Joanne Scharer

Legislators Tap Tobacco Prevention Account to Fill Budget Gaps

The Lund Report
Advocates wonder if legislators consider tobacco prevention merely lip service

March 15, 2012 -- Facing budget cuts, legislators reduced the amount of money going toward tobacco education and prevention before they adjourned, which set a dangerous precedent, according to advocates.

 

“Tobacco is one of the major cost drivers to the (healthcare) system,” said Brett Hamilton, executive director of the Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon. “I recognize that Oregon, like the rest of the country, is struggling with the global economic recession and is facing numerous budget challenges for 2011-13.

 

Confidential Sources Say Salem Health Spending $2.5 Million on Japanese Training

The Lund Report
Hospital executives traveled to Japan recently for an immersion experience in Kaizan, the Japanese term for continuous improvement

March 2, 2012 -- With all the hubbub about Salem Health announcing cutbacks of $30 million recently, it’s interesting to ask what a health system in the Mid-Willamette Valley can learn from a car company in Asia? According to Salem Health Chief Executive Officer, Norman Gruber, whatever it is, it’s worth the trip.

Legislation Intends to Keep Tobacco Away from Minors

The Lund Report
The bill would allow Oregon State Police to hire reserve retired police officers and enforce stare laws banning the sale of tobacco to anyone under age 18

February 24, 2012 -- It’s against the law in Oregon to sell tobacco products to minors, a law that hasn’t been enforced since 2009. House Bill 4172, sponsored by the House Rules Committee and championed by Reps. Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukie) and Andy Olson (R-Albany), aims to change that.

The legislation would create the State Police Tobacco Law Enforcement Fund, separate from the general fund, that the Oregon State Police would use to hire active reserve retired state police officers to keep tobacco products out of the hands of minors.

Salem Health Closes Down High-Risk Pregnancy Clinic

The Lund Report
The Family Birth Center Clinic has been providing prenatal care to indigent women with high risk pregnancies since 2005

February 9, 2012 -- Indigent women in Marion County are about to lose an invaluable resource following the closure of the Family Birth Center Clinic run by Salem Health, which has provided prenatal care to indigent women with high-risk pregnancies since 2005.

Oregon Nurses Association Attempts to Change Oregon’s Vaccination Law

The Lund Report
The nurses have the support of labor unions and the Oregon Health Care Association, but the hospital association has raised objections

February 1, 2012 --The flu vaccine is widely available this time of year, from doctor’s offices to pharmacies to work places. For most people, it’s a choice, but for healthcare workers in Oregon and around the country, that choice is becoming increasingly threatened.

Changes in Insurance Plans Confusing for Employees

The Lund Report
Oregon Educators Benefit board makes the decision to give employees more options

January 25, 2012 -- It can be very exasperating when an employer changes health plan options and people no longer have quite the same benefits.

Irma Gentile faced that dilemma. An early retiree, she joined the Oregon Educators Benefit Board in 2008, choosing Providence Health Plan after reviewing the other three choices available to her.

Investing in Early Child Development Improves Health Outcomes

The Lund Report
Family Building Blocks works to prevents cycle of child abuse and neglect while improving public health

January 24, 2012 -- Jamie had a physically abusive mother, a situation that led to her living with an aunt to escape the violence at home. Even there, Jamie wasn’t safe; her uncle sexually abused her in the very place she went to find refuge. Eventually, Jamie found support from another family member and was able to graduate from high school.

Rural Oregon Losing Dentists

The Lund Report
Few new graduates find rural areas appealing because of their debt load

November 10, 2011 -- The days of selling a private dental practice in rural Oregon are coming to an end, in part, because of the overwhelming debt faced by new graduates.

Dr. Gary Brooks knows that well. In the past ten years, he’s been approached by only three dentists interested in buying his practice, and none of them came back with an actual offer.

“With the amount of loans new dentists come out of school with, they can’t afford to buy a practice,” said Brooks, who’s been practicing in Willamina since 1975.

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