Jan Johnson

‘Public Health Portland Style’ Ponders How to Keep Portland Housed and Healthy

Hospitals should use their profits to supply housing, a 15-year veteran of the street newspaper movement told more than 100 people who attended an OHSU School of Public Health event, and some 3,000 others who watched online.

Last February, Cameron Foster and her four daughters found themselves homeless. A shelter for those fleeing domestic violence served as housing for the first three months.

Health Share Partners Show How They Fight Childhood Adversity, Poverty, and Build Resilience

The rollout of the GOP’s plan to reduce Medicaid and Oregon’s own budget shortfall prompted barely a mention as scores of partners in Oregon’s biggest coordinated care organization burrowed into the weeds, seeking to combat challenges Health Share of Oregon’s members face from poverty, inequity and trauma.

As a pediatrician at The Children’s Clinic in 2008, Dr. R.J. Gillespie saw a happy six-month-old baby with a clearly depressed mother. By the time that baby was nine months old, he failed his developmental screening. At age two, the child was standing in a corner screaming.

Panel Says PhRMA, Hospital Prices Worse Than Budget Woes

Oregon currently depends more on federal funding for healthcare than all but four other states. “Our world might be upended,” Greg Van Pelt, president of the Oregon Health Leadership Council, suggested at an Oregon Health Forum breakfast earlier this week on the future of coordinated care organizations.

Oregon faces a $1.6 billion budget deficit, and what Van Pelt called “a complete unknown at the federal level.” Taken together, the future of Oregon’s CCOs might look bleak, with the possibility of 360,000 Oregonians who gained coverage with the expansion of Medicaid facing the loss of coverage.

Pill Disposal, Closing Pill Mills Eyed in Fight Against Opioid Epidemic

Bend lawmaker/doctor Rep. Knute Buehler tells an OHSU-PSU School of Public Health forum that opioid abuse is the “biggest man-made epidemic in history.” He plans to float anti-opioid measures that have no fiscal impact during this legislative session.

Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, an orthopedic surgeon, hopes to introduce a prescription drug take-back program funded by the pharmaceutical industry during this legislative session. Among his concerns -- young people who first encounter prescription drugs leftover in medicine cabinets.

OHSU Chills Spending Ahead of State Cuts and Uncertainty about the ACA

Oregon Health & Science University is holding off on discretionary spending and hiring as “prudent cost containment” in anticipation of state Medicaid cuts and “uncertain times ahead” during the Trump administration, President Joe Robertson told the OHSU board of directors yesterday.

Overall, OHSU’s financial fundamentals look strong. Operating income for the first half of fiscal year 2017 was $52 million, $6 million above budget projections although below the same time last year.

Governor’s Budget Earmarks Zero Dollars for Public Health Modernization

Disappointed members of Oregon’s Public Health Advisory Board drafted a statement to the Oregon Health Policy Board with copies to legislative leaders requesting the state fund public health modernization in the coming biennium – possibly from new tobacco and alcohol taxes.

An exhaustive analysis showed a need for $105 million a year on top of current spending to modernize Oregon’s state and local public health system, now ranked in the bottom five in the nation for funding.

FamilyCare Toying with a Public Board Meeting in Collaboration with its CAC

FamilyCare, Inc. may hold joint public meetings in February of its Community Advisory Council and board of directors. But the question remains about whether it will be a one off or a more lasting attempt to address calls for greater transparency?

FamilyCare has kept its board meetings private and allowed the public only to attend community advisory council meetings.

Medicaid Expansion Too Big, Too Successful and Too Politically Disruptive to Gut

Oregon’s innovative Medicaid expansion under the CCOs faces big tests with Congress and President-elect Donald Trump promising to repeal the Affordable Care Act while Oregon faces a $1.7 billion budget deficit.

For 10 years, Mel Rader, executive director of Upstream Public Health, didn’t have access to health insurance – and he was sick for more than three of those years. His experience convinces him it’s a “moral imperative to provide health insurance for those who cannot afford it.”

Spike in Hate Crimes, Proliferation of Racism in Schools Comes into Full View

Registration for Oregon’s Women’s Health Network’s workshop on how whites can be better allies to vulnerable communities in the post-election world exceed space at its venue. Network planners now look to host additional workshops.

As a biracial woman, Kalii Nettleton says she identifies as both black and white, and feels a responsibility to speak up. “I bridge two worlds.

Measure 97 Failure, Trump Presidency Hurt Prospects for Funding Oregon’s Public Health Modernization

The Public Health Advisory Board (PHAB) is preparing its road map for public health modernization for the 2017 legislature amid funding fears after Oregon voters rejected a corporate sales tax measure that had been expected to yield about $6 billion per biennium in additional revenue and worries about federal funding for public health nationwide under a Trump administration.

The odds for implementing public health modernization are looking bleak.

Oregon’s gap between current public health funding and what’s needed to fully implement a modern public health system statewide is $26.81 per person – about $100 million.

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