-3605 and entering participant code 791607.

Background: The rule amendments update the electrology curriculum and training to align with current industry and national licensing standards, including a training program similar to an apprenticeship.

The rule also allows HLO to determine if an examination is substantially equivalent to Oregon’s electrology examinations.

The rule proposes to allow practical examinations to be given at licensed electrology career schools and through the Electrology Training Program under the supervision of an approved supervisor for easier accessibility.

For questions or further clarification regarding this press release, contact Samie Patnode at samie.patnode@dhsoha.state.or.us or (503) 373-1917.

For additional information on the rules, visit the HLO website.

###

Health Licensing Office (HLO) issuing provisional authorizations to practice respiratory therapy to individuals whose license is inactive or expired - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, (503) 871-8843, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

Health Licensing Office (HLO) issuing provisional authorizations to practice respiratory therapy to individuals whose license is inactive or expired

What: Due to the ongoing surge in respiratory infections in Oregon, including but not limited to, RSV, influenza and COVID-19, Governor Brown signed Executive Order 22-24, which repealed and replaced Executive Order 22-23.

This new order expands upon the declared state of emergency to address the shortage of healthcare workers in Oregon.

HLO is currently issuing provisional authorizations to practice respiratory therapy to individuals whose license is inactive or expired.

To qualify, an individual must have had an active license with HLO as a respiratory therapist within the past five years and be in good standing at the time the respiratory therapist’s license became inactive or expired.

Send an email to hlo.info@odhsoha.oregon.gov with the following information:

  1. In the subject line of all emails: "RT Inactive or Expired - Name of Respiratory Therapist".
  2. A completed Authorization Holder Information Update Form.
  3. A copy (front and back) of current photographic federal or state identification. Do not cut out the photos, leave them on a full-size piece of paper.
  4. Documentation demonstrating a request to provide services by an Office-recognized public health organization, an Emergency Medical Service agency, a county, state, or federal entity as the result of the declared state of emergency. This documentation may include, but is not limited to, a letter or email from a hospital or county health department.
  5. Provide payment information for a $50 authorization fee.

Once the Office receives and verifies all required documentation, an email response will be sent directly to the respiratory therapist from an office representative approving them to practice until the termination date of the declared disaster or emergency.

If you have any questions related to licensing, contact:

Dee Humphries, Licensing Qualification Specialist

(503) 934-5009

dee.l.humphries@dhsoha.state.or.us

Kyle Bivens, Licensing Qualification Specialist

(503) 373-1740

kyle.bivens@dhsoha.state.or.us

For questions or further clarification regarding this press release, contact Samie Patnode at samie.patnode@dhsoha.state.or.us or (503) 373-1917.

###

The Health Licensing Office, Board of Cosmetology and Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians seeking participants for Rules Advisory Committee - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Contact: Erica Heartquist, (503) 871-8843, PHD.Communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

The Health Licensing Office, Board of Cosmetology and Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians seeking participants for Rules Advisory Committee

What: The Health Licensing Office (HLO), Board of Cosmetology (COS), and Board of Certified Advanced Estheticians (CAE) are currently seeking participants to serve on Rules Advisory Committees (RAC) to review esthetic and advanced esthetic devices including cross-over devices and prohibited devices.

The first RAC is scheduled for Jan. 30, 2023, with additional RACs on Feb. 27 and March 27, 2023. RAC’s allow external experts, individuals, entities, advocates and communities likely to be affected by rule changes to provide input and recommendations to the HLO and the COS and CAE during the rulemaking process.

Background: The 2021 Legislature passed HB 2970 (2021), changing the scope of practice for estheticians and advanced estheticians specifically use of certain devices. The legislature also charged both the COS and CAE to work collaboratively to define the term “device” within both the esthetics and advanced esthetics profession.

Historical information related to the practice of esthetics and advanced esthetics is available on the HLO website.

Attendance and participation by individuals and communities likely to be affected by the rule changes is essential to the rulemaking process. Please be sure you can attend each RAC on Jan. 30, Feb. 27 and March 27, 2023 before applying.

If you are interested in serving on the RAC, please complete the Interest Form. All interest forms must be received by Jan. 15, 2023, at 12 p.m.

For questions or further clarification, contact Samie Patnode at samie.patnode@dhsoha.state.or.us or at (503) 373-1917.

For additional information on rules, visit the HLO website.

###


 

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board's Rules Review Committee meets virtually Jan. 18 - 01/11/23

January 11, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Nurse Staffing Advisory Board’s Rules Review Committee meets virtually Jan. 18

What: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board’s Rules Review Committee is holding its fourth meeting.  

Agenda: Review committee agenda; summarize rules discussed at previous meeting; review nurse staffing rule and statute language—continue discussion on nurse staffing plan requirements; summarize action items and next steps.

The agenda and committee documents are available on www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 1:30–3 p.m.

Where: Please register for this meeting to receive meeting login information: https://www.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsc-ioqjMjHGOlxfnDOY32PzytBk3akd4

Background: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board advises Oregon Health Authority on administration of Oregon’s nurse staffing laws; identifies trends, opportunities and concerns related to nurse staffing; makes recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority based on those trends, opportunities and concerns; and reviews the enforcement powers and processes under Oregon’s nurse staffing laws.

Program contact: Kimberly Voelker, Mailbox.nursestaffing@odhsoha.oregon.gov

###

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 Kimberly Voelker, MPH at 971-803-0914, 711 TTY or kimberly.n.voelker@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Housing, mental health care among new OHA director's priorities - 01/10/23

January 10, 2023

Media Contact: Robb Cowie, ROBB.COWIE@oha.oregon.gov

Housing, mental health care among new OHA director’s priorities

James Schroeder, former Health Share CEO, also focused on affordable health coverage

PORTLAND, Ore.— As James Schroeder starts his new role as director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), he is already taking aim at some of the biggest issues affecting the health of people in the state: affordable health coverage, housing access and mental health care.

Schroeder, a primary care clinician who last served as chief executive officer at the state’s largest coordinated care organization, Health Share of Oregon, acknowledged the Oregon health care system’s current “acute” challenge: hospitals jammed with respiratory virus patients. And many patients can’t be discharged because they lack housing, mental health treatment or long-term care.

In a Jan. 9 open letter to Oregon’s health care community, Schroeder called out “deeper, longer-standing problems” burdening communities across Oregon.

video link

“Too many people find themselves on the street, in jail or the hospital because they’re in crisis and can’t find the behavioral health treatment they need,” he said. “Too many people die preventable deaths from fentanyl, methamphetamine and other dangerous substances. Hundreds of thousands of people who gained health coverage in recent years risk returning to a time when small changes in income can bounce working families on and off the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), especially as federal pandemic coverage and funding winds down.”

Schroeder, who was appointed by Gov. Tina Kotek, serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Oregon Air National Guard and is the commander of the Group Medical Unit on the Portland Air Base. He stepped into his new OHA position Jan. 10, replacing Patrick Allen, who left OHA Jan. 2 after five years to become New Mexico’s secretary of health.

In the open letter, Schroeder described himself as “a community health primary care clinician with deep roots in advocating for social justice and health equity.” Those roots included providing clinical care to rural, uninsured, Spanish-speaking patients “who frequently drove more than 50 miles each way to see me so they could talk to someone who spoke their language.”

“To this day, I carry a profound respect for their strength and resilience, and an abiding commitment to break down barriers to care that many families continue to face,” he said.

At OHA, Schroeder will focus on protecting health coverage, implementing Oregon’s Medicaid waiver and elevating behavioral health. He said the agency will apply these values in the pursuit of the agency’s top priorities: 

  • Maintain coverage for all 1.4 million people now enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (and who remain eligible) as the federal pandemic emergency ends, and ensure that economically vulnerable working families who move off OHP have affordable coverage options.
  • Implement Oregon’s ground-breaking Medicaid waiver and fulfill its potential to interrupt many of the root cause problems that undermine health and quality of life in communities statewide.
  • Help communities across the state develop a behavioral health system of care that is able to meet the needs of people who are struggling or in crisis.

In addition to social justice and health equity, Schroeder wants to help OHA continue its collaboration with local and state partners – as he did as a community health practitioner – to tackle the state’s biggest health issues. But the agency must do more to hold partners accountable for better outcomes, “instead of documenting compliance with process and output measures through burdensome reports.”

“Incentive payments to CCOs have reduced avoidable emergency department visits and increased childhood immunizations for OHP members,” he explained. “We need to measure and reward better results across all our systems.”

One thing that won’t change under his leadership: OHA’s commitment to eliminate health inequity in Oregon by 2030.

“Oregon has proven it can be done,” he said. “Today, the adult COVID-19 vaccination rate for Latinos is on par with whites, and the COVID-19 vaccination rate for Black, African and African American persons outpaces both groups. I will do everything I can to keep the agency focused on health equity and sustain the community partnerships that made these gains possible.”

Schroeder has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska. Additionally, he has completed the Community Health Leadership program at the University of Washington, and Kaiser’s Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

###

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees meet via Zoom January 9 - 01/06/23

January 6, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees meet via Zoom January 9

What: A combined Zoom meeting for the Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees.

Agenda: The full agenda will be available at www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

When: Monday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Zoom Meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 1-669-254-5252; Meeting ID: 160 213 7315 Passcode: 005835

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 provides advice to Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission regarding Oregon Administrative Rules that govern medical cannabis as well as retail cannabis as it pertains to patients and caregivers.  Additionally, the commission is tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that cannabis will remain a therapeutic and affordable option for patients and monitoring federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding cannabis.

Visit www.Healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission for more information.

# # #

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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Megan Lockwood at 971-673-0620, 711 TTY or megan.r.lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Public Health Advisory Board meets Jan. 12 - 01/06/23

January 6, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Public Health Advisory Board meets Jan. 12

What: The Public Health Advisory Board will hold a meeting.

Agenda: Approve December meeting minutes; discuss PHAB subcommittees; discuss public health modernization funding scenarios; hear about Oregon’s 1115 Medicaid waiver.

When: Thursday, Jan. 12, 3-5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Zoom https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1614044266?pwd=ekpYekxaMm92SHN0dngzTW9ZeldsUT09 or conference call: (669) 254-5252, participant code 1614044266#.

Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon’s governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon’s State Health Improvement Plan.

# # #

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 Cara Biddlecom at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, or publichealth.policy@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets Jan. 10 via Zoom - 01/06/23

January 6, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.communications@oha.oregon.gov

Public Health Advisory Board Accountability Metrics Subcommittee meets Jan. 10 via Zoom

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

Agenda: Approve December meeting minutes; discuss public health indicators for environmental health.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 9-10 a.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: Via Zoom meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 669-254-5252; meeting ID 161 688 9251; or by computer, tablet or smartphone by launching this Zoom link: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1616889251?pwd=YXQyS2RmZEFId0JnTUJMazF5MGIwQT09

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

Program contact: Sara Beaudrault, 971-645-5766, sara.beaudrault@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: Sara Beaudrault at 971-645-5766, 711 TTY, or sara.beaudrault@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting

Health Care Workforce Committee to meet January 11, 2023 via Zoom - 01/05/23

Contact:

Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, Amy.Bacher2@oha.oregon.gov (media inquiries)

Jaime Taylor, 503-689-7926, jaime.taylor@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Health Care Workforce Committee to meet January 11, 2023 via Zoom

What: A public meeting of the Health Care Workforce Committee

When: Wednesday, January 11, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Public comment will be taken at 9:45 a.m. -9:50 a.m.

Where: Virtual Meeting. The public can join remotely via Zoom or conference line.

To join via Zoom: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1619979099?pwd=OEhVamlPaCtpckJjWmR1RXk5eWU0Zz09

To join via audio:

+16692545252, Meeting ID: 161 997 9099, Passcode: 030872

Agenda:

  • Convene HCWF Meeting
  • Approval of November and December 2022 Meeting Summaries
  • Public Comment
  • OHA and OHPB Updates
  • Election of Chair and Vice Chair for 2023
  • Discussion of the 2023 Health Care Workforce Needs Assessment and Committee Priorities and work for 2023
  • Review and Discussion
  • 2023 Workforce Diversity Report
  • Break
  • Panel Presentation
  • Progress and Accomplishments from Major Health Care Workforce Efforts
  • OHA Legislative Update
  • Adjourn
  • Next Meeting – March 8, 2023 (subject to change)

For more information, please visit the Workforce Committee’s website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/hp-hcw/pages/index.aspx

The Workforce Committee welcomes hearing from community members on the matters discussed by the committee and its other bodies, and other topics the public wishes the committee to consider.  If you wish to offer public comment, we appreciate you letting Neelam Gupta know in advance of the meeting, at neelam.gupta@dhsoha.state.or.us. Advance notice is not required in order to offer public comment at the meeting.  

# # #

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 Jaime Taylor at 503.689.7926, 711 TTY, jaime.taylor@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Testing homes for radon gas is now more important than ever - 01/05/23

January 5, 2023

Media Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139,

PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Testing homes for radon gas is now more important than ever

State program urges home testing during Radon Action Month

PORTLAND, Ore.— The best time to test for radon is during the heating season – the winter months – when windows and doors are closed tight. It’s why Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recognizes National Radon Action Month during January by encouraging people to test their homes for the odorless, tasteless, invisible gas.

Many parts of Oregon remain at risk of high radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes up from the ground and is drawn into buildings, where it can build up to dangerous levels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking, and it’s the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

But people can take steps to reduce their exposure to radon by testing their homes for the gas and, if necessary, hiring a professional to reduce radon to a safe level.

“Now, more than ever, we are spending more time in our homes. That means more exposure to potentially high radon levels,” said Jara Popinga, OHA’s Radon Awareness Program coordinator. “The only way to know if you have a high radon level is to test. The best time to test for radon is during the heating season or colder months when the windows and doors are closed for long periods of time.”

Many test kits are priced between $20 and $30 and can be found in most hardware stores or available for purchase from online retailers. High radon levels can be fixed by a certified radon professional for a cost similar to that of common home repairs ranging between $2,000 and $3,000, such as painting or having a new water heater installed.

The Radon Awareness Program collects radon test data from test kit manufacturers to understand which areas of the state have the potential for high radon levels and to identify regions where educational outreach efforts need to be focused. The program is offering a free radon test kit to residents whose homes are in ZIP codes with fewer than 20 radon test results. Residents can learn more about the free radon test kit program and how to apply at www.healthoregon.org/radon. Free test kits are available while supplies last.

For more information on which areas of the state are at moderate to high risk of elevated radon levels, radon testing and mitigation or to order a test kit online, contact the Radon Awareness Program at radon.program@state.or.us or visit www.healthoregon.org/radon.

###

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Equity, Governance Frame Working subcommittees meet via Zoom Jan. 9 - 01/04/23

January 4, 2023

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@oha.oregon.gov

Oregon Cannabis Commission's Patient Equity, Governance Frame Working subcommittees meet via Zoom Jan. 9

What: A combined Zoom meeting for the Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Patient Equity and Governance Frame Working subcommittees.

Agenda: The full agenda will be available at www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

When: Monday, Jan. 9, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: Zoom Meeting. Members of the public may join remotely by phone at 1-669-254-5252; Meeting ID: 160 213 7315 Passcode: 005835

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 provides advice to Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission regarding Oregon Administrative Rules that govern medical cannabis as well as retail cannabis as it pertains to patients and caregivers.  Additionally, the commission is tasked with developing a long-term strategic plan for ensuring that cannabis will remain a therapeutic and affordable option for patients and monitoring federal laws, regulations, and policies regarding cannabis.

Visit www.Healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission for more information.

# # #

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 material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Megan Lockwood at 971-673-0620, 711 TTY or megan.r.lockwood@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Oregon Health Policy Board (OHPB) meets Jan. 10 via Zoom - 01/04/23

January 4, 2022

Contacts:

Amy Bacher, 503-405-5403, amy.bacher2@oha.oregon.gov (media inquiries)

Tara Chetock, 971-304-9917, tara.a.chetock@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

Oregon Health Policy Board (OHPB) meets Jan. 10 via Zoom

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: Tuesday, January 10, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Virtual meeting. The public can join remotely via Zoom or conference call.

To join via Zoom: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1604737337?pwd=WEJFeWJick9oVCsrT0RwcjEwaWdWZz09

To call in to the meeting:

+1 669-254-5252, Meeting ID: 161 164 7226, Passcode: 832517

Proposed topics for the meeting agenda are listed below. The final meeting agenda and supporting materials will be posted on Oregon Health Policy Board’s (OHPB) website prior to the meeting. 

Agenda:

  1. Roll Call, Welcome & Minutes Approval
  2. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Updates
  3. Post-Public Health Emergency (PHE) Eligibility Renewals Planning Updates
  4. Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) Legislative Report
  5. Public Comment
  6. Reallocation of Funds for Health Care Provider Incentive Program
  7. Oregon’s Health Care Workforce Needs Assessment
  8. Closing Comments & Meeting Adjourn

*To provide public comment, please submit your request for public comment at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OHPB-Public-Comment

For more information and meeting materials, please visit the OHPB meeting webpage at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/OHPB/Pages/index.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
  • CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation)
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Tara Chetock at 971-304-9917, 711 TTY, tara.a.chetock@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.