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News Releases
Nurse Staffing Advisory Board meets in Portland February 28 - 02/16/18

February 16, 2018


What: The quarterly public meeting of the Nurse Staffing Advisory Board

Agenda: Review of minutes from November 29, 2017, meeting; waiver update; Nurse Staffing Survey update; plans of correction; NSAB member memos; emerging issues in nurse staffing; and public comment. The agenda will be available on the board's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing on February 21.

When: February 28, 1 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Public Health Division director board room, 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland. A conference call line is available at 877-336-1829, access code 2075141.

Background: The Nurse Staffing Advisory Board advises the Oregon Health Authority on the administration of Oregon's nurse staffing laws; identifies trends, opportunities and concerns related to nurse staffing; makes recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on the basis of those trends, opportunities and concerns; and reviews enforcement powers and processes under Oregon's nurse staffing laws.

For more information, see the agency's nurse staffing website at http://www.healthoregon.org/nursestaffing.

Program contact: Anna Davis, 971-673-2950, anna.l.davis@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Anna Davis at 971-673-2950, 711 TTY or anna.l.davis@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Metrics and Scoring Committee to meet February 16 in Wilsonville - 02/13/18

February 13, 2018

Contact: Heather Johnson, 503-508-8276, heather.n.johnson@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics and Scoring Committee.

When: February 16, 9 a.m. to noon. Public testimony will be heard at 9:20 a.m.

Where: Clackamas Community College Wilsonville Training Center, Room 210 29353 SW Town Center Loop E, Wilsonville

Attendees can also follow the presentation by webinar and listen to discussion by telephone. Register for the webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/7438627555801803523. Conference line: 888-204-5984, participant code 1277-166. The telephone will be unmuted during public testimony.

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda and updates; public testimony; review CCO Metrics Mid-Year Report; presentation on Medicaid waiver and evaluation; discuss program structure and planning.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/hpa/analytics/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Heather Johnson at 503-508-8276, 711 TTY, heather.n.johnson@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Conference of Local Health Officials meets February 15 in Salem - 02/08/18

February 8, 2018

What: The monthly public conference meeting of the Conference of Local Health Officials (CLHO)

Agenda: Includes review of private domestic wells and public health, sustainable relationships for community health, and prescription drug overdose prevention program elements; overview of triennial review evaluation; and CLHO committee transition check-in

When: February 15, 9:30-11:30 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. No conference call option is available for the public.

Where: Local Government Center, 1201 Court Street NE, Salem

The Conference of Local Health Officials provides recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority on foundational capabilities and programs and any other public health program or activity under ORS 431.147. (ORS 431.340)

Program contact: Danna Drum, 971-673-1223, danna.k.drum@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sing language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Danna Drum at 971-673-1223, 711 TTY or danna.k.drum@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Get immunizations updated before School Exclusion Day February 21 - 02/07/18

February 7, 2018

*Parents must provide schools, child care facilities with kids' vaccine records*

The Oregon Immunization Program is reminding parents that children will not be able to attend school or child care starting Feb. 21--School Exclusion Day--if their records on file show missing immunizations.

State law requires that all children in public and private schools, preschools, Head Start and certified child care facilities have up-to-date documentation on their immunizations, or have an exemption.

"Immunization keeps schools and the entire community healthy and safe," said Stacy de Assis Matthews, school law coordinator in the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. "It is the best way to protect children against vaccine-preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles."

Children whose school and child care vaccination records are not up to date on Feb. 21 will be sent home. Local health departments in 2017 sent 29,932 letters to parents and guardians informing them their children needed immunizations to stay in school or child care. A total of 4,646 children were kept out of school or child care until the necessary immunization information was turned in to the schools or child care facilities. Letters to parents were mailed on or before Feb. 7.

Parents seeking immunizations for their children should contact their health care provider or local health department, or call 211Info (dial 211 or go to 211info.org). No one can be turned away from a local health department because of inability to pay for required vaccines. Many pharmacists can immunize children 7 years and older. Parents should contact their neighborhood pharmacy for details.

Paul Cieslak, MD, medical director for the Oregon Immunization Program, said vaccines are a great way to protect children because they boost their bodies' natural defenses.

"Vaccines give kids the immunity they need without their having to suffer the illnesses," Cieslak said. "They're perhaps the best ounce of prevention kids can get." 

More information on school immunizations is at the Immunization Program website at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/PH/PreventionWellness/VaccinesImmunization/pages/index.aspx. Follow the Oregon Immunization Program on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OregonImmunize.

# # #

Public Health Advisory Board meets February 15 in Portland - 02/05/18

February 5, 2018

What: The regular public meeting of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Receive Incentives and Funding Subcommittee update; determine public health modernization implementation priorities for the 2019-2021 biennium; provide feedback on the draft public health accountability metrics report; review local public health authority actual expenditures data; and finalize CCO recommendations for work with public health


When: February 15, 2-5 p.m. The meeting is open to the public. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Conference Room 1B, Portland. Also available remotely by webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/4888122320415752707, or by phone at 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon's governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan.

For more information, see the board's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/About/Pages/ophab.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Cara Biddlecom at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY or cara.m.biddlecom@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Public Health Advisory Board Incentives and Funding Subcommittee meets February 12 by webinar - 02/01/18

February 1, 2018

What: A public meeting of the Incentives and Funding Subcommittee of the Public Health Advisory Board

Agenda: Discuss principles for public health funding; review local public health expenditure data; review changes to the 2019-21 public health modernization funding formula.

When: Monday, February 12, 12:30-2 p.m. A public comment period is offered at the end of the meeting.

Where: By webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1017967828287751171. By conference call at 877-873-8017, access code 767068#.

Background: Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board provides guidance for Oregon's governmental public health system and oversees the implementation of public health modernization and Oregon's State Health Improvement Plan. The Incentives and Funding Subcommittee develops recommendations for the board's consideration.

For more information, see the board's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/About/Pages/ophab.aspx.

Program contact: Sara Beaudrault, 971-645-5766, sara.beaudrault@state.or.us

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Sara Beaudrault at 971-645-5766, 711 TTY, sara.beaudrault@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Dolly Matteucci to become new superintendent of Oregon State Hospital - 02/01/18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 1, 2018

Salem, Ore. -- Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen announced the hiring of Dolores "Dolly" Matteucci as superintendent of Oregon State Hospital (OSH). Matteucci steps into her new role leading the hospital in mid-March.

Oregon State Hospital provides patient-centered, psychiatric treatment for adults from throughout the state who need hospital-level care. The hospital treats approximately 600 patients at two campuses located in Salem and Junction City. Oregon State Hospital has earned the Joint Commission's gold seal of approval for hospital, behavioral health care and laboratory services.

"I am confident that Dolly Matteucci brings the right mix of compassion and expertise to continue the tremendous success Oregon State Hospital has had transforming itself in the last decade," OHA Director Allen said.

Beckie Child, chair of the state hospital's advisory board said, "Dolly is coming to the state hospital for all the right reasons. She wants to continue the success of the state hospital as well as her own growth as an administrator. She's committed to caring for people whose lives have been shaped by trauma and she's dedicated to helping move the hospital even further in that direction."

Matteucci currently serves as executive director of Napa State Hospital in California, which she has led since 2010. Napa State Hospital serves 1,281 patients and has an annual budget of $305 million. Matteucci has served in a variety administrative and managerial positions at Napa and other California facilities. She has worked at all levels of a state hospital facility, beginning her career as a clinical dietician at Napa in 1987.

"I am excited to come to OSH because it is a place for healing and a national leader in patient care," Matteucci said. "I've been incredibly impressed since the first time I visited several years ago. Being able to lead an organization that is so focused on recovery is an incredible opportunity."

Matteucci was selected by a hiring panel that included a patient, state hospital advisory board members, community partners and labor representatives.

Matteucci succeeds former Oregon State Hospital superintendent Greg Roberts, who retired. Roberts served for six years and led the hospital's successful turnaround, the rebuilding of the Salem campus and the opening of Junction City.

"Dolly has what it takes to keep the hospital on the right track for providing the best possible care in a therapeutic environment," Roberts said. "She shares our vision of creating a recovery-oriented hospital culture -- which we've worked hard to establish over the past several years. Dolly understands that Oregon is very different, and she's ready to lead the hospital in a positive direction."

# # #

Oregon Health Policy Board to meet February 6 by teleconference - 01/30/18

January 30, 2018

What: The monthly meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board

When: February 6, 9-10 a.m.

Where: By teleconference only. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: OHA Director's report; legislative briefing

For more information on the meeting, visit the board's meeting page at http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OHPB/Pages/OHPB-Meetings.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jeff Scroggin at 541-999-6983, 711 TTY, or jeffrey.scroggin@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Data show areas of Oregon at high risk for elevated indoor radon levels - 01/30/18

January 30, 2018

*State program urges home testing for cancer-causing gas*

New data show that many regions of Oregon are at moderate risk of having elevated radon levels, as well as several high-risk areas.

The data, displayed in a map on the Oregon Health Authority's radon information web page, reinforce the importance of testing for radon in the home.

"The take-home message is that every home needs to be tested, regardless of where it is located," said Kari Christensen, Radon Program coordinator at the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. "You may have the only house on the block with elevated radon levels."

The Radon Program collects radon test data from test kit manufacturers in an effort to understand which areas of the state have the potential for high radon levels. This allows the program to identify areas where educational outreach efforts need to be focused.

To get a better understanding of the radon risk in areas where data is limited, the OHA Radon Program offers free radon test kits. Those living in ZIP codes where there are fewer than 20 test results, indicated by the lighter shades of color on the map, can send an email to radon.program@state.or.us to receive instructions on how to get a free test kit, which will be provided while supplies last.

"Our map indicates that radon is found in homes all across Oregon. However, there are many ZIP codes where we have little or no test data," Christensen said, noting that areas with no color on the map are those with insufficient data.

The OHA Radon Program is joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in urging Oregonians to take action and test their homes. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores, or online from radon test kit supply companies or the American Lung Association. Many test kits are priced between $15 and $25.

The best time to test for radon is during the heating season--the winter months--when windows and doors are closed up tight. This is when you would expect to find the highest radon levels in your home.

According to the 2017 data, much of the state is at some risk of at least moderately high radon levels, particularly in northwest, central and northeastern Oregon. Within these regions are pockets where high radon levels are common, such as the Portland metro, Clatskanie and La Grande areas.

Radon levels vary throughout Oregon depending on the underlying geology. Over the past two years, the OHA Radon Program collaborated with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) in developing a statewide radon potential map. The new map incorporates geologic data and OHA's data on indoor radon to show areas where the underlying geology is more likely to produce radon. Radon potential information is viewable in the online Oregon HazVu map at http://www.oregongeology.org/sub/hazvu.

Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs, such as painting or installing a new water heater. Financial assistance may be available to qualifying homeowners, who can visit the OHA radon mitigation web page at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/HEALTHYNEIGHBORHOODS/RADONGAS/Pages/Radon-Mitigation.aspx for more information.

Radon is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes up from the ground and is drawn into buildings, where it can build up to dangerous levels. The EPA estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after cigarette smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

# # #

OHA radon information web page: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/healthyenvironments/healthyneighborhoods/radongas/pages/zipcode.aspx

Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee meets February 5 - 01/30/18

January 30, 2018

What: The quarterly meeting of the state Dental Pilot Project Advisory Committee; the meeting will cover Dental Pilot Project #100, "Oregon Tribes Dental Health Aide Therapist Pilot Project."

Agenda: Review project modification request; presentation from project; response from project; discuss next site visit.

When: Feb. 5, 9 a.m. to noon. A public comment period will be held at the end of the meeting.

Where: Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon St., Room 1A, Portland. Conference line: 888-636-3807, participant code 793800

Background: Dental Pilot Projects are intended to evaluate the quality of care, access, cost, workforce and efficacy by teaching new skills to existing categories of dental personnel; developing new categories of dental personnel; accelerating the training of existing categories of dental personnel; or teaching new oral health care roles to previously untrained persons.

Program contact: Sarah Kowalski, 971-673-1563, sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us.

Dental pilot project information: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/PREVENTIONWELLNESS/ORALHEALTH/DENTALPILOTPROJECTS/Pages/projects.aspx

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written materials in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Sarah Kowalski at 971-673-1563, 711 TTY or sarah.e.kowalski@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Metrics Technical Advisory Group to meet January 25 in Portland and by webinar - 01/24/18

January 24, 2018

Contact:
Melisa Otrugman, 503-689-5238, melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority Metrics Technical Advisory Group

When: Thursday, January 25, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Lincoln Building, eighth floor (Mary Conference Room), 421 SW Oak St., Portland

Attendees can also join remotely through a webinar at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3012336791554163970 and conference line at 888-398-2342, participant code 573-1389.

Agenda: Welcome and introductions; updates; ALERT immunization files; Patient-Centered Primary Care Home tribal clinic scoring guide; recommendations to Metrics and Scoring Committee; disparity measure and PreManage; wrap up and adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Technical-Advisory-Group.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
* Sign language and spoken language interpreters
* Written materials in other languages
* Braille
* Large print
* Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Melisa Otrugman at 503-689-5238, 711 TTY, melisa.z.otrugman@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Radon Forum will teach people about health effects, testing, prevention - 01/23/18

January 23, 2018

A forum on Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Camas, Wash., will offer free information to the public about the dangers of radon, and how to test for and remove the gas from your home.

The sixth annual Northwest Radon Forum is a free educational event where people can learn about radon, its health effects, testing and community resources that are available. The event is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Camas Public Library, rooms A and B, 625 NE Fourth Ave. The Oregon Health Authority is a co-sponsor of the forum.

Resource tables will offer free radon information from 5 to 7:45 p.m. There will be a presentation and Q&A with a panel of radon experts from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Panelists will represent the fields of geology, health care, testing and mitigation, and community resources.

Radon test kits also will be available for purchase for $7, while supplies last.

Radon is odorless, tasteless and invisible. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes up from the ground and is drawn into buildings, where it can build up to dangerous levels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after cigarette smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

The OHA Radon Program is joining the EPA in urging Oregonians to take action and test their homes for radon during January as part of National Radon Action Month.

For more information visit the Northwest Radon Forum website at http://radonforumnorthwest.com/ or contact Tiffany Belser at 503-718-6141.

# # #

New web portal features food, pool, lodging inspection reports - 01/23/18

January 23, 2018

*HealthSpace licensing and inspection software provides public access to inspection statewide information*

PORTLAND, Ore.--The Oregon Health Authority has launched a new web portal that will allow people to easily find inspection reports for facilities such as restaurants, swimming pools and hotels.

The portal is part of an updated statewide licensing and inspection system. This updated system will also collect inspection data in a way that will help OHA and county health departments better identify violation trends.

"For the first time people can get inspection results for every licensed facility in the state," said David Martin, Foodborne Illness Prevention Program coordinator at the OHA Public Health Division. "It will also give us improved data we will use to address risk factors that can lead to illness or injury."

Oregon has about 25,000 licensed food, pool and lodging facilities. They include restaurants, mobile units, commissaries, warehouses, vending operations, swimming pools, spas, travelers' accommodations, recreational parks and organizational camps. All facilities are licensed and inspected locally by county health departments.

Inspections are unannounced and focus on items most likely to cause illness or injury to patrons, but also include items such as general cleanliness and maintenance. In a food service facility, the focus is on approved food sources, cooking temperatures, holding temperatures of food, personal hygiene of food handlers and contaminated or dirty equipment. For a public pool or spa, the emphasis is on proper disinfection, clarity, entrapment concerns, proper filtration and the pool enclosure. Tourist facilities are evaluated for safety and general sanitation concerns.

OHA's online inspection portal can be accessed at: https://healthspace.com/Clients/Oregon/State/StateWebPortal.nsf/home.xsp.

HealthSpace replaces a system known as Phoenix that had been in use by 34 Oregon counties since 1994.

The data available for a county on HealthSpace depends on when that county began using the site. That means there may be some facilities without inspection information until they have had an inspection loaded in the new system. It takes 14 days after an inspection until the data appears on the site.

The site will show semi-annual, biennial and annual routine inspections as well as reinspections.

This will be the first time that this information is available to the public for 34 of Oregon's 36 counties. Two other counties, Washington and Multnomah, use their own licensing and inspection reporting sites, although Multnomah County will be using HealthSpace starting in March 2018.

"The rollout exceeded expectations," Martin said. "HealthSpace was released on time and for less than was budgeted. It will be a great tool to use to work with our industry and regulatory partners to improve compliance and better protect the public from food, pool and lodging-related illness and injury."

# # #

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets January 30 in Portland - 01/22/18

January 22, 2018

What: The quarterly public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission

Agenda: Review and approve documents; identify key issues for the OCC to address (committee member input); identify key issues for the OCC to address (public input); establish highest priority goals based on key issues; identify next steps and needed resources; timeline, location, structure and length of meetings for rest of the year.

When: Tuesday, January 30, noon to 3 p.m. Public Comments will be taken during the agenda item on key issues for OCC to address, from 1:20 -- 1:35 p.m. Comments will be a maximum of three minutes but may be reduced depending on the number of speakers. Public comment on the topic of identifying key issues may be emailed to shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us as well.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Conference Room 1B (on the main floor of the building), 800 NE Oregon Street Portland. A conference call line is available at 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Details: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session though HB 2198. The commission consists of the state public health officer or the public health officer's designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, the commission advises the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission on the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, see the commission's web page at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:
· Sign language and spoken language interpreters
· Written material in other languages
· Braille
· Large print
· Audio and other formats
If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.