Oregon Assn. of Hosp. and Health Systems (OAHHS)
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Hospitals Lead Search for Community Solutions to ED Boarding - 06/04/19



Dave Northfield

Director of Communications

(503) 479-6032 (o), (503) 329-1989 (c)




Lake Oswego, Ore. – June 4, 2019 – Many Oregonians experiencing a mental health crisis lack a good treatment option, and too many of them wind up in the next best place: a hospital emergency department. They can sometimes be there for days as “ED boarding” patients, neither admitted to the hospital nor discharged. The Oregon Association of Hospitals & Health Systems (OAHHS) is part of a coalition working on community solutions to a community problem that is national in scope.

The group has introduced a bill in the 2019 Legislature as a step toward improving this broken piece of the system.

“Emergency departments are not set up to deliver mental health services,” said Danielle Meyer, an OAHHS policy director. “It’s a safe environment, but it’s not a therapeutic one.” Meyer said those patients are not admitted to the main hospital because they lack the necessary medical diagnosis.

ED boarding is a statewide issue, but it’s often more acute in rural areas where there is limited access to in-patient psychiatric beds. “We have a nationwide shortage of psychiatric care, especially pediatric,” said Michelle Brenholdt, Director of Emergency Services at St. Charles hospitals in Bend and Redmond. Brenholdt said they once had a mental health patient for 19 days at the Redmond ED, and statewide a stay of 10 days is not uncommon. Until permanent solutions are found, Brenholdt said St. Charles has increased access to services when mental health patients are discharged (in addition to allowing some to stay multiple days in the ED).

Multiple factors have combined to create this issue, which is why a collaborative solution is required. Senate Bill 140A is the first step in that process. It creates community pilot projects to air concerns and share ideas. The amended bill requires that one of the pilots be in a rural part of the state. The bill would also convene a task force of interested parties, welcoming their input.

The coalition in support of SB 140A includes physicians’ groups, the Oregon Nurse’s Association, and Oregon AFSCME Council 75.


About OAHHS: Founded in 1934, OAHHS is a statewide, nonprofit trade association that works closely with local and national government leaders, business and citizen coalitions, and other professional health care organizations to enhance and promote community health and to continue improving Oregon’s innovative health care delivery system.





Attached Media Files: ED Boarding Release
Waterfront Blues Fest Lineup is Set - 06/03/19


Single day tickets now on sale for the concert deal of the summer

Portland, Ore. – June 3, 2019 – Portland’s best outdoor party will get started on July 4 as the Waterfront Blues Festival takes over Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland.

Over 100 acts representing American roots music at its best are available for the 4-day Fan Pass at only $50. Single-day tickets are now on sale for $20 ($25 at the gate). For the first time this year, single-day VIP Gold passes are available (though the July 4 Gold pass is sold out). Gold passes for the entire 4-day festival are already sold out.

The July 4th headliner is blues icon Robert Cray, an artist with a platinum-selling album to his credit. Also on the schedule that day is Oregon blues legend Curtis Salgado. And, as always, a fireworks show will light up the river at the end of the night.

“This is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi and the unofficial start of summer in Portland,” said Waterfront Blues Festival Artistic Director Peter Dammann. “This is a town that loves blues and soul, and we show it every year.”

Highlights of this year’s lineup include:

  • Festival headliner Trombone Shorty on Sunday as well as New Orleans funk legend Cyril Neville and the fabulous Shemekia Copeland
  • All day Zydeco/Cajun dance party on the Front Porch Saturday and Sunday
  • Five Blues Cruises on the Portland Spirit and after-hours shows at the Portland Marriott
  • The return of Larkin Poe, a sister duo that was an audience favorite last year and has earned critical acclaim
  • Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and Vintage Trouble

The festival is once again hosting a food drive for the Sunshine Division, which provides food and clothing relief to families in need.

For a complete schedule, more information about the artists, and ticket information, please visit waterfrontbluesfest.com.


Dave Northfield



Peter Dammann