Christen McCurdy

Racial Minorities Disproportionately Represented in Health Share

Preliminary data also show higher incidences of obesity, asthma and diabetes among racial minorities, and the CCO hopes to get more detailed data to plan outreach efforts

Results of Health Share of Oregon's cultural competence data collection are still preliminary – but overall, racial minorities show a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions than Caucasians, according to Sandra Clark, project director for community health strategies.

Clark, who presented some of the data at Health Share's community advisory council meeting last month, said it should not be considered definitive, partly because the organization has only been gathering data since early last year. Also, current data are drawn from intake during the application process administered by the Oregon Health Authority, not health records or patient surveys.

Local Measles Case Prompts Emphasis on Importance of Vaccines, Potential for Outbreak

Just over 100 measles cases have been diagnosed in the US this year, but British Columbia has seen an outbreak this spring

A baby who passed through Portland International Airport last week has since been diagnosed with measles, prompting officials to stress the importance of vaccinations against the virus.

While vaccination rates in the Portland area remain relatively high – about 95 percent, according to the Multnomah County Health Department – health officials are working with the child's primary care provider to make sure patients are notified of the exposure and to take appropriate follow up.

Cambia Wins National Award for Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Preventing Colorectal Cancer, a national advocacy group, said Cambia stands out for making sure members can access and afford screenings.

A national colorectal cancer awareness group has recognized Cambia Health Solutions for its leadership in preventing colorectal cancer

Preventing Colorectal Cancer, an Annapolis, Md.-based group of physicians and advocates, awarded Cambia's medical director Dr. Csaba Mera last week with its Champion Award. This award was created to recognize groups that either provide excellent care or advocacy relating to the disease.

Kris Moore Takes Helm at FolkTime

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New executive director says peer-delivered mental health services have come a long way in the organization's 29-year history.

FolkTime is nearly 30 years old – but the idea of offering peer-provided services to people with mental health issues, which the organization has done since 1986, is starting to gain traction in policy discussions.

Oregon Dental Association Urges State Officials to Hire Dental Health Director

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New executive director Conor McNulty said a state-level position would help integrate dental care into the rest of the healthcare system

The Oregon Dental Association plans to continue to provide charitable dental care and oral health educational programs – and is urging state officials to hire a state director of dental health, according to the association's new director.

Conor McNulty took the reins of the Oregon Dental Association in February, after spending nine years in a similar role with the California Dental Association, the nation's largest dental association, where he held a number of leadership roles, most recently director of membership programs.

Oregon Health Authority Swamped with Calls About OHP Enrollment

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Ellen Pinney, the state’s ombudsperson, shared that information with Health Share of Oregon’s Community Advisory Council recently.

The Oregon Health Authority is receiving thousands of calls every day about Oregon Health Plan enrollment, OHP ombudsman Ellen Pinney told Health Share of Oregon’s Community Advisory Council last week.

Abortion Rates Lowest Since 1973 – But Pregnancies, Births Down As Well

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In Oregon, the numbers dipped by 18 percent between 2008 and 2011

Abortion rates are at their lowest since 1973, when the Roe v. Wade court decision made the procedure legal, according to figures released by the Guttmacher Institute earlier this year.

Michelle Stranger-Hunter, executive director of NARAL and the Oregon Reproductive Health Foundation, noted that the study in question covers the years between 2008 and 2011. Between 2011 and 2013, more than 205 abortion restrictions passed in different states nationwide – more than in the previous decade, Stranger-Hunter said. (None of them passed in Oregon, which is the only state not to have passed any restrictions on abortion since Roe.)

Patient-Centered Approach Can Reduce Health Disparities Among African-Americans

A five-year OHSU/PSU research project showed poor communication, perceived discrimination and mistrust of doctors were major barriers to healthcare.

African-Americans are less likely to use healthcare services, according to the latest research findings. And, when they do, they receive poorer quality of care, and comes away with less satisfaction which impacts their relationship with their provider.

Foot Care Professionals Call for Increased Investment in Prevention

Two-thirds of amputations nationwide are paid for by Medicare – but reimbursement for basic foot care services is complex

People with diabetes are 50 times more likely to develop a foot ulcer than those without, and diabetes-related foot problems are a leading cause of hospital admissions among people with diabetes. It’s the number one cause of medical amputations, which run a total cost of $80,000, including the surgery itself, wound care, prosthetic fitting and follow up treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Job Market for Nurses Starting to Improve – Gradually

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More employers are requiring nurses to have a bachelor of science in nursing, rather than an associate's degree

The job market for nurses in Oregon is “starting to shift, but not rapidly,” according to Mary Rita Hurley, executive director of the Oregon Center for Nursing. “We are very excited to see what's going to be happening around the state.”

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