December 8, 2011 -- Rep. Jim Thompson (R-Dallas) announced the House and Senate Health Care committees will hold a special joint hearing on Tuesday, December 20 to receive public testimony on proposed healthcare reforms.

Rep. Thompson, co-chair of the House Healthcare Committee, said the joint committee will address efforts to reform Oregon’s Medicaid system, known as “Healthcare Transformation,” as well as the proposal to create a new state health insurance exchange.

Dec 8 2011
The Food and Drug Administration has considered lifting the ban in the past but hasn’t taken any action

December 8, 2011—Turning away gay men who’d like to donate blood is a practice the American Red Cross’s Pacific Northwest regional office would like to change.

“We definitely would like to see the ban lifted and or changed,” said Daphne Mathew, the American Red Cross’s regional spokesperson. “It could increase our donations,”

Blood shortages are common in the Pacific Northwest, Mathew said, especially during the holiday season.

Dec 8 2011
Patrick Ferrari appears on the NBC program next Tuesday evening, competing with 12 other contestants to see who’s lost the most weight

December 8, 2011 – Since he’s been a teenager, Patrick Ferrari has coveted food. To him, every day was like Thanksgiving – he’d eat until he was stuffed. By the time he graduated from college, Ferrari, who stands 6’3,” weighed 401 pounds.

“I’d love to get big plates of French fries and eat until I could barely move; I just couldn’t stop,” said Ferrari, 26, who lives in Albany and works at a group home for adults with mental health disabilities. “The last time I went to Red Lobster, I ate 120 shrimp.”

Dec 8 2011
It’s too early to say how much revenue has been generated following the increased fees for medical marijuana cards, Dr. Mel Kohn told the Public Health Advisory Board

December 7, 2011 – With budget reductions looming as the February legislative session draws closer, Dr. Mel Kohn, director of the state’s Public Health Division, is being forced to take a hard look at making cuts.

 “There aren't a lot of places to go,” Kohn told the Public Health Advisory Board last Friday. “We're in a very difficult place, and it's going to be a very difficult session in February.”

Dec 7 2011
At its board meeting last Friday, a plan was approved to restructure its variable rate debt to a more stable structure

December 6, 2011 – Oregon Health & Science University intends to restructure approximately $210 million of its variable rate debt, and replace old auction rate debt with a more stable funding structure following Friday’s board meeting.

Chief Financial officer Lawrence Furnstahl had urged the board to take advantage of favorable conditions -- annual fees for credit will drop by two-thirds, from 1.80 percent to less than .60 percent for a three-year commitment, saving the university approximately $2 million a year.

Dec 6 2011
The assessment will be tailored at the community level because of the county’s diversity

December 6, 2011—The health department of Curry County, Oregon’s southern most coastal county, is undertaking a comprehensive community health assessment that will determine the health needs of its 20,000 residents and help tailor the health department’s programs and services.

Dec 5 2011
The new executive director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs thinks the coordinated care organizations show great promise

December 6, 2011—Cherryl Ramirez gets the importance of integrating physical and mental health care.

The new executive director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs began her career in Texas’ public health department, where she managed a diabetes prevention and control program.

“I noticed our clients with diabetes more often than not always had a serious issue with depression,” she said. “Diabetes goes hand and hand with a lot of our major killers—heart disease, diabetes, cancer.”

Dec 5 2011
Center will analyze data on patients given controversial product as part of spinal surgeries

December 5, 2011 -- Yale School of Medicine has chosen the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center at Oregon Health & Science University as one of two research centers that will independently review all clinical studies of a controversial product used in spinal surgeries to promote bone growth.

The selection of the Oregon Evidence-based Practice Center comes after Yale had entered into an unusual agreement with Medtronic, the manufacturer of the bone growth product — called bone morphogenetic protein-2 — to independently review the product.

Dec 5 2011

December 5, 2011 == The first federally funded report to compare children with special health care needs to children without reveals 14 percent to 19 percent of children in the United States have a special health care need and their insurance is inadequate to cover the greater scope of care they require for optimal health.

Dec 5 2011

December 5, 2011 -- It could happen to any of us --you wake up one morning with a slight weakness in your left leg and by the end of the day you're in your local hospital's ICU with tubes running into your arm, nose, and down your throat. You've lost your ability to speak and move. You say "yes" or "no" by shifting your eyes. It seems like a nightmare, but for Robert C. Samuels, it became his terrifying reality.

Dec 5 2011