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News Release
OHA Director's Visit to Hood River, The Dalles Provides Insight into Local Health Priorities - 05/20/24

May 20, 2024

Media Contact: Amy Bacher, amy.bacher2@oha.oregon.gov

OHA Director’s Visit to Hood River, The Dalles Provides Insight into Local Health Priorities

Hood River, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Sejal Hathi, MD, MBA, met with health leaders and partners on Thursday in Hood River and The Dalles as part of a series of visits around the state to hear about community health needs.

Key themes heard in meetings with local public health and mental health authorities, a federally qualified health center and the local coordinated care organization (CCO), included difficulties surrounding health workforce shortages, the need for comprehensive behavioral health supports, and concerns about the loss of COVID-19 pandemic federal funding.

“From this visit, I heard loud and clear that we need creative solutions to bring more people into the health care workforce - especially in areas where the cost of living is high,” said Dr. Hathi. “In speaking with health leaders, advocates, and providers in this region, it was evident that there is a true collaborative spirit and a lot of care for people in our communities. I look forward to working on solutions to all the challenges we discussed.”

OHA is using feedback received during the regional visits to inform current and future policy initiatives. Later this year, OHA will share a summary of themes heard across all regional visits and examples of specific partner recommendations that agency staff plan to pursue.

The visit to Hood River and The Dalles marks the sixth in a series across the state for the new director to learn about the challenges, needs and priorities of individual communities.

A video recap of Dr. Hathi’s visit is available here. A full schedule of all of Dr. Hathi’s regional listening visits are posted on her web page.

View more news releases from Oregon Health Authority.