The Lund Report

Oregon’s Prescription Drug Program Expands into Washington

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People who lack prescription coverage can benefit from lower cost drugs

December 14, 2011 -- Big savings, the need for continued reform and threats to funding for home care workers were on everyone’s lips at a celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Oregon Prescription Drug Program last Friday.

Foundry Neighbors Make Good, Agree on Air Toxics Reductions

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Deal avoids litigation over ESCO emissions but exposes concern about statewide air quality regulation

December 8, 2011 -- Cutting down on toxic chemicals is nice, but a coalition of environmental health advocates and the historic industrial operation they challenged to slash cancer-causing emissions are congratulating themselves for avoiding a situation that's toxic in a different way: years of acrimonious litigation.

Just because the air has cleared in a tony Portland neighborhood, though, don't expect much praise for the way Oregon regulates air pollution and its impact on environmental health.

Local Organization Wants Ban Lifted on Gays Donating Blood

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The Food and Drug Administration has considered lifting the ban in the past but hasn’t taken any action

December 8, 2011—Turning away gay men who’d like to donate blood is a practice the American Red Cross’s Pacific Northwest regional office would like to change.

“We definitely would like to see the ban lifted and or changed,” said Daphne Mathew, the American Red Cross’s regional spokesperson. “It could increase our donations,”

Blood shortages are common in the Pacific Northwest, Mathew said, especially during the holiday season.

Albany Man Competes for $100,000 on “The Biggest Loser”

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Patrick Ferrari appears on the NBC program next Tuesday evening, competing with 12 other contestants to see who’s lost the most weight

December 8, 2011 – Since he’s been a teenager, Patrick Ferrari has coveted food. To him, every day was like Thanksgiving – he’d eat until he was stuffed. By the time he graduated from college, Ferrari, who stands 6’3,” weighed 401 pounds.

“I’d love to get big plates of French fries and eat until I could barely move; I just couldn’t stop,” said Ferrari, 26, who lives in Albany and works at a group home for adults with mental health disabilities. “The last time I went to Red Lobster, I ate 120 shrimp.”

Public Health Division Takes a Serious Look at Budget Reductions

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It’s too early to say how much revenue has been generated following the increased fees for medical marijuana cards, Dr. Mel Kohn told the Public Health Advisory Board

December 7, 2011 – With budget reductions looming as the February legislative session draws closer, Dr. Mel Kohn, director of the state’s Public Health Division, is being forced to take a hard look at making cuts.

 “There aren't a lot of places to go,” Kohn told the Public Health Advisory Board last Friday. “We're in a very difficult place, and it's going to be a very difficult session in February.”

Debt restructuring, Plans for Nutritional Center Take Center Stage at OHSU

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At its board meeting last Friday, a plan was approved to restructure its variable rate debt to a more stable structure

December 6, 2011 – Oregon Health & Science University intends to restructure approximately $210 million of its variable rate debt, and replace old auction rate debt with a more stable funding structure following Friday’s board meeting.

Chief Financial officer Lawrence Furnstahl had urged the board to take advantage of favorable conditions -- annual fees for credit will drop by two-thirds, from 1.80 percent to less than .60 percent for a three-year commitment, saving the university approximately $2 million a year.

Curry County Begins Wide Ranging Health Assessment

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The assessment will be tailored at the community level because of the county’s diversity

December 6, 2011—The health department of Curry County, Oregon’s southern most coastal county, is undertaking a comprehensive community health assessment that will determine the health needs of its 20,000 residents and help tailor the health department’s programs and services.

Cherryl Ramirez Believes in Integrating Physical and Mental Healthcare

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The new executive director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs thinks the coordinated care organizations show great promise

December 6, 2011—Cherryl Ramirez gets the importance of integrating physical and mental health care.

The new executive director of the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs began her career in Texas’ public health department, where she managed a diabetes prevention and control program.

“I noticed our clients with diabetes more often than not always had a serious issue with depression,” she said. “Diabetes goes hand and hand with a lot of our major killers—heart disease, diabetes, cancer.”

True Story of One Man’s Horrifying Treatment in one of America’s Top Hospitals

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December 5, 2011 -- It could happen to any of us --you wake up one morning with a slight weakness in your left leg and by the end of the day you're in your local hospital's ICU with tubes running into your arm, nose, and down your throat. You've lost your ability to speak and move. You say "yes" or "no" by shifting your eyes. It seems like a nightmare, but for Robert C. Samuels, it became his terrifying reality.


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