Jan Johnson

OHA Considers Pilot Program for Dental Therapists

The project would train and employ Native Americans to perform basic oral health in their own Coos Bay-area communities and use innovative practices to deliver dental care to populations with the highest disease rates.

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is asking the Oregon Health Authority to approve a pilot project allowing dental therapists to treat members of two Coos Bay tribes -- the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Indians Dental Clinic and the Coquille Indian Tribe's

Abuse, Divorce and Motherhood Contribute to Poverty, Poor Health

The Oregon Women’s Health Network looks at paid family leave, higher asset limits for public benefits and more affordable housing as cures for women’s ills.

Intimate partner violence can lead to diabetes, hypertension, depression, substance abuse and sexually transmitted diseases, said Cassie Russell, economic empowerment coordinator at Bradley Angel, which she described as “the oldest shelter in the West.”

Government, Private Sector and Physicians Share Goals and Gripes at Oregon Health Forum Breakfast

Whether called “coordinated” or “connected” care, Intel, the state of Oregon and even private physicians groups agree the model will help contain rising healthcare costs while improving care.

At Intel, healthcare spending rose from $250 million a year to $500 million, with just “800 people driving $100 million of that cost,” Intel’s Tami Graham told 200 attendees at a breakfast forum co-sponsored by Oregon Health Forum and Oregon Business Magazine.

Measuring Healthcare Costs Doesn't Concern Dr. Joe Robertson

Robertson, president of OHSU, shared his thoughts when the Oregon Health Policy Board met to set the direction for the future of health transformation and determine whether it should measure healthcare costs.

Oregon’s Health Policy Board appears divided over whether to measure healthcare costs, following a presentation by Rachel Block, a consultant with the Milbank Memorial Fund.

Oregon Ranks at the Bottom in Oral Health

Dr. Bruce Austin, 10 months into his job as Oregon’s first state dental director, says poor oral health is Oregon’s “hidden epidemic,” leading to worse overall health especially in children; he advocates statewide fluoridation among other solutions.

According to a 2012 Oregon Smile Survey taken at 82 schools statewide, 17,000 Oregon kids between ages six and nine – about 13 percent -- have seven cavities or more with rampant decay including rows of black bumps for teeth.

PhRMA Lobbying Power Topples the World

Dr. Doug Walta, recently retired chief executive of clinical programs, physician strategy, outreach and diversity for Providence Health & Services painted a bleak picture for Portland State University and Oregon Health Sciences University students preparing for careers in healthcare at a recent Institute for Healthcare Improvement Open School lecture.

America provides the world’s highest-priced care with the lowest life expectancy of developed countries, with half of all bankruptcies related to healthcare costs, while one in seven Medicare beneficiaries is harmed while hospitalized, Dr. Douglas Walta told students last week.

Integrating Primary Care and Behavioral Health next Priority in CCO Transformation

When the Oregon Health Authority made transformation money available to coordinated care organizations (CCOs) across the state, Jennifer Johnstun, director of clinical programs for PrimaryHealth of Josephine County used the funding to co-locate behavioral health and substance abuse in the only OBGYN clinic the county.

The CCO’s goal was to reduce the number of “million-dollar babies born to drug-using women with mental health issues,” said Shelly Uhrig of Options for Southern Oregon.

Community Health Workers, Peer Support “Wave of the Future” for Addressing Health Disparities

“Look at the data on disease by race, ethnicity, rural and isolated communities, sexual identity, disability status,” Ignatius Bau, health care policy consultant, urged the audience at Oregon Health Authority’s 2015 Coordinated Care Model Summit. Note the stunning health disparities for vulnerable populations.

“Community health workers are the wave of the future,” to meet the needs of vulnerable people, according to Grant County Commissioner Chris Labhart.

Oregon Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grant Helps Put Nurses on Boards

The Oregon Action Coalition (OAC) is now part of the Future of Nursing State Implementation Program (SIP), receiving a two-year $146,000 grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others.

“If we’re going to be transforming healthcare and creating a new culture of health, nurses will be at the forefront,” said Jana R. Bitton, MPA, co-lead of the OAC and executive director of the Oregon Center for Nursing.

Job Seekers with Disabilities Linked to Employers, Recruiters

OHSU event looks like any other networking gig – just with more wheelchairs, service dogs, walkers, canes, sign interpreters and even “facilitator catalysts” for the shy.

Two years ago, Emily Purry’s husband had to nudge her out of the car to attend the event as a job seeker. “I didn’t know how to start conversations,” Purry said. “I just listened in.”

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