Task Force on Public Health Approves Report for Legislature

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, who sat on that task force, believe it’s time to have a modern public health system.

The Task Force on the Future of Public Health approved its “Modernization of Public Health” proposal with minor grammatical changes and one last tweak to language on the social determinants of health.

“Housing and access to education are not the direct business of public health,” said Gary Oxman, retired Multnomah County public health leader. “In my experience over the years, [others] feel an intrusion of public health into their areas.”

His fellow task force members agreed but still wanted some language recognizing other factors that impact health.  

“Fear of territorialism should not distance us from potential allies,” said Nichole Maher, president of the Northwest Health Foundation, who described the proposal as an “unapproachable document for public health people.”

Oxman and Maher suggested the Oregon Health Authority staff create a PowerPoint to gets its key points across in a more straightforward manner for use with legislators and others.

“I’m sure there’ll be more to come as we go through that crazy legislative process,” said Tammy Baney, Deschutes County Commissioner who chairs the task force.

The 2013 Legislature passed House Bill 2348 to study the regionalization and consolidation of public health services, the future of public health services in Oregon, and to make recommendations for legislation.

“Government public health deals with a whole different set of issues from transformation of the healthcare system,” said Rep. Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland). “CCOs won’t deal with an Ebola epidemic in the U.S.  We need to have a modern public health system at the same time.”

Jan can be reached at [email protected].

News source: